Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Getting the Time to Program

How many others have the same problem?

I have a number of ideas that I would love to program in my spare time. I have produced many retail programs previously with success so know the pitfalls. I have worked out most of the kinks in the logic of how to implement many of the features. I just need to program them.

The problem is that I spend a great many hours in the day programming at work. New Zealand is known for being a wonderful place to live, but its also getting known as the hardest working. Us poor Kiwis (the kiwi is our native bird and also the name we call ourselves), have the second highest rate of average hours worked per year compared to all other OECD countries. This means that when I get home, I am in serious need of relaxation and the things I want to program get put off for another night.

I have some wonderful ideas that I know will be good sellers, I just need the time to program them. Often the time I do spend on these ideas at home, ends up as code that is used in my work programs. This keeps the boss happy (I hope), but doesn't get my programs finished.

Mind you, with spending every weekend with my Fiance and her daughter, and spending about an hour on the phone to her every night (we live in different towns) does not help the situation so I suppose I'm my own worst enemy.

How do you make sure that you put aside the time and energy to program in the evenings?


  1. I encourage my wife to take night classes at the local community college. Works for me. :)

  2. AnonymousJuly 25, 2007

    Steve, I live in Italy and my problem is the same.
    Tried to give prioritization to all things in my days but there are (always) too much things with NMI(Non Maskable Interrupt) so my good ideas are always in standby.
    If you (or other) can find a solution, I'll be very grateful...


  3. I am a software developer - I do have a day job as a developer for a company, but I also have my own software business, so at night time I program as well. Programming is my passion and my wife understand that so during the week she usually let's me do my 'work' but during the weekend, I stop and spend time with my family, it's a good balance I think..

  4. Greg, excellent. My fiance is currently studying too. Theoretically this means we shouldn't be talking so long on the phone, but..

    GS. A very practical, negotiated, time to program. I'm not sure if I could negotiate the evenings away, but if I do discuss it, I'll let you know if I survive the discussion :)

    Basically, I need to seriously put the time aside.


  5. AnonymousJuly 25, 2007

    Maybe if you stopped cluttering up DelphiFeeds with the banalities of your life just because "you are a Delphi programmer", we could all get some programming done.
    We really need a moderator on DelphiFeeds.

  6. There's always one :)

    You may note that DelphiFeeds have only today added my site and its automated feed took in a number of my posts.

    Take a look at my base blog and you will find a number of posts that relate useful Delphi code and Delphi related hints.

    This list includes...
    - Programming Styles
    - Debugging in Delphi 2007
    - CopyFileTo
    - Database fields to ComboBox
    - ElevateDB
    - Delphi 2007
    - Delphi Roadmaps
    - Delphi Gobal Variables
    - Programming Tabs in Delphi
    - Accessing multiple components
    - Development tools

    Which of those is "cluttering up DelphiFeeds with the banalities"?

    This particular post can relate to all Delphi programmers as those who have a passion for programming often find themselves programming after hours.

    Go back to programming.


  7. Steve,

    Welcome to DelphiFeeds I've enjoyed the posts.

    Getting the time to program [shrug] can't help you there. I've been on this machine all day ... other than tinkering a bit with a couple of snippets and a new tool I wanted to try out - nada.

    Re: Go back to programming.
    You're far kinder than I think I would have been :)

  8. Thanks Dave. I'll forgive the guy today, as he may not have realised that the automated feeds took in a lot of back-dated posts. I admit it looked like I was hogging the spotlight a little this morning.

    Everyone's entitled to a bad day occasionally, but if they post nasty comments, then I'd be entitled to judge the IQ of that person - reasonably accurately I suspect ;)


  9. AnonymousJuly 25, 2007

    I have the same problem, my wife not even allowing me close to a computer in the evenings and the weekends filled with rugby. I also loved your back posts and will now read even more of them.

    ps. Please blog about a good delphi NZ job site or two.

  10. Thanks Dave,

    I can understand the weekends being taken up with rugby. That's a totally acceptable priority, especially when the All-Blacks are playing.

    Thanks for your suggestion. take a look at and search for 'Delphi'.


  11. A friend emailed me this quote the other day - and I think it is quite apt: “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.”
    - Leonard Bernstein, conductor

    I've been working fairly hard in my spare time to churn out videos (17 so far), next month should be more productive because it's a "no TV month". You can't complain that you are not achieving the great things you feel that your capable of, and then go off and play computer games or watch TV. Sometimes success needs to come with some sacrifice - sometimes it involves slaughtering a chicken to the Dark Lord, and sometimes it's reading a technical journal rather than watching TV.

  12. Thanks Alister. Its been a while since I've watch any TV, but yes, I do agree with everything you've said.

    Readers note that Alister has produced a number of excellent videos on Delphi for both beginners and seasoned programmers.

    I've added this to my list of "Useful Links".


  13. Some hints on "How to get enough spare time free for programming":

    0) sell your TV

    1) make a donation of 250$ a month to a children's hospital as a membership fee for the "private programming club" you're the one and only member. It's really motivating.

    2) configure your router to disable the Internet connection from 7pm till 7am

    3) don't drink beer or any other alcohol

    4) spend your holidays at home (extending point 2)

    5) disable your anti-virus and firewalls (given point 2)

    6) learn to program first ;) then it'll save time, not having to solve too much bugs

    Optionally :)
    - close your office room and throw the key away
    - sell your wife/husband, children, pets...


  14. Firstly, welcome to the Blogsphere Steve. Its great to be able to subscribe to the blog of a fellow NZ Delphi developer.

    Like you, I always find myself battling with the 'too many ideas, and not enough time' problem. This is compounded by the fact that my evenings are already taken up with extra curriculum programmming (I do contracting work to help enhance and maintain CodeGear Developer Network applications). And like you weekends are largely off limits, as I like to keep them free to spend quality time with my family.

    So if and when you find the solution to this problem, please be sure to blog about it. And I promise to do the same in return. :-)

  15. Hi Steve,
    You may checkout for more tips about to get time out of our lifes.
    Sanjay Munjal

  16. Yup, well said and well written. I too have the same problem and wish I had more time at home to program the ideas I keep thinking about at work (shhh).

    Of course, my wife and son are the priority but sometimes, I just want to stay in my computer room at home for 2 days and not have any contact with the outside world to finish what I want to do :)


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