Programming After a Layoff

It’s inevitable. Unless you are a slave to the code or you have no other desires in life, there will be a time where you won’t code for an extended period of time. Whether it’s a few days, week, or months, time off coding can be a bit unsettling.

Because the field of software engineering requires one to understand how to code and how problems work, it’s easy to get rusty. Depending on the time off, coding can feel foreign.

Syntax, CLI commands, and logic fades if we don’t use it.

Luckily, as humans, we are adaptable and muscle memories guide us.

I relate this to taking time off playing basketball. It may suck to be off the court for a few months due to injury and then have to play a full court game. We won’t be as sharp immediately, but after a few games, we surely will resemble the player we once were (assuming no crazy injury).

Ideally, though, it would be great to have a few practice sessions before we go into season games.

This is a bit like programming. It can be daunting to tackle a huge task. We might not be able to solve problems as fast and/or have to look up syntax, and that can play a role in affecting our psyche.

I’d suggest to just try to tackle in small tasks, easy coding challenges, or just learning something new. I’ve found that going this route can excite me into going back into writing code or continuing a project I put on hold.

Just remember, coding is all about breaking big problems into smaller ones!


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