In this week's episode of the DevEd podcast, the panelists talk to Tara Z. Manicsic. Tara is an Angular Developer Experience Engineer at Netlify, a blogger, and loves to work in her community educating and learning from other developers. The topic for this episode is work-life balance with an emphasis on balancing learning as a programmer.
The first thing they discuss is if programmers are good at balancing work-life. The general consensus is that they aren't, but mostly because they love their job, and it is also always fun to learn newer technologies and concepts. They talk about hackations and coding in beautiful environments away from their regular desks.
They talk about some strategies to maintain a good work-life balance especially in high-pressure scenarios where the work seems to never get over. They suggest time management, blocking off hours and segregating them into strictly work and non-work periods. Tara mentions working non-traditional hours while having an infant at home, while Brooke explains how to schedule things beforehand so that knowing the tasks ahead of time helps in managing them effectively. Others chip in with their suggestions as well. Tara also speaks on the importance of having a good manager with realistic expectations.
They then touch on work-life balance from the perspective of managers too, where they advise them to make sure that their employees work reasonable hours, check in with them regularly and encourage them to take personal time off for their own mental health. They share their experiences related to death marches and the stress associated with it. They mention that while working as a junior developer in a high pressure environment that is hard to keep up with, it can be hard to change jobs. To deal with these kind of situations, they talk about how important it is to like the work being done, and if it is not something enjoyable, it is time to start looking for something completely different or take some time to unwind. Trying to do interesting things such as reading books, listening to music or podcasts at work during lunchtime, or while commuting, can also help in thriving in such environments.
The next point discussed is how to deal with the need to learn along with working at a regular job and still manage to maintain a balance. Consuming relevant content in the background while going about our day-to-day chores, not underestimating the learning done on the job, carving out time for self development during work hours, writing regular blog posts of things learned which can eventually lead to an awesome portfolio, are some great recommendations.
The last thing the panelists talk about is organizational tools for an awesome work-learn-life balance. They suggest Toggle, Asana, OmniFocus and Calendar. Luis mentions that given that we are constantly bombarded with information, it can be beneficial to sift through that, remove the unnecessary noise and concentrate on what is needed to free up significant amount of time. Joe recommends using a bullet journal, being physical and tactile while organising rather than digital, and Mike suggests switching the airplane mode on, among other things. Tara and Sam talk about meditation and mindfulness. They end the show with picks.
The Dev Ed podcast is produced by Thinkster.io and published by DevChat.TV.
Joined by special guest: Tara Z. Manicsic
- Beginner's Guide to Bullet Journaling | How to Start a Bullet Journal
- Boho Berry Bullet Journal introduction
Tara Z. Manicsic:
- Check out the local children's museums
- JAMstack conf
How to maintain a great work-life balance, as an employee?
Good time management, blocking off hours and segregating them into strictly work and non-work periods, scheduling tasks ahead of time.
How to maintain a great work-life balance, as a manager?
Making sure that employees work reasonable hours, checking in with them regularly and encouraging them to take personal time off for their own mental health.
How to maintain a great work-learn-life balance?
Consuming relevant content in the background while going about our day-to-day chores, not underestimating the learning done on the job, carving out time for self development during work hours, writing blog posts of things learned eventually leading to an awesome portfolio.
What are some organizational tools to maintain work-life balance?
Toggle, Asana, OmniFocus, Calendar, Bullet journals, Meditation