Hobbies are activities that we engage in for pleasure or relaxation outside of our job. They’re generally things that we are interested in and like doing. Many individuals have hobbies that they have enjoyed for years, such as collecting stamps or playing tennis, which they enjoy.
Others may pick up a new pastime from time to time, such as learning how to cook or play the guitar. Some hobbies can even lead to full-time jobs, such as photography and writing. As a result, it’s not surprising that some individuals may question whether programming can be a hobby.
Programming is an activity that involves using a computer to create software, websites, apps, or games. It"s often seen as a challenging and complex activity, and attracts people who want to get into the field of software engineering for earning a well paid job.
However, for those who code for fun, it can be an interesting and rewarding hobby. According to the Stack Overflow Survey of 2020, more than 78% of programmers say they code as a hobby, and it’s not surprising to me, who dabbles in programming as a hobby.
Can Programming Be A Hobby?
Programming is for some people a hobby. They like the thrill of learning a new language or tackling an issue. For others, however, programming is even more than simply a hobby; it’s a passion. These are the individuals who regard programming as an art form and who derive great pleasure from solving a challenging problem through programming.
One thing can be said for sure – if you love what you do, the chances of you succeeding at it increase exponentially. So, if you’re considering making a career out of programming, ask yourself this question first – do you genuinely enjoy coding? If the answer is yes, then go for it!
Benefits Of Programming As A Hobby
There are many benefits of programming as a hobby. Let’s look at some of them –
1. It’s A Good Mental Exercise
Programming generally involves solving complex real-world problems.
Programming is just plain satisfying. There’s something about creating something from nothing that is really fulfilling. When you see your code running and doing what you intended it to do, it’s a great feeling. And when your code solves real world problems for others, that is another great feeling.
Besides, this can be a good mental exercise, as it helps keep your mind sharp and agile. It also helps you improve your problem-solving skills, which can come in handy in other areas of your life as well.
2. Helps You Stay Organized
Programming generally involves working with large codebases and files. This can help you develop better organizational skills, which is always a plus.
3. It Teaches Discipline
Programming is not an easy activity; it takes a lot of hard work and discipline to become proficient at it. As such, learning how to program can teach you the value of discipline and how to persevere through difficult tasks.
4. It Teaches You How To Be Creative
Programming requires you to be creative in order to come up with solutions to problems. This is because there is often more than one way to solve a problem. As such, programming can help you develop your creativity.
5. It Can Be Relaxing
For some people, programming can be a very relaxing activity. This is because it allows them to forget about the stresses of their day-to-day lives and focus on solving problems. In fact, many programmers report feeling a sense of flow when they are coding.
6. It Can Be Profitable
If you’re good at programming, you can make a lot of money from it. There are many high-paying jobs available for programmers, as well as opportunities to go abroad and work in different countries. You can also start your own programming-driven business.
7. You Can Meet Like Minded People
There are many online (like Stack overflow) and offline communities for programmers. These can be great places to meet like-minded people and make friends. They can also be great places to learn new things and get help when you’re stuck.
8. It’s Never Boring
Programming is always changing; there are always new languages and frameworks to learn, and new problems to solve. This means that you never get bored with it.
9. You Can Make A Difference
If you’re good at programming, you can use your skills to make the world a better place. There are many open source projects that you can contribute to that have a real impact on the lives of people. For me, that’s a really big plus.
10. It’s Portable
All you need for programming is a laptop. You can take your laptop and code anywhere. This is a big plus for me, as I like to travel a lot.
So, those are some of the benefits of programming as a hobby. As you can see, there are many reasons why you should consider learning how to program. If you’re not sure if programming is right for you, give it a try – you might be surprised at how much you enjoy it!
Disadvantages Of Programming As A Hobby
1. It Can Be Expensive
Programming can be an expensive hobby. This is because you often need to purchase software and hardware in order to program.
2. It Can Be Time-Consuming
Learning how to program can be a time-consuming process. It can sometimes take years to become proficient at it.
3. It Requires A lot of Effort
In order to be good at programming, you need to put in a lot of effort. You can’t just expect to learn it overnight.
4. There’s A Lot Of Theory Involved
In order for your code to be correct, you need to understand the theory behind it. This can sometimes be difficult and confusing.
5. Unfinished Projects
A lot of projects that you start for “fun”, can just die once the interest dies. This can be quite demotivating.
6. Debugging Can Be Frustrating
Debugging code can be very frustrating, especially when you don’t know what’s wrong.
7. Lack Of Physical Movement
Coding generally involves sitting at the same desk for hours on end which might not be good for your health in the long term.
8. It’s Not Always Fun
Programming is not always fun. Sometimes it can be tedious and frustrating.
7. You Might Get Addicted
Some people might get addicted to programming and spend all their free time doing it. This will lead to not having time for family and can be a turn-off for some people.
8. It Can Be Lonely
Programming can be a lonely hobby, as you often need to work by yourself. This can be quite isolating for some people.
So, those are some of the disadvantages of programming as a hobby. As you can see, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider before taking up programming as a hobby. It’s important to weigh both the pros and cons before making a decision.
Programming As A Hobby Vs Programming As A Job
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of programming as a hobby, let’s take a look at how it differs from programming as a job.
1. In Programming As A Job, You Get Paid To Do It
This is pretty obvious – in programming as a job, you get paid to do it. While this is rewarding on one side, you have to work under pressure to get the job done so that you continue to get paid. Under such circumstances, it can be difficult to enjoy the work as much as you would if it were just a hobby.
Since you’re not getting paid to do it, there’s no pressure to get the job done in programming as a hobby. This means that you can take your time and enjoy the process of learning and creating code.
3. In Programming As A Job, You Work With A Team
In programming as a job, you’ll generally be working with other programmers on a team. This can be great for networking and learning new things, but it also means that you have to deal with other people’s egos and work with them even if you hate them personally.
You can pick the people you want to work with if you’re coding as a pastime. I love coding on my own, and if I need assistance, I just go to anybody I choose for help.
2. In Programming As A Hobby, You Don’t Necessarily Have To Finish Projects
In programming as a job, you often have to complete projects within certain time constraints. If you don’t finish them, you may invite a reprimand, any other punitive action, or at the worst – lose your job. This takes away all the fun of programming and can sometimes make it feel like a punishment.
On the other hand, in programming as a hobby, you can take your time and work on projects at your own pace. If you don’t finish them, that’s okay – you can always come back to them later. This makes it much more enjoyable and relaxed.
4. In Programming As A Job, You May Have To Work With Code That You Don’t Like
If you’re working as a programmer, you may have to work with code that you don’t like. This can be frustrating and make the job feel more like a chore than anything else.
In my 7 years of programming career, I hardly had a choice of what projects I want to work on, and which programming language to choose. There is always a certain programming language and a fixed set of tools that the entire team uses, and you just have to go with it.
In programming as a hobby, you get to choose what code you want to work with. If you don’t like a programming language, you can just pick another. All that matters is solving the problem.
5. In Programming As A Job, You Have To Do A Lot More Than Just Code
If you work in a company, you can’t expect to always be coding. You will have to work on other aspects of projects like writing test cases, documentation, emails and other boring stuff. Some people do not like these auxiliary activities that come tied to a coding job, This can make the job feel tedious.
Being a programmer as a hobby means that you only do the coding part and nothing else. This makes it much more enjoyable as you don’t have to worry about other things. You can just sit down and write code without having to worry about anything else.
6. In Programming As A Job, You May Have To Work Long Hours
Working as a programmer can often mean working long hours, especially if you’re on a tight deadline and have to do releases. This can be exhausting and take away all the fun out of programming.
In programming as a hobby, you can work as little or as much as you want. If you only have an hour to spare, you can just code for that hour and then stop. This makes it much more flexible and manageable.
Hobbies That Involve Programming
A lot of hobbies involve programming, and you can use your coding skills to drive your hobby. For example –
A lot of students take up robotics in college as a hobby. You can use your programming skills to create robots that can do various tasks. This is a great way to learn more about programming and engineering.
2. 3D Printing
3D printing is another hobby that involves programming. You can use 3D printing to create objects for your home, office or even gifts for friends and family. With the right software, you can design anything you want and then print it out.
3. Game Development
If you’re a gamer, you can use your programming skills to create games. There are a lot of game engines out there that you can use to make simple games. You can also join game development forums and collaborate with other developers to make bigger and better games.
4. Website Design
You can use your programming skills to create websites for yourself or for others. You can use various programming languages and frameworks to create dynamic and responsive websites. This is a great way to build your portfolio and showcase your skills.
5. Home Automation
You can use your programming skills to automate various tasks in your home. This can include things like controlling the lights, turning on the fan, opening the curtains and even locking the door. With the right software, you can control everything from a single interface.
6. Mobile Development
You can use your programming skills to develop mobile apps. There are a lot of different platforms that you can use to develop apps, and each has its own set of tools and frameworks. You can develop games, utility apps or even productivity apps.
7. Artificial Intelligence
If you’re interested in artificial intelligence, you can use your programming skills to create AI-powered applications. You can use various libraries and frameworks to develop applications that can learn and evolve over time.
8. Machine Learning
Machine learning is another area of artificial intelligence that you can explore. With machine learning, you can develop algorithms that can improve on their own by learning from data. This is a great way to get started with artificial intelligence and explore its potential.
9. Open Source Contributions
You can contribute to open source projects if you have programming skills. This is a great way to give back to the community and learn new programming languages and frameworks. You can also get your name out there and build a reputation as a skilled programmer.
10. Start Your Own Project
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use your programming skills to start your own project. This can be anything from a simple website or game to a complex artificial intelligence application. The sky’s the limit when it comes to projects, so be creative and have fun with it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Have To Be Smart To Code?
One common misconception about programming is that you have to be smart to code. This is not true! Anyone can learn to code, regardless of their intelligence or academic background. Coding is a skill that can be learned like any other, and with enough practice, you can become a skilled coder.
Even kids can learn to code, and there are a number of resources available to help them get started. I have heard about kids getting recruited into technical giants like Google, as well as 60-year-old women who took up coding as a hobby and are now working as professional developers.
The only thing you need is dedication, and in a short time, you’ll know whether it’s a good fit for you.
How Long Does It Take To Learn How To Code?
Because it relies on a variety of criteria, such as your previous knowledge, the language you’re learning, the sort of coding you’re doing and how much practice you are ready to put in, this is a hard question to answer.
Assuming you have no prior knowledge and you want to be a professional developer, it would take at least an year to be good at it. However, there are some people who are self-taught and manage to get jobs with only a few months of coding experience.
Does Programming Involve A Lot Of Math?
It’s a myth that you have to be very good at math to do programming. Programming does involve a lot of math and computers, but you can do a lot without knowing too much about either.
There are a number of different programming languages and frameworks that don’t require much math, and you can always learn more about math as you go along.
Read this post on does programming require a lot of math, for more details.
Is Programming Hard?
Programming can be hard, but it’s also very rewarding. It takes a lot of practice and patience to become a skilled programmer, but with time and effort, you can become a skilled programmer.
Which Programming Languages Should I Learn?
There are a lot of different programming languages that you can learn, and it can be tough to decide which one to start with.
If you’re just starting out, I recommend learning Python. It’s a great language for beginners because it’s easy to read and understand.
If you are more interested in learning how things work on the backend, you can try learning Java or Node JS.
Most of the languages are quite related, their concepts being the same. All that differs is syntax and formatting, so you can easily learn another language once you have got a hang of one.
Don’t be afraid to try new languages either. With time, you will get better at picking up new ones. So, what are you waiting for? Start learning today!
How Do I Get Started?
If you’re ready to get started with programming as a hobby, there are a few things you need to do.
First, you need to choose a programming language. As I mentioned above, Python is a great choice for beginners.
Once you’ve chosen a language, you need to find resources to help you learn. There are a lot of resources out there, and many of them are completely free.
Here are some of the free resources to start –
Once you’ve completed a course or two, you can start working on small projects. These can be anything from simple scripts to complex applications. You can build a simple mobile application and upload it to an app store, create a website for yourself, build projects on GitHub, or contribute to other people’s projects.
You may also attempt online work to earn some money. This is an excellent alternative because it will assist you in expanding your learning capacity and gaining real-world expertise.
Hackathons are another way to get started with programming. These are events where people come together to build something in a short period of time, usually 24-48 hours. Hackathons are great for meeting new people and learning new technologies.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to programming as a hobby.
There are a lot of online communities like Stack Overflow, where you can ask for help if you hit a roadblock. There are a ton of experienced programmers in developer communities that are willing to help out.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most programmers are more than happy to help out a fellow coder.
So, Can Programming Be A Hobby?
So, is programming a hobby? The answer is yes – programming can be a hobby. It’s a great way to use your skills and creativity to make things that you’re interested in. It’s also a great way to learn new things and explore different areas that programming offers.
If you’re looking for a hobby that involves programming, there are plenty of options available to you. Just choose something that piques your interest and go all in!