Learning to love better can make you happier and more productive at work

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Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

I’ve had a full decade to learn how to love my wife. Only now am I realizing how that can teach me to be happier and more productive at work.

I love my wife. Conclusion: my wife and my job are different.

I love my wife. Conclusion: my wife and my job are similar.

Like any word, “love” will mean something different depending on who you ask, and when. But my wife and I have long since come to an understanding of what we mean when we talk about love.

It’s both the thing that draws us together, and the thing that keeps us together. It’s a feeling — and it’s a verb. It’s an action. …

You say you write good code. So what? No one needs code. We need solutions.

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Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

If you’re a good programmer, don’t worry — it’s ok. I won’t judge you. In fact, I won’t even blame you. It’s probably not your fault, after all. It’s probably just a combination of passion, the education system, and the millions of messages we’re bombarded with every day that’s throwing you off. And that’s ok (though passion has its downsides, and education can be problematic too).

But if I had a choice, I wouldn’t want to hire a good programmer. Not even a great programmer. …

Find your most productive form of passion

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Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash

My parents once said that I was like a light switch — either “on” or “off”, with no in-between. Since then I’ve been called “intense”, “obsessive”, and “relentless”. I was even told once I had “an addictive personality” — not in the sense that people just love me that much, but “it’s a good thing you don’t drink ’cause you’d be a binger for sure”. My wife is a tad more kind — she just says, “Well, you’re definitely a ‘passionate’ person.” I like the sound of that — passion is good, right? Wrong.

Finding a balance in how we learn

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I used to think that Computer Science was for chumps. That it was all just a bunch of academic BS of no use to anyone in the real world (unless you’re one of those neckbeards working on compilers or something). CompSci seemed like a black hole for money; sucking poor, naive developers into a degree in missing the point. Was that a bit harsh? Sure — I was a young, puffed-up web developer whose self-taught success made him think he was on top of the world. But, was it true? Well, maybe not entirely as it turns out.

See, I actually ended up needing something from Computer Science the other day. I know — shocking, right? Thing is, I’ve always prided myself on being ruthlessly pragmatic. As much as I love learning, I’m not interested in knowledge for its own sake. I’m here to make a difference — to get real stuff done here in the real world. I’ve got plans, goals, and a drive to make things happen, and anything that’s not moving me toward that would be well advised to stay the hell out of my way. If you want to chase some academic, theoretical whatever your whole life then hey, that’s fine too, but that’s not my shtick. So quite frankly I’ve never had time or patience for CompSci. I always figured if it was actually useful in the real world I would come across a need for it and then reach out and learn it, just like everything else I’ve taught myself. …

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You don’t want to be this guy.

Ever been asked something in an interview that just totally stumped you? I have. It’s been a while, but I remember those painful moments where you’re racking your brain and coming up blank. I had a new one the other day though. A worse one. See, it’s one thing to be asked something hard and not know. But when I was asked to explain Cross-Site Scripting, I knew it was Web Dev 101 concept — I remember learning about it way back when after all. …


Luke Mayhew

Front-end/full-stack developer. Mentor to struggling developers. Pursuer of growth, wisdom, and a life well-lived. He writes at webuildlegends.com

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