5:01 Developers, Family, and Excitement about the Craft
Ramesh Sringeri has a great post about the 5:01 developer. He heard the term from Paul Lockwood who used it in a talk recently.
Paul mentioned the frustrations of working with 501 developers. That was the first time I had heard the term 501 developer. A 501 developer is one who bolts out the door at 1 minute past 5pm. They are "outta here".
I like to think I came up with this term, although who knows anymore on the web? It was probably invented in the 1940s. ;) I knew a guy who said he invented "Location, Location, Location" but he was insane. Anyway...
There is never an end to stuff that can be done at work. But I got to stop at some point and "get on with life"....But of late, I am getting tired of coding yet another list box
I posted a comment on Ramesh's blog that I'll continue here.
When I started using the term 5:01 developer I wasn't trying to imply that time spent at work equaled commitment or productivity...although, that's a pretty weak statement from me considering that the term uses time to make its point. ;) It's not a very good term, I think.
What I was railing against by using the term was the person whose enthusiasm turns off at 5:01pm. I have to pick up my son also. I take him to school every day...and that's the way it should be. There's nothing wrong with leaving work on time. I certainly can't code until 4am either, my old hands won't take it. Hell, I code while wearing braces on both hands now.
I'm just saying that I prefer working with folks who are enthusiastic about the craft. Folks whose brains - whose excitement about problem solving - don't turn off at 5:01pm. I use the term 5:01 developer to refer to someone who is just at work to turn the crank. They're not necessarily creating new kinds of cranks or making new innovative crank designs.
I totally agree that coding another list box is a thankless job and I hope I don't have to do one again. I think that the "water level" (or the number of layers of leaky abstractions, if you like) is rising, and we as developers need to make sure our metaphorical boats are going to float with it.
That's why I'm so excited about technologies like LINQ and Ruby on Rails. They are making getting work done faster, easier. That's one of the reasons why I went to work for Microsoft, so I could help developers to get more done, faster...and, ironically, go home at 5:01 to be with their families.
Someone recently posted a comment on my post about Sharpening The Saw that surprised me:
Do you actually make *any* time for your family? There is more to life than work you know.
It was signed "The Unmotivated Masses." Clearly this guy/gal doesn't know me otherwise they'd know that Family Is The Whole Point.