Healthy Development

My resistance has crumbled – marc has persuaded me to blog! I had been reluctant because I did not want to commit myself to write on a regular basis and I did not want to join the legion of one hit wonders. However, having a single space where a group of people are writing means that my occasional entries will not look stupid (assuming, of course, my content doesn’t let me down!).

My first topic is health, something most of you youngsters just take for granted – just like I did. Working 100+ hour weeks under acute stress can be done easily when you are in your 20’s and 30’s but I suspect that there is payback later. It took me a long time to realize that longer hours does not always mean more gets accomplished.

Hands up all those that have worked many hours on a paticular piece of coding but had to crash out before completion only to find the following morning that a) it was being done wrong or, even worse, b) it wasn’t actually needed? Rest and relaxation can help you work better as well as safeguarding your health.

Incidentally, there is another problem associated with working long hours – tunnel vision. You can lose all sense of proportion and spend much time on things which are really not justified. There is no point in providing features that nobody wants!

The point I’m trying to make is that you must look after your health as a priority, while you still can.

I look back at my youth and see that I lost the plot once I turned 40. Up to then, I had more than enough exercise (being a league table tennis player and playing several days a week) but I damaged a knee and my exercise tailed off. That combined with excessive work hours (mostly sedentary) is why I’m urging you now not to do as I did. I’m sure my health problems over the past five years would have been lessened if I had continued looking after myself. Note: I’m not looking for sympathy here – just trying to give advice. It only needs one person to heed my words for this blog to be useful.

Mike Orriss

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