Disclaimer: as most non-technical posts in this blog, what follows are gut-feelings that transferred to writing. These are neither proven facts nor truths, so handle with care. I may be completely wrong in what I’m saying here 🙂
Software development (a.k.a.Programming) is a skill that requires constant learning. Reading blogs, books, listening to podcasts, watching screencasts, and what not. If you stop learning you start to get behind, unless you have very specific knowledge that will be required in the long term (like being the only COBOL programmer in the country).
A new and very cool way to keep up with new technologies are meetups. A Meetup is a self organized group of people who get together to talk about a subject that interests them. In the greater Tel Aviv area (also known as Gush Dan) there is at least one metup every day. And regularly there are more than 2-3 (this Wednesday there are 5!). Meetups are also a great place to meet new people and get together with old friends you regularly don’t meet. There is only one catch – most meetups are after work hours, so that we don’t have to miss work to go to the meetup. Most of them start at about 6pm and end 8-9pm.
I am married. I have 4 kids. I like to be at home for dinner with my kids (well, most of the time). For me, this is a problem. I’m at a disadvantage. But that is life, isn’t it? But this is only the start…
Another way to learn and get involved in a community is to go to conferences, and like meetups, there are TONS of conferences, like mushrooms after rain. And here again, this means leaving the house, the kids, the family. But that is life, isn’t it?
OK, so I can handle it. And how about working in a cool start-up that works remotely? I will have all the time I need at home (since I’m working from home, right?). But wait… 4 times a year they meet at a remote location and “hang out” together for one week. Seems pretty fun, but I’m not sure the wife would like it that much… And what if I want to start my own startup? Most accelerator programs have a 3 month boot cam in NY or SF. Not an easy thing to do in a house where both parents work.
So summing things up, doing tech is harder for the family guy/gal. While researching for this post, I found many articles on why the Startup culture is hard for women. But I digress – it is hard for family oriented humans, be it male, female, or whatever.
What can we do about it? Well, having a disadvantage does not mean that you cannot win the race. It just means that you must work harder. And that’s what I’m doing.