TITLE: Program, Teach, Sleep...
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: September 26, 2007 9:00 AM
... choose any two.
In a recent blog entry,
claimed that, in general, "[g]ood authors do not have time to
be good developers". This post has engendered a fair amount
of discussion, but I'm not sure why. It shouldn't surprise
anyone that staying on top of your game in one time-consuming
discipline makes it hard, if not impossible to stay on top of
your game in a second time-consuming discipline. There are so
many hours in a day, and only so many brain cycles to spend
learning and doing.
I face this trade-off, but between trying to be a good teacher
and trying to be a good developer. Like authors, teachers
are in a bind: To teach a topic well, we should do it well.
To do it well takes time. But the time we spend learning and
doing it well is time that we can't spend teaching well. The
only chance we have to do both well is to spend most of our
time doing only these two activities, but that can mean living
a life out of balance.
If I had not run for 3-1/2 hours
I suppose that I could have developed another example for my
class or written some Ruby. But would I have been better off?
Would my students? I don't know.
While I have considered the
prospect of writing a textbook,
I've not yet found a project that made me want to give up
time from my teaching, my programming, my running, and my
family. Like Nutter,
I like to write code.
This blog gives me an opportunity to write prose and to reach
readers with my ideas, while leaving me the rest of the day
to teach, to perhaps to help others learn to like to write
code by my example.