TITLE: Program, Teach, Sleep... AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: September 26, 2007 9:00 AM DESC: ----- BODY: ... choose any two. In a recent blog entry, JRuby developer Charles Nutter 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 last Sunday, 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. -----