Since the beginning of Summer, I haven’t written that much. It has been a combination of my current job (in a product company) draining me (so much to be done), the fact that I’ve been relatively isolated from the broader tech community to bounce ideas, and starting doing a bit of other hobbies again (funnily enough, dropping WOW, has broaden the amount of other stuff I do).
Your free time
I recently did a recommendation to junior dev, in which I said that the main objective (in my view) for what he should do is learning. I am high in learning. I’ve been in a company (Codurance) where there was a good culture of learning, and is something that I would want to build in the new company.
Focusing in learning brings a lots of benefits (you can get both specialization and broader views, can keep you humble, keeps you “markeatable”, allows you to increase your future options, and is just fun).
But that is a view (mine). I know people that have used the free time to create some of the awesome tooling that we use. I know people that don’t touch the field at all.
Different approaches have different pros and cons. You want to evaluate and decide what is the outcome you prefer. And sometimes you mix-and-match as you progress through your career and your personal circumstances change (hey! context changes).
I do believe people shouldn’t have to use their free time in doing software related hobbies (and I reckon the majority don’t), but it is the case that most people I know of with a certain famous/expert status, do work outside their normal working hours (even if is “just” networking).
There is no shame
Whatever path you choose, is your path. And as long as you understand the pros and cons of each one, it is your decision.
You use your free time as you want. Not everyone has the same objectives.