Longest you've gone without a break and thoughts on them?


Just curious how often people take breaks from this stuff? And perspectives on them? I realized that today was the first day in a month that I didn’t code at all. Of course I was getting a bit stressed and needed a day to rejuvenate. But am a bit worried that I’ll be more consistent with this behavior.


i had to take 6 weeks around newyear, when i was real busy with work. But, you notice when coding again, knowledge has sunk a bit. Its not good to stay away that long. Better keep at it. progress. makes it fun. To me at least…


These are my thoughts on having breaks and resting in general.

Our society values only one part of a cyclical process that happens all throughout life and in nature. The cycles that I’m talking about are things like “sun up sun down”, “summer and winter”, “ups and downs in life”, male female, yin and yang. If you want to live a balanced life you must learn to dance with these two forces. Resting is an integral part of becoming stronger and better at whatever it is you do. I personally apply the same principals to mental tasks as I do with physical exercise. Training makes you weaker, recovery makes you stronger. It is during these times when we rest that our body produces the anabolic hormones that contribute to muscle growth, better mental capacity etc. I personally take one day off per week religiously no matter how much work needs to be done. (Yep I’ll probably never get that 100-day streak on github). You cannot go 100% fire, action, 100% of the time it simply doesn’t work. You will burn yourself out. If you keep doing it anyway for a long period of time, you’ll get adrenal fatigue by the time you’re 25 and open your body for all kinds of parasites. Keep going still and you’ll have cancer by the time you’re 40. You don’t want that to happen to you.

Take time to rest. And with rest I really mean rest and do nothing. Watching tv and playing video games, all day long is not resting. It’s still a form of activity. It can help but don’t overdo it. Sleep well, go take a walk in nature. Maybe you like drawing? Or you want to pick up meditation? With time you will develop an intuition for what really helps you rest and what doesn’t.

Lastly about the software/tech industry in general. I’ve noticed (and bear in mind I haven’t worked yet in this industry this is just my observation) that the 100% fire, “go go” principle seems to be especially glorified there. It is not surprising that this happens as the tech industry is so male dominated. Action taking, competing, fire are forces that have a very masculine (or yang) nature. This is also the reason why I think all the “women in tech”, “female quota in tech” feminist stuff etc. will be detrimental in the long run. These institutions usually tell women to act very masculine so they can survive long enough in these fields. The tech industry doesn’t lack women. What it seriously lacks is female energy. Yin, water, nurturing, empathy etc. These are all traits at which women naturally excel. A woman that authentically goes into this industry because she likes all that tech stuff will bring with herself all those yin traits I spoke about. The positive impact such a woman can have in the immediate workplace and for the industry as a whole is infinitely more valuable than insecure women that have been told by feminist institutions that they have to act so and so and be tough, because we want to meet some useless quota. Until these things happen there is still much to do in our society as a whole, not just this industry. (Yes cliffhanger I know)


Ummm… I have no idea what stereotypes about women and their place in tech has to do with personal perspectives on taking a break. Why respond with something so negative and has nothing to do with the topic of personal study habits?That question is rhetorical btw, I dontl ike hijacking a thread, just questions Id like you to consider Mark.

Anyway, I actually just wrote about this in reply to someone who wanted to study 75+ hrs a week. When I started out, i was studying and average 10hrs day, and didnt take a single day off. Even my daughter was telling me to take a break I mean, she gets it…her passion is in art and without exaggeration, she has been drawing every day since she was 4. Maybe missed a couple days here and there when she was ill or something, but its something she is passionate about…its not work cause she loves it. At the same time…while she can spend hours working on a project, esp now during Midterms or Finals (shes majoring in digital art), she has her days where she only does a quick sketch or doodle. Every day is not a hardcore day, which is what I was doing…and I burned out so hard that I ended up stepping away from coding, FCC, everything for almost 2 months.

Now, I take a break at least once a week, sometimes even 2 days. I still have some 10hr days, usually when Im super close to finishing a project and cant put it down, but on average I study for 6 hours a day now. I havnt completely not touched code though, on my days off, I just work on an algorithm or two, or get on HackerRank or CodingGames for about an hour…but then thats it, the theme of the day is to let my brain rest and do something else. That has helped TREMENDOUSLY to my level of focus when I get back to it.

So its half an half, I do code every day still…just that theres a huge dfifference between 1hr and take the rest of the ay off, and 10hours a day for 2 weeks straight…which at least for me, wasnt sustainable, even though I felt A-OK…until the moment my brain went on strike. Give yourself a break…you need that downtime to decompress…you wont lose everything youve learned, on the contrary, if you dont allow yourself breaks, you’ll work yourself to exhaustion and be many times less efficient.


I’ve done the opposite. Instead of coding hard and taking breaks, I’ve coded a bit and done it consistently… I’ve coded probably straight through for 2 years or more now. but my trick?

I don’t get stressed about how much I do. I do maybe one Codecademy exercises a day, or a hackerrank challenge. or go into the gitter chats and help, or read a medium post. or a Coursera course.

I treat it like a marathon and not a sprint…

Caveat: I’ve worked in IT as a BA, QA/tester, PM, Product Manager, Process guy, blah blah blah so I make good money doing that and have no pressing time constraints or pressure on learning to be a dev to get a job.


this is now going to be mantra :wink:


Side note: if yer talking yin and yang keep in mind many of the masters of this mentioned that yin and yang flow and flux each day and in each person… the sort of closest poorly abstracted western equivalent would be that oft use expression ‘the only constant is change’.


You are where I would like to be… right now I am one of those people feeling the pressure, its on my shoulders only to provide for my lil family and Ive been out of work, so that does have a lot…perhaps everything to do with my drive to study as much as I have been.

But once I am working, I still plan to continue learning and expanding my skills, just wont be driven by desperation and the need to do as much as I can in as little time as possible, but more the mind frame of advancing the career I already have.


I hear yah… Sounds like it’s a balancing act for sure…

I like what you post here in the ole forums so I’m sure something will open up for you… soon I hope too.


I have considered your questions and here is my answer.


I often like to go beyond the surface of things, stretch ideas and trying to bring them into perspective with the intention to provoke thought and dialogue. I do not see this as a highjack but as a stretching of a concept (resting) and providing my thoughts on those topics. After all this forum is here for the exchange of knowledge, discussions and learning. If you read the title of the topic in includes “and your thoughts on them”.

Full response:

I started this post with how I take breaks once a week. I abstracted the term “taking a break” away and instead talked about resting in general, how our society sees it, what is does to us physically (or the very lack of it thereof) and I tried to describe the term without any context in a holistic way that encompasses all aspects of life. For the last part since this forum is dedicated to people that want to pursue or already work in a technical field, I thought I’ll share my thoughts on how this industry looks like for me if one applies the general concepts described earlier to this industry. I intended to provide a change in perspective in that the underlying cause of the turbulence in this industry (make of “turbulence” what you will) is the lack of yin (or female) energy, and how the addition of this energy would bring balance in this field, thus making it a much healthier environment for the people that work there. I also pointed out that feminist institutions are already trying to fix this but in my opinion, are doing it wrong, because they confuse women with female energy. One is a gender of a species the other is a force or energy. (on a side note, with “energy” I don’t necessarily mean imaginary stuff but I use the term to eloquently and very briefly describe the sum of all physical and psychological happenings that make up us human beings and our interaction with each other).

I do not see any negativity there. Maybe you hold certain negative beliefs about certain things that you projected onto the concepts and thus confusing them to be my own? Hopefully combined with my original post my intentions make more sense now.


I have recently read a small booklet about Qi and the author states there that it is very difficult to translate some of those words into western language because in chinese you have words that represent concepts that are impossible to translate one-to-one because of how our language is structured. Thus some interpretation has to be provided in order for us westeners to make sense out of this stuff.

Nevertheless it is a very interesting topic :slight_smile:


Not at all…I dont hold any negative beliefs about men or women like the ones you said above… I just do not consider taking action or being competitive masculine traits, or that women who are are are doing so because its what they are told to do…and that if they are that way they are acting like a man to survive.

Just because I think saying women in tech is detrimental is a negative comment doesnt mean Im confused as you say… I simply dont agree with your point of view, on the subject, or on the idea that this answers the question “how long have you gone without a break.”

Anyway, of course you are free to go beyond the surface, stretch ideas, what have you…I consider your narrative on a womans place in tech really is a stretch indeed. But…whatever, you felt it was a good way to answer the question and consider it on topic so…hey you do you.


I’m seeing this expression used a lot lately. Where did it come from and can we please put it to rest. It’s very passive aggressive.


Ah… Sorry you take what I say to be passive aggressive, not my intention.

To explain, you do what feels right for you to do. My opinion on the matter is just that, an opinion.

I do not know why that is an aggressive…or passive aggressive thing to say or the hostility towards me sharing my point of view,. How a question about breaks escalated like this is beyond me, but can tell my view is not welcome here and will back away from the convo.


Your rebuke was quite fine. It’s that single 3-word string that irks me for some reason.
Every time I’ve seen it it’s been used in a negative tone (mostly in comments sections).
Unless you’re speaking to an impersonator, it makes no sense to tell someone to carry on being who they are. That is all. I enjoy a good debate otherwise and you both have valid arguments. My apologies if I sounded hostile.


lol. Personally, that four word phrase is the only one that can actually get a negative reaction from me.


Well…every time, except now one :slight_smile: Really…I know you don’t know me, but whenever I post, here or anywhere, or just communicate in general, if its not helpful, thoughtful or kind, I keep it to myself. But beyond that, I anyway have an aversion to negativity because its not productive and I believe in putting my efforts into something that will bring results. Im here to get something done, and always willing to offer any advise or perspectives to others on the same path… so you will be hard pressed to find any post of mine where Im negative.

Mind you, I dont think a difference in opinion is negative at all…its just that, a difference of opinion. Im not exactly floored or shocked at the idea a guy would feel a certain way about women in tech…I simply thought it took the topic off track, Im alone in that opinion…which doesnt bother me a bit. Being told I must be confused for expressing my opinion…being told Im being passive aggressive (though I appreciate your followup) yeah…just kinda left me with the feeling its best I step away from the convo, And for sure this post of mine is a hijack if I ever saw one, a pet peeve of mine in forums!

So…a weak attempt to bring things round circle… I wont be taking any breaks til Im done with my Simon game because I am so close, its goiing to be hard to stop… But I will allow myself a break when Im all done…


Again, really am sorry. Earlier I replied to your post with what I felt was a thoughtful response to your question, but the only reaction is a negative one from 4 words, which were, most definitely, taken the wrong way.

Considering so many in one post are coming down on me for being a negative person kinda seems like maybe I need to just back away from the forum altogether for a moment.


Longest I’ve gone without coding in the past three years has been 6 days or so. Honestly, I wouldn’t take breaks, it’s best to keep up the momentum until you have things down well (or a job). Instead of taking a break, code just a little, keep up the habbit.

Also remember that every “break” you take there is a chance you may never start again. Expecially if you are still starting out.


It’s probably been some of this week and some of last week - I’ve been taking more breaks and have needed more rest. Getting back onto a normal schedule to work on FCC stuff though :slight_smile:


Engaging with someone’s style, voice, or wording rather than the content of their argument is also a passive-aggressive technique.

Edit: To add to this, I actually don’t think the original three words were used passive aggressively at all. She’d already written out a detailed, multi-paragraph response laying out exactly why she disagreed. If anything, “you do you” was her way of graciously giving MarkoN95 an out if he wisely decided not to continue the argument.