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How Many Hours a Day Do You Code?

I can bet you that the average software engineer actually codes less than 5 hours per day.

And quite honestly I think that is a high number. I’ve been a developer for 20 years at fortune 500 companies, startups and everything in between. I’ve have at least 15 different jobs and on top of that worked on over 40 “side” projects. So I’m an authority on how much people actually work. And by work I mean writing code and smashing bugs. Not planning, talking, playing Ping-Pong, going to lunch, etc.Jeremy Callahan

Developers will have you believe that coding is hard. It really isn’t. Now if you code for 10-12 hours a day for two straight years that is hard work. And since I have done that for the past two years I can tell you that I am in the 1% of developers that put that effort out.

Why? Because I started my own business (actually 3) and don’t ride a corporate bus to work, have free lunch and dry cleaning. I don’t have time for playing games; I have multiple clients that are expecting results. I’m on 100% commission, I’m also creating personal App’s that may or may not make money. My families well being is on the line every minute of every day.

Any company that is giving all those perks out is getting about 5 hours a day out of their developers. And worse than that you are creating SOFT people. You may think that people are working 10 hours a day. They Aren’t! They are screwing around playing Ping-Pong or trying to learn some new JavaScript framework (if you could see me right now I am making a tossing off hand motion).

I can also tell you that in all the years I have worked (and I’ve worked at the places with perks) developers as a whole don’t produce much. Professionals produce and your team is likely one pro and x amount of amateurs.

So I put it to you right here in black and white… Are you a professional or amateur? I’m going to write an entire blog on the subject of professional vs. amateur programmers in the near future so there is a clear understanding by the development community as to what it take to be a Pro.

And trust me when I tell you that it will have nothing to do with JavaScript frameworks, foosball, college degrees or corporate buses.

If you have free time in your development job go get a second job, side project or create something for you company that will make the company grow. Look for opportunities that produce income… make an opportunity. Do something! be somebody! If you are a “corporate fat cat” you kidding yourself… You are an Amateur.

Jeremy Callahan The App Man

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Twitter: @jeremycallahan

Jeremy Callahan is a Mobile Commerce Expert, App Developer and Founder at Flip Shop Marketing