Earlier this week I had the pleasure of delivering two lectures at a local school for 50 students (approx.).
Loke (7 weeks) joined me for the two talks, and although my back was aching from carrying him for four hours straight, I was very thankful he slept through most of it. He usually isn’t a very good sleeper, and is a fussy baby that refuses to be alone (and that’s okay!). One of the two talks was about staying current with .NET, and I got several really good questions during/after the talk (thank you!!). One of them was: How much time do you spend each week, staying current with .NET. I’m more than happy to answer that question, and I want people to know that what I’m doing is not a recommendation or a blueprint, its just an example of how one person does it- and I’m VERY engaged in the community so I do spend more time than most people would consider ‘normal’. Here is my reply, and how I fit this in my life as a first-time mum to a 7-week-old baby, working part time. I’m currently working 25%, 40% from next week as the dad, Emanuel, wants to stay at home part-time so he won’t miss our so much. I work from the office on Wednesdays, the rest from home.
As a before-this clinical dietitian and personal trainer exercise is extremely important for my physical and mental well being, and I go to the gym each day for at least an hour. I do cardio for at least half an hour (with two longer sessions each week), and I spend that time listening to podcasts or watching videos.
2 podcasts a week, each approx. 45 minutes
.NET Core podcast
2-3 videos a week, each averaging 30-40 minutes
BUILD or Ignite videos
Or Pluralsight or Microsoft Learn videos
2-3 hours each week on reading news, blogs and articles
When working fulltime I would do this on Fridays
Now I do this during breakfast, after feeding Loke, when he sleeps.
Each night I read some tech book, maybe 20 minutes or so. Makes me sleepy, and sometimes I read out loud to Loke as the sound of my voice comforts him.
1-2 user groups each month
I also enjoy socializing by going to Meetups/user groups and conferences. I usually attend one every second week. This week it was Women in IT, next week I’ll probably go to a ‘mob programming’ session on Monday after work if Loke is up for it.
4-5 conferences per year
I speak and/or attend conferences 4-5 times each year. Last year I went to MVP summit, BUILD, LeetSpeak, and spoke at Tech Summit, TechDays Finland and Oredev.
This might seem like a lot, but keep in mind this is my passion, and one of my biggest hobbies and ties in well with work. I also spend a fair bit of time each week blogging, making videos and preparing sessions for conferences etc., as well as working on side projects. Those are my community contributions as a Microsoft MVP. Currently I’m also wrapping up a book on ASP.NET Core that I’m writing, and that takes some of my time as well.
As for friends, family and my significant other, I always set aside undisturbed time with them, its how I recharge my batteries. Loke is of course my number one priority, and I would never choose work or other over him. I’ll write/talk more about work-life balance in a separate post 🙂
Pew, this is getting long, so I’ll stop writing now. I also have a fussy baby attached to me (inside my hoodie), and he just woke up so we are going out for a walk in the snowstorm to get him diapers for the evening. He recently outgrew the size 1 diapers, and unless I want some accidents tonight, I’ll have to get some size 2 for him. Next nap I’ll hit the gym. Got some podcasts lined up.