I really enjoy creating software. I’m thrilled to be part of this industry, and able to create useful apps for people our customers. But yet, if we want to remain productive and engaged throughout our careers, we need to actively exercise other parts of our brain from time to time.
It’s too easy for many of us to fall into that trap of doing the familiar, working the same way, choosing the comfortable path. That kind be stifling. You do the same things the same way, and it becomes habit.
If you want to stretch, you need to open yourself to new ideas, make your brain do different things, and grow.
That’s why we did a workshop this past winter with The Improv Effect. It was an exhausting afternoon of fun. Our entire team ran a number of different exercises. Throughout the afternoon, everyone was laughing, thinking, and trying to produce the best improv sessions we could. it was fun because the exercises are designed to apply humor to your daily activities. you look at challenges from a different perspective when you’re trying to make them humorous. It was exhausting because you use very different parts of your brain than you do when creating code. You’re reacting to your partners in Improv. You’re listening very carefully. You’re doing the first thing that comes to mind. You’re going to make mistakes and fail. A lot. And then, you need to recover.
Because of all that, maybe software development should be more like Improv. We should handle change. We should handle updates. We should handle mistakes. If you’re tasked with making innovative applications, stretching the boundaries, and implementing new ideas, maybe you need to treat your brain the same way: Stretch it. Try new things. Innovate in different areas.
I encourage you to try totally new disciplines. We found Improv a great way to expand our minds. I encourage you to do the same. And, if Improv isn’t your thing, look for other opportunities to grow your brain in other areas.
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