If you know who Daenerys Targaryen is, you do not have "no time." You have priorities which included "I wish to know who Daenerys Targaryen is." No judgement! I do, too! But if you know who Daenerys Targaryen is and you're dissatisfied with your career growth, you should attempt to consciously be aware of the fact that you can choose different things in the future.
It takes minutes to set up a web presence as a software developer. It takes 1~3 hours to stick a flag in the Internet about one topic. Having one flag stuck in the Internet beats zero flags, by a lot. You can keep doing this as you have time available. (Think less "submit bug fixes to OSS projects" and more "write an essay which shall endure regarding a topic which is professionally relevant to you." To pick one of the hundreds of things in this genre produced by an HN member, see https://www.chrisstucchio.com/blog/2012/hft_apology.html where HN's own yummyfajitas explains, in a useful and citable fashion, how order books work. You almost certainly know one topic well enough to post something which clears that bar of utility on any given day.)
You could also, I don't know, invent Rails, but you do not have to invent Rails to get career benefits out of working publicly.
After you have a flag stuck in the Internet, there are a variety of ways to get value out of it.
The simplest one is using it as a conversation piece when you're cold-opening conversations with folks who are relevant to your career. For example, if you've decided to stick a flag into (picking a random example) ActiveRecord optimization, and you're attempting to talk your way into a job interview with a Rails shop, "I see you're a Rails shop. I would like to talk to you about potential opportunities at your company." is _substantially_ improved by "Hiya, I see you're a Rails shop. I wrote a detailed guide to ActiveRecord optimization (see here). I would like to talk to you about potential opportunities at your company."
Another one -- also not hard! -- is to put a call-to-action at the bottom of the essay saying "If you're reading this, it is probably because you are interested in ActiveRecord optimization. So am I! If you've got hard problems with ActiveRecord optimization I would love to help you solve them. We should chat; here's my email. "
I gave one rather mediocre talk at a regional tech conference with maybe ~100 attendees. The video is online. From that day forward inbound interest skyrocketed. I'm not talking about cold calls or LinkedIn requests, I'm talking about startup CTOs asking me out for coffee to chat about my future, managers asking if I can consult on their project, invitations to speak at other events.
When I lost my job, I called those people back and had more than enough consulting work to tide me over. As a direct result I now work at Twitter—before I was at a failing startup that nobody's ever heard of. In other words, speaking at that conference opened the door to >$200,000 in consulting work and increased income in the two years since.
The bar to speaking at events like that is not high. Every major city in the US has programming conferences. You don't need OSCON or JavaOne, pretty much any decent event will do so long as they record and post the talks. Link that from yourname.com and look forward to lots of coffee chats.
I don't agree. I watch Game of Thrones in the late evening hours where I'm reduced to a vegetable by a whole day of working/coding. I doubt I could squeeze more effective work hours into my schedule (maybe for a couple weeks, but not over a long term).
I know that when I've worked at jobs which weren't all about focusing on abstract problems (such as an analyst or a consultant or a project manager), I could definitely put in more hours.
EDIT: Also, air traffic controllers (a job that I feel is more similar to programming than being a doctor) are restricted by law to work no more than 6 hours. From what they say, after their shift is done, their brain is often completely fried.
However, IMO, when working on a large code base which you didn't author (so, pretty much the most typical case), if you want to do a good job - i.e. think through potential consequences of your changes, weight the pros and cons of alternative approaches etc. - you still need a ton of cognitive resources.
There's no way those 100 hour weeks and 36 hours shifts don't lead to a measurable increase in errors. Given that in medicine, errors can cost lives, it's morally reprehensible that anyone allows this kind of thing to go on in medicine today as a matter of course (outside of a true one-off emergency)
I seem to recall surgery being an exception in that shorter shifts lead to more patients dying but I can't find anything quickly.
I'm only 27, but I don't believe this. I know just enough to know I don't know anything deeply. Does the internet need another github page regurgitating the same stuff as everyone else?
I don't know what you know, but I bet it is a lot more than what you think you know. I was 27 once, too. My day job at the time involved scintillating subjects like dealing with edge cases in parsing the CSV file format used to encode the results of the central Japanese university examination. (センター試験) A fun edge case, which you absolutely have to handle correctly, is how to calculate the English subscore for someone who has a medical waiver from the speaking comprehension portion on account of being deaf.
I assert without fear of contradiction that if I had published on that topic, in Japanese or English, I'd be the world's leading publicly accessible authority on that question. How many posts in that genre would it take to totally own that file format, which is only documented in a single out-of-print booklet whose copies are guarded like cherished relics of an ancient civilization the likes of which we'll never see again? My over-under is ten.
There are higher saliency problems in the world than that CSV file -- oh goodness, are there -- but there are hundreds of people with hiring authority who care about that CSV file very keenly indeed. (I'd not particularly recommend working for any of them, but one problem at a time right.)
What's the weirdest problem you've solved in the last year?
[Edit: that's not even the most interesting one from that job, either -- while I didn't work directly on it, a clever coworker figured out how to write a client side collage builder that supported both download AND IE6, which is bordering on genius. I've heard him explain how he did it, and it would have to be a series of blog posts, there's just so much there -- obviously the median boss would have let him just use imagemagick on the server.]
I've started writing a couple of posts on conversational interfaces recently. Having them linkable from Medium was definitely a key to land more speaking at events, in turn enabling potentially freelancing & consulting gigs (not closed yet), as well a good credibility and ice breaker when reaching out to interesting people
Then one day I was like 'screw it' and started posting to Medium. I've written ~7 things so far, quick articles, tutorials, or reposting a slideshow I made for other reasons, and they have all been read and been provided recommendations/likes/shares/feedback to some degree. In terms of career growth, it's not been an instant magical boost, but it's more like 'networking' in that it enables people to connect with you, laying groundwork for collaboration in the future.
The thing is, certain people you can reach at a certain time are a unique factor in what drives interest in your writing. Maybe someone didn't see the other github page, but they saw yours. Give it a shot.
A human cannot be productive all the time. We need downtime. Time to spend with family. Time to sit and stare at a wall. If some of that wall stare time involves movies or books or TV, so be it.