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The truth is surely somewhere in between. Of course it's not healthy to log off your coding job and just keep coding for yourself, day in, day out. A full life involves so much more.

But on the other hand, I do kind of agree with the parent that a coder who shows no evidence of ever having experimented with a new technology or scratched their own itch with code seems like someone with neither love for nor curiosity about their craft.

I agree that a certain amount of practice is needed to get and remain sharp (but actually suspect that 40hrs is too much), but I disagree strongly that a “love” for their craft is a necessity. There are tons of incredibly competent engineers who do it as a job to make a living without it being their main passion. I don’t expect my plumber to be in love with plumbing, I just expect them to be competent. Claiming that loving programming is anywhere near a necessity to learn new things is to completely ignore how people in any other profession learn new things.

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