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Why are so many people making this an either - or?

Yes, I love programming.

Yes, I (mostly) treat work as 501 even though I (usally) love the work I'm doing, but I'm not owned by any company.

Yes, I decide over a job similar to "love" precisely because it takes so much time of everyone's live and I spend more time in the office with my coworkers than I spend with my friends, family and spouses.

And I still want to see something else but my editor (and I do really like my editor :) - art, books, parties, the city I live in - which I also chose by "love" which is why I wouldn't move for a job to a city I do not like - other cities, good food and other people.

So, I look hard to find a workplace I like to do work I love doing which fits into "having a life outside".

And exactly that enables me to have a choice EVERY DAY wether I want to do some hacking privately or have a nice dinner with friends.

But for many life decisions I'm on the side of the 501 manifesto's spirit: I wouldn't leave my family/spouse for a programming job at $glorious_company, I wouldn't move into some boring smalltown and leave all my friends and the opportunities of my favorite city behind just to do programming at XYZ.

This doesn't keep me from having two thinkgeek shirts TOGETHER with 20 others, going to a nerd conference here and there AND take two hours off to go into this cool art exhibit which is at the nerdy_conference_town right now, read a programming book once in a while on top of the pile of other books I read.

I totally accept that I'll never become a rockstar in programming with this life-style - but I might have hung out and gotten drunk with real rockstars on some of the parties I had time to attend or even played some rock because I had time to be part of a rockband. ;) (God, I hate the rockstar metaphor a lot.. :)

In the end it's about looking down on my life and thinking "it's a good life" - and that changes from decade to decade anyways. What I considered a good life with 22 isn't anymore what I consider a good life now - and yet I wouldn't change a thing of my 22-year-old life.

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