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My background is in biochemistry, but I have since fallen in love with coding, and I've been accepted to some great options for graduate school in CS.
I'm a classical pianist and I love video games so about 5 years ago, I had some relatively serious issues with RSI (tendonitis and carpal tunnel like symptoms). They weren't too much of a handicap when I was in college, but my hands, wrists, and forearms are often in pain. They've been this way for as long as I can remember. I think I've subconsciously tuned out this pain, and it hasn't ever stopped me from doing anything I want to do.
In some ways, I feel stupid pursuing a career in computer science after all the issues I've had, but I just can't imagine doing anything else with my life. I love programming, and that's what I want to do. Also I think many professions (aside from coding) involve intensive use of computers. For example, I worked in marketing for a summer, and everyone was on their computer all day too.
As excited as I am about grad school, I'm very nervous about my hands. I want to be able to work hard and give it my best, but I'm worried about my hands getting a lot worse with the increased computer time. I'll mostly be working in the computer lab / library of the school I'm going to, so I think there should be at least decent ergonomics there.
Here is what I'm planning on doing to try and proactively prevent RSI problems:
- Take 5 minute break every hour
- Limit computer time outside of work
- Regular cardio (at least three times a week)
- "Think before I code" Really thinking through what I want to write before actually typing it. This should help my hands and also make me a more effective programmer
- Consider Dvorak or Colemak. This will be complicated since I want to use my school's computer labs, but maybe there is a way to swing that.
- Stretches and massaging I learned when I needed physical therapy
- Stay well hydrated
Are there any other techniques or considerations I should be aware of?
Also, am I being an idiot for trying to be a programmer when I've had issues with my hands in the past?