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I have been working in development for a good company for a while now since graduating from university, I really enjoy it and have some great fun in the office and enjoy everything I am doing.

But recently I have lost that old buzz, I cant bring myself to code outside of work, a while back I could be outside of work and come up with a nice idea and go away and develop that idea, but I feel that buzz has gone, I still love developing and technology but I just cant find the energy to do it when I am not at work.

Has anyone else gone through a phase like this? What did you do to combat it and get that energy and buzz back? Maybe I need a new tehcnology, or a holiday!

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+1 I am still at the got and idea explore it phase. would like to find out ways so not loose that –  crodjer Feb 10 '11 at 12:02
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5 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Take a break from coding:

Love is universal, and also applies to the 'love' of coding:

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder"

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This. I tend to go through phases - coding, or reading, or other hobbies. Currently in a coding phase where I can't get enough. –  sevenseacat Feb 10 '11 at 12:58
    
+1 for simple wisdom. What I have come to realize after years of going through the kind of cycles that OP describes is that sometimes my body and subconscious mind are trying to tell me something. It's best not to fight it. –  Adam Crossland Feb 10 '11 at 14:01
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Be careful of burning out!

My train of thought is possibly old-fashioned, but I believe that as employee, you want to be putting work first. Of course, you want to continue developing your skills and knowledge inside and outside of work to make you a 'better' developer, so finding the balance is important.

If you're leaving work to expend your remaining energy on another project that taxes you so much that you get to work the following morning and feel exhausted from programming (because of your project on the side), then this is a bad sign.

So basically, there's nothing wrong with what you're doing. Leave work and revitalise for the following day. That being said, a break - and proper break (not one where you're still solving work problems in your head at an awesome beach) - is always helpful.

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Learn a new language/framework/etc -- I find that it can totally revitalize you if you're not into extracurricular programming. I work with C# almost everyday and sometimes I just need to look at a different way of doing things. Recently I just bought the "Programming in Scala" book by Martin Odersky and have been totally enjoying reading through it and playing with the language. I will probably not do any professional work in Scala but it is interesting to get another perspective on how things are done in another language.

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I, too, am a C# programmer by day, but what gets me jazzed and excited is building web apps in Python during my off hours. –  Adam Crossland Feb 10 '11 at 14:02
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There is already a lot of good advice in this set of answers. I'll add two more that have helped me recently:

  1. Read up about something new (in your current domain or about a new language or technology). I'm a .NET developer who has just started reading and learning Android development. Even spending some time reading posts on this site and StackOverflow have helped my enthusiasm rebound.

  2. I also found returning to basics via a Code Kata to be very helpful in renewing my enthusiasm for programming. Something about practicing problems similar to those I worked on in college reminds me of when programming was a little more magical and exciting. My work tasks are usually so much more pragmatic (and boring) than thinking of creative ways to do a Binary Search.

Here's a good Code Kata I've been using: http://codekata.pragprog.com/2007/01/code_kata_backg.html

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I've gone through it.

I think you just have to accept that you can have too much of a good thing. If youre coding all day during the week, you can't expect to feel like coding ALL the time.

That said, the buzz will come if you take a break. Maybe a long holiday - whatever, as long as you stay away from programming for a while.

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