December 12

The pleasure of Down Tools Week


I have just arrived home.
It’s Friday and an another Down Tools Week is ended.
I am writing this post to capture my feeling in this exact moment before my emotions disappear and I start to enter in the “Week End Mode”.
I feel very tired. It was hard work but I am incredibly proud of what we achieved.
For the entire week, I didn’t have meetingsI didn’t check emails but I only focused on writing the minimum code that works in order to present something for the “Show & Tell” that usually happens on Friday afternoon.

The feeling during Down Tools Week is awesome.

Down Tools Week: feeling awesome
You are completely absorbed on the tasks at hand, in the most pragmatic way you collaborate and assign tasks between the newly formed team. You can feel a constant release of adrenaline. Even after work, you can’t stop thinking about what you want and should do the following day.
The most intriguing thing is that even if I worked very hard and I ate very quickly just to be able to start coding and squeeze every minute, the time passed incredibly quickly. You don’t feel the time at all, actually you fight against it.
This is what I define as “Fun”, what I define as “Feeling a programmer” and what I define as “Feeling alive”.

Surely my passion for programming amplifies these emotions.
Psychologists call this feeling “The Flow“.

The FlowA mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement and enjoyment in the process of the activity.

I never worked with James and Peter before. Actually I never met them before in the company. In a week, I have learnt to work with them in a very effective way. I don’t know if they feel the same way but I have to say that I am very impressed by what a team can do in a so short amount of time. It is fascinating to see what a bunch of people can do when time is given to them to do what they want.
The initiative is called Down Tools Week an integral and fundamental element of the culture of Red Gate where creativity is unleashed, people are empowered to learn together and create great things.
When I was young, I used to feel like this quite often. I coded games for my friends losing track of the time while I was doing it. This week remembered me those good days.
I’d like to thanks Red Gate to offer me the ability to feel in this way. I’d like to thanks James and Peter for helping me in developing further the idea of “Code Complexity as a service” (technical details will follow in a new post).
Above all, this week was seriously fun!


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