My Biggest Struggle As A Web Developer
The hardest thing about being a developer for me might surprise you to hear, but it's a message we all should be reminded of.
Sorry for the clickbait title. This might not be what you think, but it's the truth. My biggest struggle as a web developer is the toll it takes on my body is my neck. So let's, let's open that up. Um, this is for real though. So, uh, it's something that I don't know. I probably haven't talked publicly about ever.
But I, so I've always been pretty active kid, skateboarder. Um, I dunno, park Corps before there was a name for it. Uh, I've always kinda done gym, backyard gymnastics, and I've always just done stupid stuff basically, and gotten hurt doing it. One time. I really wanted to learn how to do a backflip.
That was my, my big goal was I thought like, you know, all this stuff's cool. I could do a front flip, all right, whatever. But a backflip, that's the thing. That's the cool thing. It's hard to do. It's hard to convince your brain to like put your head behind you. Like it's very hard if you've ever tried to do a back flip, it's not easy.
Um, but I eventually conquered the fear kind of by. Doing it. And I did it wrong and I was doing it in the grass. I remember outside my house, I convinced a friend to throw me off of his deck backwards into a pool of water. So I was like, that's safe. That's easy. So I remember he was a big guy and he would do that just like Chuck me behind him with my legs, like grabbed my ankles and throw.
I would jump and he would throw me and I would do these backflips tonight so that I, I needed that to show my brain how to get, uh, like behind itself. You know, how to go backwards. So then that night I remember I went home. And I was in the grass, like the side yard grass, and I was just doing back flips and this was, this was my technique, just lunch.
Oh, okay. I could do them on the trampoline. Yeah. Yeah. I could do them on the trampoline, but I want to do them on the ground. That was my big goal cause it's totally different. Totally different. You have to do it so much faster. So on the ground, I just like, I remember I would like treat it like a trampoline.
I would just jump on the ground with all the power in my legs and just throw myself backwards. And pretty much get it, and I can pretty much do a backup. But they were sloppy, you know, there was, it wasn't good for them at all. Um, and I landed on my neck and it, I remember that I didn't like snap my neck and get paralyzed, but I definitely landed on my neck and it like kinked sideways.
And I remember being super scared and shaken up and be like, Holy crap. Like this is the thing that people warn you about. And I just did it. My neck really hurt for awhile and I didn't tell anybody. No kind of went away. Then I was doing Spiderman front flips. This is even stupid. But on a trampoline.
My buddy Keith, he, we had a trampoline in our backyard and we just did tons of cool trampoline stuff, whatever, stupid trampoline stuff. Um, we didn't have a net or anything. Of course not that matters, but one of the things that he showed me his, he called them Spiderman flips, and so he would jump as high as you can and you would flail out like Spiderman, like you would like wave your arms out and you would be totally horizontal.
To a little bit facing down. So you're just like, almost like a parachuting or whatever, like skydiving, you're just like free falling. And then right before you hit the trampoline, you tuck your head in and do a quick roll and you land on your back. So the idea is like, it's a very delayed front flip.
Anything like that. Super dangerous because you can delay it too far, obviously. And I did and I delayed too far. And when I talked, I basically just. Dove headfirst into a trampoline and my chin, like crushed into my chest and it like really straightened that, hurt my neck pretty bad. Fast forward some years into like.
Late high school, I was at a chiropractor, like what? High schoolers at a chiropractor, but I, my neck was just hurting, whatever. So to this day I have just neck problems. I've messed up my neck. I went to the dentist and he took an extra on my teeth and went, Whoa, your C spine is crooked. He's like, do you have neck pain?
I'm like, yeah, all the time. It's like, you need to go to this guy and this guy. So I did whatever. It's just a massive struggle in life. My neck hurts right now. Right now. It hurts. It is. I turn it. Yep. So. Anyway, that and, uh, so, okay. I'm telling you some stories. Hopefully you find some of that entertaining cause we're meandering.
But, uh, basically. The thing that is worst. The worst thing for my neck is programming. There is nothing in the world that is worse for my neck than programming, especially sitting and programming, sitting in general. So that's pretty horrible because it's the thing I love most in life and the thing I want to do every day.
And it hurts a ton. Um, I also have had like risk problems, so it's not just next stuff that's unique to me. This, I know, like this is stuff that happens to even people who didn't have neck injuries that can have neck pain and do. Um, but my wrist, I have good risks, at least I thought, but I basically got like carpal tunnel or whatever, some tendinitis and I had to get some wacky ergo year ago keyboards.
So just like development wrecks your body. It's so, so hard on your body. My brother is an HPAC technician. We've talked about him sometime on this podcast. He a, so he's a hard worker, like he works hard all day, like really works. Not my pretend work where I move my fingers. He like lifts stuff up ladders and does on roofs and freezing cold all day and.
He's, his body is like rockin. He, uh, he does not have a rocking body. He's actually, um, he's thickened out over the years. But, uh, yeah, he's got that nice like union union, man belly, um, where you get when you get a bunch of wings and beer after the job with your buddies. Um, that's, that's his body.
So now that I've described my brothers rock and body on the podcast, he's going to love it. If he ever hears it switch, you'll never hear it. So he, uh, he has like nobody issues at all. Like none, because he's moving all the time in, in unique ways, you know, and it's diverse movement where our movement is.
Small and repetitive, and you're, Oh man, go into any office and just look at people, take a sample of people. Their heads are forward, which means their necks are strained and it's just strain. And those muscles just tighten and tighten and they grow like vines on, on a bricks and they like Ivy on bricks.
They get into the mortar and they hold, and that's where I kind of am because. I have neglected this for so many years of being on a computer that now it's like I can't even sit and compute if I, if I get, if I have like a good day, like I'm doing all the right things or I took a break from programming or something and I, I go to a coffee shop cause I'm like, Oh yeah, I focus great at a coffee shop.
I can't go to coffee shops anymore. But if I treat myself to go to coffee shop and sit in a chair and hunch over a laptop. I will be in serious pain the next day because it's the worst posture ever. You look, I've just been traveling and look at people on planes and other forms of transportation with their laptops down and their necks kinked and they don't feel any pain, and they will someday.
Maybe there's some people who won't, but for the most part, like, Oh, it's so, so bad for your body. So anyway, that's my biggest struggle as a developer. I deal with it every single day. Um. It's makes me way less productive because I'm most productive on my laptop, but I can't. I have to use this stupid ergo ridiculous ergo docs keyboard that costs $4 million and I'm slower on it.
And I have to stand. I'm standing right now. I have to stand and I'm less productive when I'm standing because the knowing the stand, I have to look at this big screen and I don't like the big screen. So I'm a whiny, I'm whining right now, but, uh, it's true. I am super productive when I'm just in a coffee shop with a laptop, but my body just can't even really do it anymore.
So it's, this is my big search in life. Can I, can I figure out ways to cure this? Probably. And honestly, some big cure for it is just not programming. And that's not really going to happen right now. So hopefully I stretch all the time. I have all the, I go to a chiropractor like every other day, whatever.
So I'm, I'm not a laid up guy. Like I, I can still, I did a back flip like a couple of weeks ago on the ground. Like I can still, I'm still active. I do lots of active stuff, but it's definitely not without its repercussions. And you know, days where I'm just laid up, resting my neck or stretching it or trying to work out some like pulled muscle or something.
So. Anyway. That is personally my biggest struggle as a web developer is my stupid, stupid neck that hurts so bad all the time because computers hurt your body. Um, and I, so it's both my biggest struggle and I think it's sort of worth its own episode and as a reminder, like it, I think I can say pretty confidently that.
That computing posture is an occupational hazard, and even if you aren't predisposed predispositioned for these types of problems, it will catch up to you in some way or another, if not just obesity from sitting all day and heart disease or whatever. It'll catch up with you with back problems and hip problems and neck problems and risk problems and all those things.
So. Man, I wish we could solve this, but one step is standing. Another step is stretching, moving around a lot. Uh, whatever, you know? Yeah. Sorry. This is a downer, but, uh, but there we go.