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Are we having fun yet?

I’m going to let you in on a secret.

Come closer so the others don’t hear.

Here we go …

Work should be fun.

I mean, it’s not always fun, or else it wouldn’t be work.

As tedious, frustrating and mind-melting as work can be – especially programming work – it should also be a little fun.

One way I would heat-check members of my team is sometimes end a 1:1 with a simple “Work still fun?”

I also took it as a job responsibility for me to inject bits of fun or whimsy where I could.

Some of that is through weird turns of phrase thrown into Slack or blurted out in meetings.

The occasional out of the blue “fair to middling’” or “finer than frog’s hair” tends to bring a grin or two.

At other places, it’s been funny conference room names, or rec-room-styled meeting rooms.

It can also be opportunities to inject fun and whimsy into the work itself.

Admittedly, Ruby – my home language – has a cultural value around whimsy and fun, but I still grin when I think about a `HailHydra` module I’ve left in a codebase (said module handled multi-threaded HTTP fetching).

At one point, I also wrote a small library that could be called to output a random nice thing – a “You look nice today” or a “My favorite day is a day that ends in y.”

At the end of a shell script or similar, one could `puts` to drop a friendly message to the end of whatever was running.

Are these things profoundly silly?

Yep. But we’re also telling computers to manage dog walkers or pick a better ad to display, which is kind of silly when you think about it.

Do we need meeting rooms with NES consoles and bean bag chairs? Or offices with friggin’ slides and fireman poles?


Do these things make folks better at programming or meetings or interacting with each other?

Not in any quantifiable way – because people aren’t all that quantifiable anyway.

But they help inject a little fun into the work, and sometimes that can make all the difference.


How can you have a little fun today?

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