Hobbies For Programmers (To Keep Them Sane & Focused)

Programming isn’t an ordinary job: it can be creative, challenging, fun,… and stressful.

You need to find ways to unwind and recharge your batteries if you want to get back into the right headspace for your next coding session.

And if you’re not taking care of yourself mentally and physically, then you’ll start making mistakes that are bound to cost you time or money down the line.

Hobbies For Programmers And Softwere Ingeneers

Programming is an incredibly rewarding career, but it can be stressful too. It’s important that you find some time away from your computer and spend it on something you love.

So if you’re looking for ways to bring more balance into your life as a programmer or developer, here are some hobbies for programmers that will help you keep your energy up and your mind clear.

Mentally Active Hobbies For Programmers

Tinkering with Arduino/Rasberry Pi

If you’re a programmer or engineer who loves electronics, Arduino or Raspberry Pi might be right up your alley.

These devices are essentially microcontrollers, tiny computers that can be programmed to do all sorts of things.

For example, if you’re into music, you could build a synthesizer using an Arduino board.


If you want to add something totally new to your repertoire, try writing. It’s a great way to get in touch with your creative side while you’re working on algorithms and database architecture.

Writing lets you explore different styles and genres, so it’s fun to just experiment. You can even write about programming, I always love seeing how programmers approach writing.

Board Games

Board games are particularly useful for programmers because they help you develop problem-solving skills.

There’s also an enormous selection of strategy games, which tend to focus on building up resources while trying to outsmart your opponents (some examples include Risk and Catan).

Board games also help you learn how to work well with others, which is important in any job.


Photography is one of the few hobbies that aren’t just about your own personal interests but also have a practical side. If you know how to use a camera and edit photos, you’ll be able to make money off of those skills.

The best part is that it can easily be combined with other hobbies, many photographers use their skills as an excuse to travel around the world and take pictures of interesting sights along their journey.

So if photography is something you’re interested in learning more about, consider picking up some basic photography tips before going on vacation.


Cooking is a great hobby for programmers because it’s an activity that requires you to think sequentially.

You don’t need to go out or travel anywhere. And it’s also a great way to improve your health by eating healthy food.

If you like cooking then I suggest trying some new foods from different cultures, the internet has lots of recipes from all over the world so you can try them out without ever leaving home.

Video Games

If you’re a programmer, chances are you’re also a gamer. Video games are an excellent way to relieve stress and blow off steam after a long day of writing code.

Video games can also help you learn new programming languages and concepts.

If you want to get more out of your video game hobby than just fun and relaxation, try developing your own game.

Listening To Music

It’s always good to have some music playing in the background while you work, it can help keep your energy levels up and make it easier for you to concentrate on tasks.

Playing Guitar

Playing guitar is a good hobby for programmers. It’s relaxing and creative and you can learn to play online or at a music store.

You can even buy a cheap electric guitar and amp for around $200 on Amazon!

The best way to get started is by learning some simple chords and songs. Playing the guitar will improve your hand-eye coordination, which is an important skill for programmers.


Blogging is a great way to stay connected with others who share similar interests as yours.

Blog about what interests you! If you’ve been keeping up with your coding skills all day long, this is one way that will help keep your brain active while relaxing your body at the same time.

Plus, who knows? Maybe someday your blog will become big enough that you’ll actually make money off of it.

Solving Puzzles

There are all kinds of puzzles out there: crosswords, sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, etc. Puzzles are a great way to keep your brain active, and they’re also fun.

If you’re looking for a hobby that will give you a mental workout, puzzles are a great place to start.

You can also get creative and come up with your own puzzles, and then send them out to friends or post them online so others can try solving them too.


Model-making is a great way to keep working on your programming skills without having to stare at your computer screen all day long.

For example, if you’re building models out of LEGO Technic pieces, then you’ll need to learn how to program those parts into the machine in order for them to function correctly.

This will help keep your programming skills sharp while also giving you something fun and interesting to do.

Physically Active Hobbies For Programmers


Woodworking is a great hobby because it combines creativity and problem-solving with physical labor that can help you relax after a long day of sitting at your computer.

It’s also a great way to start feeling like you’ve got your hands dirty, which will help you feel more grounded.

Plus, if you make something that looks good enough to sell on Etsy (or even just give it away), then it’s not just about getting your hands dirty,  you’ll actually be making money.

Play Team Sports

Baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, handball, …sports can be a great way to meet people, get out of the house, and stay in shape.

Pick sports that have multiple seasons. You want something that will keep you busy throughout most of the year.

If possible try doing something with one of your friends so you can make new connections together by joining a team or club together.

Find already an established community waiting for newcomers like yourself.


Swimming is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t cause a lot of strain on your joints, which makes it perfect for programmers who spend most of their time sitting at a desk.

It’s a great way to get exercise without feeling like you’ve just worked out. It’s also an excellent way to relieve stress, which can be an issue for many people who work in the tech industry.


Hiking involves getting outside, being in nature (or at least pretending that you are), and doing something that requires both physical activity and mental focus.

If you’ve been feeling like your life needs some more balance between technology and nature, consider taking up hiking. You’ll find yourself feeling healthier and happier in no time!


Running is one of the best ways to give your mind a break. It’s also a great way to get some exercise and have fun at the same time.

Half-hour runs will give you a chance to clear your head and think about problems, while also working on your body.

Just go at your own pace, listen to music if you like, and enjoy the fresh air.


Yoga will help you to stay flexible, which is important if you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk and staring at a computer screen.

You might not realize how much tension that puts on your body or how much stress has built up over time, but yoga is a great way to start addressing those issues.

If are you interested, check out these easy yoga poses for beginners

Wrapping Up

I hope that you find this list of hobbies for programmers helpful. As a programmer, you are constantly learning new things and building new skills.

That’s why it’s important to maintain your mental health by taking time to relax. With the right hobbies, you can unwind, make new friends and learn new skills.