Earlier I'd praised the importance of fun, even dumb fun. But I'd like to go one bit further for us progeeks – fun has not just an inspirational or recreational advantage, or an intense skill/life building source – it can be useful on the job directly because it helps you relate to people.
I work in IT, and have since 1995. I am old-school, hardcore IT geek turned manager. My hobbies have proven invaluable on the job.
We all need to be able to relate to people, and I dealt with a lot of geeks – still do in fact. Having similar hobbies proved invaluable. In short, the fact I can recognize Halo action figures and characters from Naruto is a great way to build rapport.
Geekery is a great way to get to know people.
- It shows that you have similar interests. It bridges gaps between people.
- It shows you're like other people – they can relate to you.
- It shows you have a life outside of work (which may sound odd in geeky jobs, but there you go).
- It gives you a way to socialize with people outside of work, and build deep relations with them.
- It gives you a way to recreate with people you work with, to blow off stream, and relax.
So yes, that fun you have has other uses besides the skill-building or recreation and such I talk about. It lets you relate to people and helps you connect with them, and that's important no matter what your job is – and important as a person.
– Steven Savage
EDIT: I made a mistake and put down my IT career as starting in 2005. It actually started in 1995.