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I rarely find the time to browse SO/SF/SU looking for questions that I can answer. So I'm really curious to know when most of you find the time to answer questions?

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You live in Perth, doesn't that mean by definition you have plenty of time? – random Sep 10 '09 at 12:51
Perth is becoming a new meme on its own. – TheTXI Sep 10 '09 at 12:54
up vote 4 down vote accepted
  • At home (as a break from writing/editing, usually)
  • On the train/bus
  • At work while waiting for builds/deployments etc
  • Walking to/from the station, via my phone (normally comments rather than answers, admittedly)
  • Waiting for my eldest son's swimming lesson to finish
  • Occasionally in front of the TV
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Nice ideas Jon! Keep 'em coming. – Jarvis Sep 10 '09 at 13:01
Ah the beauty of PHP: no compile/build/deployment steps. :) – cletus Sep 10 '09 at 13:08
@cletus: You say beauty, I say lack of opportunity for micro-breaks :) – Jon Skeet Sep 10 '09 at 13:15
How long has your new book been delayed, Jon? :) – John the Seagull Sep 10 '09 at 13:58
@Vinko: That's a very good question... I've no idea, but SO has certainly helped to get answers to a few questions which I had when writing :) – Jon Skeet Sep 10 '09 at 14:05

I don't let work get in the way.

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You mean you answer questions on the sly at your workplace?? – Jarvis Sep 10 '09 at 12:54
Don't you? What else are you going to do at work? – JSONBog Sep 10 '09 at 12:55
@Jeremy, whatever you're currently doing, you're doing it wrong. – TheTXI Sep 10 '09 at 12:57
The only thing work is good for! – Ladybug Killer Sep 10 '09 at 12:57
TheTXI, you are not good enough for a check mark! – Ladybug Killer Sep 10 '09 at 13:04
The fact that a check mark was even given in the first place and then immediately switched over as soon as Skeet came to play is hilariously sad. – TheTXI Sep 10 '09 at 13:05

I take small breaks from work throughout the day to browse. I consider it study, and as such benefits my work.

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How did you convince your seniors to allow you to continue such "insincere" activity? – Jarvis Sep 10 '09 at 12:59
Fastest checkmark of the day! Jeremy, why have you asked in the first place? – Ladybug Killer Sep 10 '09 at 12:59
I accepted the only valid answer .. until Jon replied. – Jarvis Sep 10 '09 at 13:02
Obviously that check mark was being kept warm until Jon Skeet came along. – random Sep 10 '09 at 13:02
@Jeremy: I didn't have to convince anybody. Employees have down-time, especially programmers. I think they would be rather happy that I'm using my downtime to sharpen my skills rather than smoking out back. – Sampson Sep 10 '09 at 13:12

I have insomnia, and this is a hell of a lot better than aimlessly browsing wikipedia...

also it makes for a nice break periodically throughout the workday. I've gotten some great inspiration for features (or the implementation of a feature) by browsing through the site.

share|improve this answer – random Sep 10 '09 at 13:19
Please do not visit that site without your ad blocker turned on. My eyes! – John the Seagull Sep 10 '09 at 14:25
Flashblock is a good thing... – AnonJr Sep 11 '09 at 1:18
Didn't realise that TvTropes had any ads. After all this time... – random Sep 11 '09 at 3:05
Oh my dear lord...! – Lightness Races in Orbit Nov 9 '12 at 13:42

Since I work from home most of the week, I have my desktop PC on the left and work's laptop on the right, monitors side by side and Synergy acting as KVM.

My brain is wired to multitask, so it's become a reflex action to kick the mouse over to the left and read SO or Facebook or IRC for thirty seconds in between thoughts, then kick it back over to the laptop to write my next few lines of code or reply to a text message on Skype from my colleagues.

Somehow this leads me to getting my work done — fast — at the same time as writing a slew of SO answers and getting worked up about the number of edits my OCD is driving me to do.

It's pretty cool.

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