These are mandatory. They are much like sleeping and eating. Programmers would be much more efficient if they didn't have to take breaks in programming. Breaks in programming can, but not limited to, be sleep or going outside. Going outside should be avoided as you are white as a ghost because the only time you see the light of day is when you run between your car and the place you are going to. Breaks can also include rampant noding about how you don't get enough breaks because you are stuck with programmer's thoughts. No matter how much you program a program, there is always a little more to write. Now excuse me I have to add another function.

There are also programming breaks of a different variety. Those that are measured in days instead of hours.

When I've been hitting my head against a problem for about a week I take a few days off of working on that program (or that part of the program). I've found that after a few days you'll either be rested enough to attack the problem again or the solution will have already come to you (for me, it usually happens while I'm driving).

Note: This generally applies to projects being done for fun not for work, with deadlines and such. Although even with deadlines, it is still helpful to take a break from a specific problem and work on something else, unless that's the last thing there is.

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