What if Carpal Tunnel had Interrupted the 10,000 Hours Needed
to Become a Computer Programming Expert?
Bill Gates (right) and Paul Allen at Lakeside in 1968 CBS/YouTube
You likely know how Microsoft was founded. Bill Gates and Paul Allen dropped out of college to form the company in 1975. That’s the formula for success. Drop out of college, start a company, and become a billionaire, right? ….. Not exactly!
A little digging reveals the real story. Gates and Allen started programming in their early teens before most people even knew computer programming existed. They accumulated thousands of hours of programming apprenticeship in their teens.
First, the two co-founders met at Lakeside, an elite private school in the Haller Lake neighborhood at the northern city limits of Seattle. Second, Lakeside had the vision to sponsor a fundraiser to purchase a computer terminal for the school’s computer club in 1968 at a cost of three thousand dollars.
A computer terminal at a university was a rare sight in 1968. People were accessing main frame computers with punch cards. Bill Gates had access to a computer terminal of sorts in eighth grade. Gates and Allen soon became addicted to programming.
The Gates family lived near the University of Washington in Seattle. As a middle teen, Gates fed his programming addiction by sneaking out of his parents’ home after everyone had gone to bed. He went to the University in the wee hours of the morning to do programming on the University’s Main Frame computer.
Gates and Allen honed their programming skills through 10,000 hours of missing sleep or any other way they could finagle to get face time with a computer. They were passionate to understand the process of harnessing the power of computing.
Microsoft co-founders Paul Allen and Bill Gates in 1981
In 1975, few could even conceive of a possible need for “personal computing”. IBM, the king of main frame computers, wanted to experiment with a “Personal Computer Product”. They needed a coded operating system for it.
The two young computer geeks were prepared and developed an operating system to power the “personal computer” for IBM. Microsoft was launched. Less than a decade later, at 31 years of age, their company went public and they both became billionaires the same year.
It’s a good thing those two did not get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on the way to gaining their 10,000 hours. Somebody else may have founded the leading software company in the world, but it might have had happened at a different time and taken a completely different path.
Computer Coders have A High Incidence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Today, computer programmers all over the world have one of the highest rates of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
It is interesting to consider, how many innovative break-through software concepts or burgeoning careers in software development might have been pre-empted by this debilitating hand / wrist condition.
There is good news on this front. No one has to put their computing career on hold these days. There are ways to prevent and treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome naturally and in the comfort of home without resorting to long bouts of rest or the risks of Carpal Tunnel Surgery.
Who doesn’t work on a computer these days?
The Personal Computer developed by IBM, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak has changed the way everyone works today. Over 80% of office workers and college educated professionals spend over 50% of their work day on a computer or mobile device. The information age demands it.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common on the job injury for people who work on computers.
For a professional it is important to be aware of how to maintain their hand health and their earning power.
10 Tips for Hand Health when Computing
If you work more than 3 hours a day on a computer here are 10 Tips to keep your hands and body healthy and able to keep working uninterrupted for years.
These apply whether you are a computer programmer, video editor, software sales person, graphic designer, or a writer, here is what you need to know about hand health:
1- Start with good ergonomics
2- The Top of monitor should be at eye level
3- Use an ergonomic mouse
4- Use a gel cushioned mouse pad
5- Use an ergonomic keyboard with foam
or gel padding where you rest your
hands. Don’t rest hands on keyboard
6- Sit in an adjustable ergonomic chair with adjustable arm rests and head/neck support.
7- Also, You can Use an Adjustable work station that allows you to split time between sitting and standing.
8- Take regular breaks at least every two hours to stretch, exercise and restore normal circulation. Stretch gently for 5 – 10 seconds, then repeat after a few seconds of rest. 10 – 15 repetitions.
9- At the first sign of hand numbness or hand soreness start a preventative program of Carpal Tunnel Nighttime Stretching Treatment during sleep in the comfort of home with the Carpal Solution Passive Stretching Devices once per week.
10- If you already have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, then treat it proactively before muscle atrophy sets in, with the Carpal Solution Six Week Therapy Package. The Carpal Solution was developed by Doctors and works for 97% of people. It allows you to work as much as you need to or want to and get better during sleep.
Is Carpal Tunnel Surgery A Good First Line Treatment Option?
97% of people can avoid the downtime, risks and potential complications associated with Carpal Tunnel Surgery if they are proactive about their hand health. Here are the facts on Carpal Tunnel Surgery:
• First Surgeries for Carpal Tunnel have a 50 – 60% success rate based on patient surveys.
• Downtime after Surgery can range from 6 Weeks to 1 Year for rehabilitation and recovery
• CTS comes back for over 85% of people even after a successful surgery within 6 months to 8 years.
• Second Surgeries have a 35- 45% success rate. Many surgeons refuse to do second surgeries because of the risks of excessive scar tissue formation and complications.
Not the greatest path for an active person that wants to work a full career computing. Your hands are too important to your self-worth and earning power.