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What are your values in life?

I was thinking about this topic. What are most professional programmers are driven by?

Do you like the money? For a paycheck, you'll do anything.

Is it being able to create something? You just love to see something you created working, and working well.

Is it fame? You see you name attached to the project, and it feels good ...

Is it gratitude from people you've helped? You just can't get enough of those thank you's.

Family pressure? Your wife reminds you about the bills, and you kids are about to go to college.

What is it? Can it even pinpoint it?

Let's here opinions!

And, by the way, I am a cunning politician :-)



Future cunning politician
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Either that or you're a fruitcake.


Tuesday, August 12, 2003

"Either that or you're a fruitcake."

Nah, I am just a moth ...

Future cunning politician
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Mainly the girls, for me.

Roose
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

In no particular order:  creativity, problem-solving, helping make people's lives easier.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

" Do you like the money? For a paycheck, you'll do anything."

yes, pretty much.  Certainly if no one paid me I would do it an awful lot less.

" Is it being able to create something? You just love to see something you created working, and working well."

<g> My partner has definite opinions about whether programmers _really_ create anything, but yes, thats definitely a part of it.

" Is it fame? You see you name attached to the project, and it feels good ..."

it would be, but really the glory is more important.


" Is it gratitude from people you've helped? You just can't get enough of those thank you's."

definitely a part of it. 

" Family pressure? Your wife reminds you about the bills, and you kids are about to go to college. "

ayup, thats true.  I do sometimes think about quitting, but it would be hard to find a job that paid me as much as I earn for myself writing c++ code.


" What is it? Can it even pinpoint it?"

sometimes yes, sometimes no..
somedays I dont even need to think about the why, it burns itself into my brain as I type, the feeling of knowledge and power and competence and joy...
other days I cannot stop quickly enough, those are the days that Computers Dont Work

Overall if I got to make the decision again, I dont think I would choose to be a computer programmer.  But I never regret the choice I made.  (now _there_ is a paradox)

FullNameRequired
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I liked programming a lot for about 10 years, and got very good at it.

Now I am bored to tears about it.

You spend most of your time working on tiny details. :-(

Becoming a project manager helped with that thing a bit.

But I'm still b0red to tears.

Michael
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I've been programming for some 20 years now, and professionally for almost 10. When I started out professionally I was just amazed that someone would actually pay me to do what I liked most.

The most awesome feeling in programming is the feeling of accomplishment. When you see people working on the stuff you created and it works. Complete ego-boost.

We're a little short on groupies here though.

There are days now Im bored to tears, and I sit and think up stuff I could do instead. Working Seven Eleven or the local video rental place has struck me as appealing oportunities on bad days.

Most of the days though programming is good enough.

Patrik
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I think the most important aspect is WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT PROGRAMMING, not what you like about some job....

- being payed - in every job you get payed
- creating something? - in a lot of jobs you create something
- fame
- gratitude
- ... - are happening in a lot of jobs.

If you think about it, in almost every job you get all these things. But what about programming? how is it different from other jobs (and I'm not referring to the fact that you're sitting in front of a computer and typing something).

I believe that I like programming because of its challenges, because as a programmer I have to understand someone else's needs and transform them into something a computer understands. This means that my mind must have the ability to abstractize the client's very specific requirements.
I like programming because I have to create an architecture for every product or project that I work for.
I like programming because, at a lower level, I have to create an algorithm to solve some issue.

These are the main three reasons that I thinlk I like programming for.

Kolt
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Ássuming I did not have to work for a living, I would still develop software. But like someone else said, a lot less than I have to do now.


Wednesday, August 13, 2003

http://www.braithwaite-lee.com/opinions/doctor.html

Reginald Braithwaite-Lee
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I've always liked the idea that you basically need just a tiny, cheap machine, plus talent and lots of efforts, to become an apt programmer. "Market entry" comes nearly for free when compared to other professions.

Johnny Bravo
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

My main goal in life really isn't suitable for a family-oriented board...

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

"The greatest pleasure is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears, to ride their horses and clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters."  --  Genghis Khan

RocketJeff
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

> Working Seven Eleven or the local video rental place has struck me as appealing oportunities on bad days.

Do it for a weekend.  See if you still like it.

Bella
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Philo

What's it? you've made us REALLY curious. Give us a clue at the very least.

Farid
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

"What would you do if you had a million dollars?"

eh, Philo?

Devil's Advocate
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

He would walk the earth, thus becoming a pedo-philo.


Wednesday, August 13, 2003

What I want to know, is it better to be a cunning politician, or a cunning linguist?

I'm asking because I have an MA in Linguistics, but it's not my current profession.

Jim Rankin
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

*groan* guys. Pedo-Philo, Cunning Linguist.

I assume that like the rest of the world, programmers follow a Maslow-esque hierarchy of needs. First you have to survive - food, shelter. Then you need to have human contact. Then a certain amount of approval from your fellow man. Then you can pursue art.

I can't think of anyone whose life wouldn't change if they won a million dollars. At least, not someone who isn't already worth more. So it's more a matter of "why programming and why not something else?"

www.marktaw.com
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

LOL! Devil's Advocate nailed it. I actually thought of making that reference right after I hit the "Post" button.

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Hmmm..

I'm motivated by a certain amount of money, and by doing things I enjoy and find interesting.  Money is not enough to keep me interested.

Grattitude is a nice thing, but there's quite a few projects of mine that are just mine and the inner beauty is only seen by me.  And I still do them.

I do programming because it's interesting, I can do it without getting sick of it, and it's a professional occupation with generally favorable pay.  I'd probably do some other sort of engineering if I wasn't programming.

What Philo is motivated for is nothing to be embarased by.  Both famous scientists and brilliant criminals are known to have, in the words of the Limp Biskit song, "done it all for the nookie".  And there's scientific evidence to back me up on that. ;)

Flamebait Sr.
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

After 8+ years of this, on some days I am bored. But then I just check my email a lot, chat with co-workers, and read JOS. I feel guilty about it, but forcing myself to work 8 hours if I'm not motivated could lead to burn-out.

The reason for programming is that it is the most creative, most philosophically interesting, thing you could do as far as I'm concerned. The problem is that, like anything, you don't want to do it every day all day. Also, I get tired of seeing this drab cubicle wall.

When you write a program, you actually create a little being which has some kind of little mind or intelligence. You create it and you teach it how to do some kind of task, and how to think. Every time I start to feel unappreciated (that happens often) I remind myself that God is a programmer.

My values in life are to learn as much as possible about this world, to be creative whenever possible, and to understand God to whatever tiny extent I am able. I think programming is a good way for me to survive, and also helps a little with my general values. But I try to make sure I have time for other things that I value, and am no longer obsessed with computers like I used to be.

The Real PC
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I like making things work, so might like any kind of engineering work, but software and electronics are my favorite.  But as I get older my expectations are declining. 

When I was just getting started, working on a NASA project or maybe on some satellite communications system seemed like it must be the greatest job in the world.  Now I am hoping for a job with decent working conditions (i.e., Peopleware compliant) where I enjoy coming in to work in the morning, even if the project doesn't sound like the latest leading edge high tech widget.

mackinac
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Jim Rankin wrote: "What I want to know, is it better to be a cunning politician, or a cunning linguist?"

I think the answer is it is better to be both. Look into neural linguistic programming (NLP). This should make you a good cunning linguist and the cunning politician part will come for free :-) Together with some other cunning skills :-)

It does not though make you a cunning programmer, despite what the name implies! This part will have to be learnt separately.

Once you are cunning in everything, you'll be chasing your gods (values), and this is what this thread is all about!

 

Future cunning politician
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

"What would you do if you had a million dollars?"

Actually, even more intriguing question is "what would you do if you had a million dollars AND had skills to do anything."

Then not only you do not need money, you also do not need to learn anything, unless you enjoy learning. Unrealistic? Of course! But then we're getting into really interesting territory.

Future cunning politician
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Great post RealPC.  I can honestly say that was one of the most inspirational posts I've read on JOS in a long time.
:-)

vince
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

> cunning linguist

Uh.... Isn't this a joke? I think I'd rather be a cunning linguist (sound it out) than a cunning politician.

Though Bill Clinton taught us that you can be both.

www.marktaw.com
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I do it for the chicks and scooby snacks! :-)

John K.
Thursday, August 14, 2003

Fill what's empty.
Empty what's full
Scratch where it itches.

Alternatively, the grand essentials of happiness are:

Someone to love.
Something to do.
Something to hope for.

Mark

Mark Pearce
Thursday, August 14, 2003

where else  can you find so many projects driven by arbitrary deadlines? All project are 1 month or two!

project= 160hrs X number of developers X rate
complex projects=320hrs X number of programmers X rate

I save so much time on my estimating overhead!

I'ts a real hoot!

fool for python
Friday, August 15, 2003

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