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Programming is not lively

Okay, I recognized the follwing: When I code, I don't feel a thing. I am only in my head, working on and on. That's alike a machine would do it, but that's okay, I guess, because you can concentrate best. And when there are high pressure times where the schedule exhausts and loads of bugs, you only receive bad feedback from the boss, co-workers or customers and in consequnece you feel bad, even though you work like a horse. Okay, to fix the point: you feel bad or nothing the whole time. Ain't that a sort of depression? I would say definitely say: it is.
So, we all went through hard times and the sweet isn't that sweet without the sour. We know. But is that the way one want to life ?
For me life is change and movement. The above descriped depression happens too often in software business, i guess most of you have experienced something simmilar. And that is not the way I want to life.
Don't get me wrong, I still love to work with computers and to develop software. That has mattered me all my life will do so hopefully till the end of my days. But when you look at all those books that are around dealing with how you do software and related, has someone seen a concept that makes programming more lively? I am going to do research on that, perhaps a book, I'll see. But please tell me your point of view on that issue.

Michael Bruckmeier
Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Most important: do not work for, or with, fools (as much as possible).

There are a lot of subjective ways to determine whether or not somebody is a fool, but I think that the simplest and most effective test for me is whether or not the person can talk about the fundamentals of your problem with you.  These people will have empathy for you because they'll understand your trouble (unless you're in over your head, in which case they'll ream you).  The other kind will just give you a blank (or condescending) stare and repeat, "no excuses, I just want it to work," for every problem that you encounter.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

" feel bad or nothing the whole time..."

I notice that I program that way only when I'm doing something routine, that I've done a ton before.  Like when I noticed I was coding up Yet Another Damn Perl CGI almost as fast as I could type because I've written so many similar programs before.

When I'm doing something new, or I'm working on a project with lots of unit tests that give me some feedback, I'm generally in a good mood.

Which is why I try to swing as many new styles of projects as possible.

Andrew Hurst
Wednesday, February 25, 2004

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

Albert Einstein
Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Maybe it's the same problem with any job, when it gets repetitive. But what job doesn't involve some repetition? Being an actor, for example, seems like a lively sort of job, but you actually have to say the same lines over and over. It must get very boring sometimes. Or how about being a rock star and having to play the same songs a million times. Maybe being a cop would be lively -- it looks that way on TV shows. But in reality most of the time you drive around and wait for something to happen.
How about teaching? Same problem -- you teach similar things year after year. Things you already know. How boring.
Developing software  has the advantage that you never have to do exactly the same thing more than once.
Maybe the real reason you find it depressing is that you are extroverted and would rather work with people. Another possible reason is that there is little or no encouragement or appreciation in this field. Users expect computers to be smarter than humans and to easily read their minds.

The Real PC
Wednesday, February 25, 2004

How come you don't feel good when you accomplish
something new? Then even better thing is when you
manage to create in few hours something that looked
like it would take all day long?

But nothing beats the customer reaction! Well, not when
they complain about something (or lose data)!

Rather a story in a league of young Espinoza (or something
like that), when he showed VisiCalc on Apple II to accountant
and the man started shaking: "What you did here in few
seconds takes several days the way I do it!"
Is this true or not is not relevant so much, as when I
see big smiles on faces of my customers. It sure isn't
something that happens all the time, but when it happens...

That's why I like to have one day in the Zone, and day
after spent just chatting with my customers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Whatever happened to the sense of achievement at having created something new. Something that wasn't existing earlier and you created from scratch. Isn't that a goody good feeling? ... Happiness even.

As the saying goes "Beauty is also to be found in a day's work."

And, another point, I think the fact that (work != life) should also be acknowledged. So,

> Okay, to fix the point: you feel bad or nothing the whole time. <

should be rephrased to:

> Okay, to fix the point: you feel bad or nothing the whole time you're working. <

(Maybe you meant it that way only?)

PS: Do get back with the results of your research.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

What matters for me is not so much the programming per se, I do other stuff besides that - highlevel functional analysis, project management, database design, etc. What matters is the 'fun' of a project.

I have had projects with much 'fun' in it. Sure, sometimes it was difficult, and I didn't like it, but overall, it was a fun environment, fun people, fun things, I learned a thing or two, and clients and their employees were happy afterwards.

Other projects, I must admist, were not so fun. People would not cooperate, it was repetitive, client never happy, etc.

I guess when I was doing the same code in both projects, I would definitively *NOT* feel lively in the latter, but surely in the first one.

My 0.02 €

Mark Tetrode
Friday, February 27, 2004

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