Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

POLL : Do you enjoy being a programmer ?

Do you enjoy being a programmer or are you planning
a career change ?

I just came across a Financial Auditor who told me how boring is his job, and it's not very creative ...

Saturday, June 12, 2004


Saturday, June 12, 2004

Depends what I'm programming, innit.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Seems to me the financial auditor is the one with the uncreative dull job.

Matthew Lock
Saturday, June 12, 2004

I love programming, but at a good place.

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Saturday, June 12, 2004

Programming used to be a hobby.  Now someone pays me to do my hobby!  How great is that?!

Bill Rushmore
Saturday, June 12, 2004

I love being able to find a use for my brain.  To take a lot of the things that I've read and find application for them is cool.  Dissecting a new language I've never looked at before and finding bugs in someone else's code right away is a rush.

Aaron F Stanton
Saturday, June 12, 2004

All depends where you work. I have had jobs where I could hardly face up to work each day and not be bored, but where I currently am it is great!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

If I won the lottery, I'd still be doing my job... just not putting in as many hours.

My newly found time would go towards getting laid... although, I think the money would also help there.  ;)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

programming: yes

Work enviroment/career outlook: no

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Yes, fundamentally it's a very enjoyable activity.  It can really suck though if you're around people who don't enjoy it or don't appreciate it.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Yes, but much much more so when I'm doing something new as opposed to yet another PHP page, yet another Java Swing form with button X here..., yet another CRUD database app. Right now I'm doing some fun stuff, so yes ;)

Mike Swieton
Saturday, June 12, 2004

Yes, during the design and development phase its great.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

It's wonderful. You create worlds sitting on your ass.

On the other hand. Passion does not always lead to prosperity. I see destitute musicians playing on the street and I wonder: why are they *doing this*?

Ah, they love it...

Saturday, June 12, 2004

I like programming. I wish I got to do more of it in my job (as a programmer).


Thom Lawrence
Saturday, June 12, 2004

Not really, no.

I enjoy the creative aspect of working with others to design software solutions and get a charge of interface design (I think I'm pretty good at it), but the tedium and finickiness (word?) of coding bores me to tears.  I'm much more interested in working at a higher level, helping people to solve business problems.

At my soon-to-be-former job, I was IS Manager for 10 months and loved it even though it was the most stressful 10 months of my life.  I was also the only "real" software developer at the company (it's a laboratory with a small IS department).  They recently moved me back to being a developer, and now I'm leaving.  My next job will be in software sales.

Karl Perry
Saturday, June 12, 2004

I enjoy being a "developer".  The creation part appeals to me; the grunt programmer part I tolerate.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Love it.

Ethan Herdrick
Saturday, June 12, 2004

No. That's why I don't do it. :-)
Saturday, June 12, 2004

If programming feels like 'grunt work', you're doing it badly.  Done right, programming is an integral part of a process you go through when you refine an idea.  If the programming itself is tedious, either you're not tooled up enough, or your idea is tedious.  Does it suck to have to make your ideas logically consistent?  That's essentially the only constraint that 'programming' imposes on them.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Programming is fantastic, but working as a programmer in many workplaces is not a nice job, these days.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Yes, but with a caveat. I enjoy solving problems, and crafting solutions, but I'm one of those annoying types who gets into the "programming as art" mindset, to the detriment of my career. It's like  guitarist Robert Fripp of King Crimson says of the music business: "The operative word is 'business.'" I am lousy at the business end of it, and would much rather do it just for fun.

W Michael Ealem
Sunday, June 13, 2004

"Do you enjoy being a programmer"

I like it in the respect that I am able to concieve ideas and put them into practice.  I dislike it in that the real "big picture" comes from somewhere else, namely the business.

In my job I do "own" the design, code, interface, some of the process, and even portions of the graphic design of the product.  But ultimately, it's the product of someone else's vision.

Ultimately I think it's more rewarding to be able to have vision, and delegate some of the execution, than to exclusively solve "low level" (relatively speaking) problems.

So I can't really give a simple yes or no answer.  Yes, I like it, but no, I want to do more.  And once today's business climate is factored in, I don't even consider programming a good long-term profession (ie, within a few years from now, I want to move on).

Sunday, June 13, 2004

In general, I still enjoy developing and maintaining software applications, however, I don't like my career prospects very much.

You reach a certain age making a decent income and all of sudden the job opportunities are no longer there for you. What can you do to support yourself if you don't have any other marketable skills? An unemployed programmer that I know mentioned that his programming knowledge doesn't really qualify him for any other job that pays a similar wage and that he feels like a convict who has been in prison for the last 12 years.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Write your own software and start selling in on the Internet?

Matthew Lock
Sunday, June 13, 2004

I enjoy everything from high-level design and architecture to nuts and bolts coding.

It's only the career prospects that bother me.  As I approach my mid-30s I realize that I have reached the stage where if I get laid off I may never find another job in the field ever again.  So even though I make good $bread right now, I restrict my lifestyle at a level that can be maintained on half my salary.

I do have some ideas for creating my own product.  But that is still in the very early stages.  Hopefully I can get things rolling with it before I get laid off.

T. Norman
Sunday, June 13, 2004

The rote coding isn't all that exciting any more. It was when I was young, but now the important part of what I do is looking for unique and efficient ways to solve problems. Some of those problems are well known, well understood problems, and some are new problems that I've never encountered before.

If I was just coding instead of solving problems, I'd hate it now.

Brad Wilson (
Sunday, June 13, 2004

I do enjoy programming, but I'm still planning a career change...
Managers in IT are probably the worst you'll find anywhere. My last one got me a stomach ulcer....
I also miss interacting with human beings (fellow coding zombies at the coffee machine don't count).
As someone said earlier: you create worlds just sitting on your arse. Then after you've created it some maintenance code-monkey destroys what you've created and the year after your code is replaced by a new version alltogether.

Programming has been a hobby since I was 15. Years later I was stupid enough to turn it into a day job. It's going back to the place where it belongs in my life: a hobby. To make money I'm going back into land-surveying.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

It depends, but for the most part - yes.

Like most people I hate wading through thousands of lines of unmaintainable cruft written by people without any clue (i.e. code jocks who don't test and don't comment what they write).

Initially, when I started work in this industry 8 years ago, it had plenty of promise. I worked on some great projects with brilliant people and used that as leverage to head to the UK and work as a contractor. The few years I contracted there were probably a highlight of my career so far.

Times have changed though.

Of late it seems as though IT has taken a turn for the worse in some respects. I think the problem has alot to do with the global economic slow-down, lack of job security, general skepticism of the success of IT projects (true to a certain extent), lack of a clearly define career-path (ask yourself, do you *really* want to get stomach ulcers from being a project manager?) and the threat of cheap outsourcing.

Does anyone think that this industry is losing some of it's aura and respect? Ok, that might sound elitist but things always seem to be getting dumbed down just so the lowest common denominator can call themselves an "architect" after having completed a correspondance course in VB and creating a few lame web sites.

Maybe that's the way things are going. Eventually, everything will probably be done in rooms full of 300 monkeys in some low-wage country. I guess you just have to have a "Plan B" incase things turn to custard.

Somehow, working in viticulture seems very appealing.  ;-)

Sunday, June 13, 2004

I like it very much when it is challenging, bringing an idea into an end product.

but sometimes, it gets dull and boring too depending on nature of work.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

I enjoy doing business analysis until the spec part.
And then throw it down to outsourced developer.
Afterward managing the deliverables and implementing the solution.

Ricky Nenuwu
Sunday, June 13, 2004

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