Thus Spake Chris Lyon On the now historical date of Tue, 13 Jan 2004
I find python very effective as a language and can generally project
most of my hazy thoughts into it. But FUN !!! This is work dammit, I
have now ground my teeth down from the number of times I read that
programming is fun. Football (association) is fun, walking along canals
is fun, Arguing about quite how useless the British Government is fun
but programming ?
Do you grind your teeth whenever you hear someone say... Oh, perhaps
"Knitting is fun?" I don't like knitting, but my grandmother finds
knitting fun, and it causes me no anxiety that she or anyone else gets
enjoyment that way.
Why is it, then, that me saying "programming is fun" upsets you?
Is it jealousy that causes you to grind your teeth, or something else?
You see, I get a certain feeling of reward when I solve a problem. This
might be a particularly tough math problem, or a programming problem, or
most any other kind of "self challenge." First it's a feeling of intrigue
and fascination, then a feeling of triumph.
I'll try to draw some more mundane situations that gave me the same
With perhaps only a difference in adrenaline level, I get the same kick
from programming that I got when I sacked a quarterback or scored a
touchdown playing football (american) during high school.
I get the same kick as when I first benchpressed my own weight. And as
when I completed my first 10k run, and again when I won my first 10k run.
There's something to point out about the past few examples. I didn't
necessarily enjoy all the weightlifting and running and training for
football, but in the end, it was well worth it to me.
During the process of solving a problem, I get the same feeling as I get
while chatting up an interesting girl in a bar. (No, the playful
fascination part, not the sexual part.)
I also get the same feeling as watching a good movie. There's some level
of intrigue involved.
The list goes on, but maybe now you can see what I get out of it.
No doubt there are things that give you the same feeling. Too bad you
haven't yet found a line of work that incorporates them.
Do I need help ?
Perhaps from a career counselor.
I have a philosophy about time, money, happiness and freedom. There are
those who say that time is money, and I disagree with them. If I lose
money, I can get it back. If I lose time, it's gone forever. We've all
heard the cliche "Money can't buy happiness," which is only a half-truth.
Money doesn't buy happiness, but it can buy the freedom to pursue
happiness. So, when I consider a job, I ask myself "Will this job result
in a net gain of happiness and freedom for me?" I am, after all, selling
pieces of my very own existence (time) for money. Thus, I try hard to
find jobs that I will enjoy, even if they don't pay as much, because I'll
be spending an awful lot of my existence working.