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The title says it all, but it’s a difficult question:

Do you like to code?

I personally don’t enjoy coding, but I do it every day for a living because it is a good occupation. However, I feel an immense amount of pressure to pretend that I do enjoy coding because there’s a sentiment that people who don’t enjoy it are intrinsically worse at coding that people who do.

How about you?

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    It’s what I’d do even if I weren’t getting paid. It’s my primary hobby, my profession, and what I’ve wanted to do since I can remember.

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      This is exactly my feeling. I love solving problems using software I write, I love knowing people are using what I make, and I love reducing the amount of boring and error-prone repetition in my life using my own software.

      I think people who don’t enjoy coding belong in the industry just as much as anyone else. At that level, it’s a job, and we don’t expect people in any other field to love it, necessarily. But it’s a very odd, specialized job which is definitely not for everyone, and anyone smart enough to be a programmer is probably smart enough to make a living in some other field which doesn’t involve the obscure pains programming can expose you to.

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        That’s awesome that your hobby and profession aligns 🙂

        Do you have any advice for people who currently don’t enjoy doing what they do for a profession and how to get there?

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          Well, I guess my first advice would be to ask, what do you love? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with coding to pay the bills and doing what you love with your free time. My other hobby is Western religious history, which definitely is not a moneymaking industry. :)

          I’d also say, coding is a huge field, like “talking”. There are a million languages, a million techniques. You might find that you like the theoretical side more (math, complexity theory, category theory, etc). You might find out that you really like writing parsers. Maybe you hate Java but you end up loving Erlang. There’s a lot out there.

          But, again, there’s nothing wrong with just having a day job. Life is meant to be enjoyed so don’t worry about what you “should” like, do what you do like however you can.

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            I like to ice skate and tinker, mostly with keyboards and other input devices, but the skies the limit really.

            Unfortunately neither pay well so here I am 🙂

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              Has it always been the case or in the beginning you used to enjoy programming?

              If you used to like it, but not anymore, it’s worth trying to investigate why. This is something that has also happened to me, and it took me a while to finally find an answer. At first, I thought this was a matter of abstract vs concrete activities and I tried to find concrete activities that I could find interesting. Though I did start cooking (and discovered I enjoy it), this still wasn’t the real issue. You said you like ice skating and tinkering, so maybe this is a good place to start thinking about it.

              Later, I realized that what I really miss from the early days is having everything under control: relatively small code bases that I understand well, none or just a few third party libraries, etc. In contrast, most professional projects I have taken are the complete opposite: large code bases that no one really understands with lots of external libraries. I still don’t know what exactly I can do about this, but just from knowing where my discomfort comes from, I already feel a bit better about programming overall.

              This has been my quest so far to try to start enjoying coding as much as used to. You’ll probably find other topics that I haven’t mentioned, but that are important to you. This is an introspective exercise I think you should do if you also wish to get back to programming with a refreshed feeling.

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                I used to like it. I had a really good job at the start of my career with an amazing mentor. However, since that job, I haven’t liked it much.

                I’ll try to reflect on exactly why, but I have a suspicion that it’s when I realized that agile and startups are irrevocably intertwined with coding. Both I can’t stand.

                This is an introspective exercise I think you should do if you also wish to get back to programming with a refreshed feeling.

                That sounds amazing. Hopefully, I can get there. 🙂

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            Not the parent commenter, but how about looking into other programming paradigms? e.g. if you only do OOP right now, try looking into functional programming, there’s a lot of interesting and beautiful stuff there that might appeal to you.

            Or perhaps have a look at formal methods, either “lightweight” ones like TLA, or the more heavy weight ones like Coq and Lean. I’ve found writing specifications above the level of abstraction that most programming languages provide and model checking them or writing proofs for them quite an interesting/enlightening experience for me and it’s one of my favourite things to do.

            Lastly, I think generally identifying pain points in your workflows and writing little programs to automate them and scratch your itch could be another way to find joy in programming. For me that’s writing little Haskell scripts or elisp (Emacs Lisp) tidbits here and there.

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              Thanks for the reply! I know this is a “me problem” but when I have to learn new technologies I find it very frustrating. Recently I’ve been on a Scala project and FP hasn’t done anything for me.

              It wasn’t always that way though, I used to get excited about new technologies but after a while it just notice it for the revolving door it is.

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                […] but when I have to learn new technologies I find it very frustrating.

                I can relate to that :)

                Recently I’ve been on a Scala project and FP hasn’t done anything for me.

                Interesting. I’d say in that specific case, the language and the machinery it offers probably influence that as well. Like, for instance I’d take writing Haskell over Scala any day. But oh well, that’s me.

                It wasn’t always that way though, I used to get excited about new technologies but after a while it just notice it for the revolving door it is.

                Right. Same here actually. I don’t go looking for shiny new things to use just because they’re shiny and new. But I would still gladly consider things that could help improve the quality and correctness of programs that I write, and see if they’d be worth the investment of time for learning/integrating them into my workflow. And that bar has certainly increased over the last couple years.

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          For me at least, the question doesn’t have a very clear-cut answer. At first blush, my answer would be “yes, I love to write code”, but then I think of all of the code that I don’t enjoy writing. I rarely enjoy the code that I write for work; it’s often rote uninteresting glue, to solve problems that I’m rarely convinced truly need to be solved, in languages that make solving problems far more painful than they need to be. So if such a large portion of the code I write is code I don’t enjoy writing, it leads me to think that maybe I don’t enjoy writing code, but do enjoy particular parts of problem solving with code. For me, I enjoy building and designing abstractions- either building APIs, languages, or tools that other developers user to build their software. I’m sure many other people who would say they like coding are like me, there’s probably some domain or type of problem that revolves around writing code that they enjoy- but I’m dubious that for most people the act of writing code, in and of itself with no surrounding context, is actually joyous (at least not for long).

          To that end, I don’t think you are really much worse off than the majority of us who love to code. We may all be dissatisfied with our jobs, and do them because they pay well and are inside and all of the other nice things that come with being a software developer right now. The fact that in our free time we might pursue different hobbies that involve writing very different types of code, for very different reasons, than what people will pay us for is largely moot.

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            I wouldn’t call myself a programmer, but I spend my days writing code for biomechanics research. Much like you described, I don’t enjoy the writing of code, but I enjoy the results (and pretty graphs) and the challenge and problem solving aspects of it. Equally I’m not too concerned about the outcomes of my research, I enjoy the development of methods more than anything, so maybe I do like programming. I guess it depends on the definition of writing code…

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            I enjoy it and do it in my spare time.

            I very strongly believe that people that don’t like it and do it as a career absolutely belong in the industry. I’ve seen no correlation between people that enjoy coding to job performance at the places I’ve worked.

            Honestly, I’ve seen more of the opposite, where people that enjoy it like to bring their pet projects into work, be it taking unintelligent risks with unproven languages or libraries or being sloppier in their rigor. People that work in tech solely because it’s a good job (that I’ve seen) tend to follow fads far less often and create boring (but good) code.

            Obviously this is all personal experience. Seeing the effect of my more passionate coworkers has definitely affected how I look at newer technologies in the work environment, honestly for the better.

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              I go back and forth.

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                Yes but I certainly don’t enjoy it to the same degree doing it for work.

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                  I don’t just like it, I love it. It’s pretty much been that way since I started, maybe 16 years ago. I don’t just enjoy the act of coding itself, I enjoy almost everything about the process of building. I like writing docs. I like researching obscure algorithms, especially when I know it’s the right algorithm. I like writing tests, especially when they increase my confidence in the correctness of changes I make to the code later. I like writing prototypes, and then molding them into something comprehensible.

                  At $work, I tend to generalize. In my free time, I tend to specialize. This gives a healthy balance and let’s things stay fresh. In my free time, I tend to juggle a variety of different project ideas in my area of specialization, which is just another form of balance. (This is all retrospective. I didn’t set out to do things this way; it just happened.)

                  Sometimes I am too tired to code or busy with other things when I get home from work. Mostly though, I find the time, because I love it.

                  However, I feel an immense amount of pressure to pretend that I do enjoy coding because there’s a sentiment that people who don’t enjoy it are intrinsically worse at coding that people who do.

                  You could say this about virtually anything. There’s always going to be something that society or our culture values irrationally, or attempts to explain away with surface level bullplop. Hell, some people in this thread chose to pontificate on this very point, and then went on to create their own little bits of irrationality to feed into our culture. In most cases, they’re just heuristics, and people take them too far. You do you. Find what works.

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                    I’ve always told my kids to find a job like I have - something I would do for free (shhh, but don’t tell my boss). If / when I finally retire, I’ll just code my way into the grave. IOW, I love it!

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                      Tells your boss. 😂

                      That’s awesome to hear. How did you learn to like it or did it come naturally?

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                        Just fell into it and learned it from the seat of my pants. Took a couple programming courses in college but it didn’t click until a friend hired me basically because I knew what a keyboard looked like (those were desperate days!). A co-worker and I dove into it and I’ve never come out.

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                      I absolutely love to code in my free time. For some reason I don’t get that same buzz when coding for work. I don’t hate it or anything, it’s just not thrilling in the same way and it’s become a slog for periods of time before. I’ve considered getting another gig that isn’t programming so that I can really dive head first into my hobby coding without worrying about burn out. I can’t ever see myself not programming though.

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                        Advance warning: Uh, this got long. Sorry. I’ll probably turn it into a blog post.

                        I would say I’m pretty indifferent to coding per se, but that what I love is things that combine intellectual challenges with practical problem solving, and coding is often a good source of that.

                        Thing is, coding at work usually isn’t. Most tech jobs are kinda boring, because most of the problems people are payed to solve are variations on a theme and while you can make them intellectually engaging this often this results in a worse result than if you’d just ploughed through and done the work (there’s a reason we have a notion of “overly clever solution”).

                        As far as whether programmers who enjoy coding are intrinsically better at it… no, of course they’re not. They are however often extrinsically better at it: People who enjoy a thing do more of it, and get more practice at it as a result, and so get better at it.

                        But it’s important to bear both of the above points in mind: People get better at the thing they practice, but the sort of coding that people practice on their own time is not the sort of coding that you typically need for your job. Some of the skills are absolutely transferable, but some of them are not, and often what you end up with is developers who are over-optimised in some skills (often far beyond what they need for what they’re actually doing) and weak in other equally vital ones. Often those are “soft” skills, but they don’t have to be - I think ops, testing, debugging, architecture, are all pretty common examples of under-practiced skills for developers.

                        Answering question from down thread…

                        That’s awesome that your hobby and profession aligns 🙂

                        I think this an overrated goal personally. I have a lot of hobbies that I have briefly considered turning into professions and immediately gone “noooope” over. The nice thing about having your hobby and your profession separate is that emotional baggage from one carries over to the other less - if you turn your hobby into a job, it’s very likely that the things that inevitably make you mad about your job will also ruin the hobby for you.

                        It kinda works out OK in programming because the hobby version is so different from the professional version, but the end result of that is often feeling like the professional version is a bad imitation of the hobby version. I’ve seen a lot of burnout happening that way (I think. I may be projecting RE reasons).

                        Do you have any advice for people who currently don’t enjoy doing what they do for a profession and how to get there?

                        (I do not want to personally offer career advice because my career is in a very weird place, so this is a bit generic)

                        My advice to everyone in all circumstances is to over-analyse your problem to death in writing (I’m currently using a hand-written journal for this). Even if you don’t come up with a solution you’ll probably have a better understanding of the shape of the problem and feel better for it.

                        Generally I ask things like:

                        1. What do I actually want as opposed to just what I think I should want?
                        2. What aspects of this problem that I might reasonably be expected to care about do I actually not care about much at all?
                        3. What would my ideal scenario look like?
                        4. What smallish changes can I do that would improve things right now?

                        Specific things that might be worth asking:

                        1. Do you actually care about liking your job or do you just want to not dislike it?
                        2. What are the things you actually want to get out of a job?
                        3. If your concern is being bad at your job, what are some aspects of how you do it that you could improve without practicing it in your spare time?
                        4. What are some things that you do enjoy doing, and could you do more of those? Maybe focus separately on things that you could do in and out of work.
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                          So, I enjoy coding on some level, but I almost always need a reason to code. That reason could be wanting to understand how something is done better, or having an itch to flesh out an idea that’s been sitting in the back of my head, or (a lot of the time), because I need to for my job. Jobs being jobs, I don’t always enjoy coding at work. Coding outside of work requires a certain level of peace with how things are going in the rest of my life for me, or a strong enough interest in what I’m wanting to do with said code to overcome the disquiet.

                          That being said, I do get the desire to code if I’ve been away from it for a while, and I’ve yet to find something that quite scratches the same itch, so I definitely enjoy it on some level.

                          Honestly, if you don’t enjoy coding, you can still do a very good job at it. Not wanting to code for it’s own sake means you’re also a lot less likely to write code that isn’t needed to get something done, which is a real danger for people that do like to code for it’s own sake.

                          Also worth bearing in mind is that “Do you like to code?” can also be a proxy for “Will you keep your programming knowledge/skills reasonably up to date?”. It can be tough to want to work with a co-worker who has programming habits steeped in the bad parts (as opposed to the good ones) of 10 years ago, and is unwilling to change them.

                          Overall, I wouldn’t worry about not enjoying coding unless it’s either keeping you from getting stuff done, or grinding away your will to keep going at your job.

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                            I love to code, although my enjoyment of coding has always had a masochistic edge to it – what I really like about coding is setting an unreasonably high goal for myself, putting my head through the ringer to try to achieve that goal, and enjoying the catharsis & sense of achievement of having spent an enormous amount of effort on something with no extrinsic reward.

                            (As a result, coding for work almost never pushes these buttons: coding for work needs to be sustainable and produce results, and since I’m being paid, there’s an extrinsic reward I can’t eliminate. Instead, I ended up moving my hobby coding toward generative art once I got a day job.)

                            Enjoying coding (particularly, enjoying attempting to write something well beyond my capabilities) gave me an edge when I was learning: I ended up learning new languages and concepts relatively quickly, getting a visceral feel for lessons, learning material that would never be covered in any course, and ultimately spending more time coding than anyone ever would be asked to for work or school. (Now that I’m working full time, I can’t really do that anymore – I don’t have the time or energy to do the kind of deep dives that I did for the first 10-15 years that I was programming. In particular, I can’t make an effort to do things the hard way or reinvent the wheel in intentionally perverse ways, the way I used to – and this habit is, in my opinion, one of the most beneficial.)

                            I think that if my enjoyment of coding wasn’t essentially masochistic or challenge-oriented, I would have had a much smaller edge over my peers. (As it stands, I work in an office where a handful of devs are even more masochistic & challenge-oriented than I am, with decades more experience and more freedom in their position to experiment due to seniority, so my peers at work are people who generally outclass me. But, the people who graduated with me generally didn’t have the same kind of depth of interest because they began late and didn’t intentionally seek out the strange and useless corners – all of which inevitably prove to be useful only because someone else who isn’t aware of them could have solved their problem easier if they were.) This kind of edgeless enjoyment seems to be what’s promoted, and I don’t think it really makes much of a difference. If you spend your free time writing the same kind of stuff as you write at work with the same languages and the same tech stack, you’re just reinforcing the habits you already have, which might be useful if you’re brand-new but is only a burden as you gain experience.

                            Personally, if I hadn’t had this relationship with programming, I wouldn’t have wanted to be a developer. Salaries are a bit inflated & educational requirements are low, compared to other engineering fields, which is nice if your eye is on the money, but the primary job of a developer is to feel frustrated and powerless 8 hours a day (with the encouragement to continue to feel frustrated and powerless about the same things when you go home). I’d prefer to work in a field that pays less but is honest in its cultural norms about workers being interchangable & disposable cogs (and thus, having a total emotional disconnection to decisions made in the job becomes normal).

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                              No.

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                                I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum. In the end, what I’ve realized is that I like to solve problems and help other people. Be it code or just talking with people in meetings.

                                I think it has to do with the myth of the ‘10,000’ hours to be “good” at something, so folks code after work to reach it ‘faster,’ but if you’re doing the wrong type of exercise, then the 10,000 hours don’t mean anything.

                                I think in the end, is just accepting that everyone is different if someone wants to code after work doesn’t mean he’s better or worse than you, or that you’re better or worse than him. Stop comparing :)

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                                  I like the feeling of progress from getting something working, but I don’t really program in my free time (at most for a couple of days once or twice a year when I’m interested in a side project).

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                                    I often do, but don’t try to force it. Sometimes I just don’t have spare mental energy for it, especially when I’m doing deep work at my day job. Hobbies that get me away from tech help ground me and keep me from burning out (I particularly like cooking and bicycling). I’m usually not interested in programming for its own sake, so much as for particular projects I want to work on.

                                    Also, remember that coding means different things to different people. You might find another branch of programming fits you better. I don’t find front-end web development enjoyable at all (I’m not actively involved in that space, and the tooling changes quickly, so it feels like starting from scratch every single time), but find playing with microcontrollers / Arduinos and making generative art bots to be a lot of fun. I’m especially interested in some particular problem domains, like parsing, networking, and testing, which have had more or less overlap with my jobs over the years.

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                                      Maybe until a year or so ago I would have answered yes without hesitation, but recently I’ve realized that the actual act of coding has lost its luster for me. I like making stuff, and coding is now just a means to that end. One might think that’s a distinction without a difference, but the upshot is that dealing with uninteresting grunt work is that much harder.

                                      I’ve found myself drawn to other creative endeavors in my personal time (emphasis on “create”) such as woodworking and gardening. Both have filled that make-something niche in my life quite nicely.

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                                        I feel similarly. I think it was novel at first but now I want to make different things.

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                                        Definitely, and I feel fortunate to be in a position where what I do for a living is also what I like doing in my spare time (among other things).

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                                          I enjoy solving problems cleanly, simply, and elegantly. Whether I enjoy coding or not depends on the project and my mood! I can’t force myself to enjoy it every day at work. It keeps me occupied, and I appreciate it for that. I don’t like to set the threshold for what I will call enjoyment too high.

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                                            I enjoy coding well enough, but the real joy is in problem solving - figuring out how to approach a problem, with what tools, data stores, technologies, etc. It is also a two-edged swords, since a lot of problems can be (theoretically) solved in the design/specification phase and then it is “just” the implementation part. Often enough it happens that the design was lacking and that a lot of other, often interesting, problems arise during implementation which gets me back into the joy of problem-solving.

                                            That being said, I like to have varied tasks so I often do customer talks, help out colleagues on various issues and try to be not “just” a programmer. It still stays mostly within the realm of “Software Development”.

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                                              Do I like to code, I suppose that I like to code. If I wasn’t getting paid, I probably wouldn’t code much, if any at all.

                                              I have transitioned from viewing code as a goal, to viewing code as a tool.

                                              To me this means that I’ve started to think a lot more about the design and how to improve code just by design, and to make it hard/impossible to do things wrong by design, where as I would’ve skipped ahead and started to code previously and figure out a design based on the prototype.

                                              I guess it goes back to the fact, that I’m much more of an engineer than most of the people I know in real life, and I just happen to do ICT instead of Mech or Civil, and that I’ve done a lot of different things to make money - and that’s really the end goal to me.

                                              I work to live and not live to work, and as such I tend to optimize towards least amount of time spent, earning as much as possible.

                                              This of course means I need to have a certain level of work provided, so I do keep myself up to date and try out new techniques, but I do that strictly in paid time.

                                              To end this, I like to think I have a professional approach to this, I take pride in my work but I don’t let work define me.

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                                                If the problem or abstraction that I need to represent in code is of interest, then yes I enjoy the result. Particularly if the problem or abstraction is outside the domains of informatics and computing infrastructure.

                                                I think most programmers would describe their job as never ending long periods of pain (how do I do that?), followed by brief moments of elation (I got it to work!). It comes with the job.

                                                Your feelings are entirely representative of the majority of programmers. Don’t succumb to the nonsense that your supposed to always be enjoying your work, and that our industry is full of those that do.

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                                                  I like understanding how things work and doing things well; I’m not sure that what I enjoy about making computers do things extends beyond that. When I first started coding (I’m a self taught, career changed developer), I really enjoyed the code aspect and coded in my spare time, all the time. Now that I code at work, I do less actual coding outside of work. But I still spend a lot of time reading about how computers work, outmoded protocols, and abstraction design outside of work. Is all that “code?” Maybe.

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                                                    I do. I would do this if I wasn’t being paid, and I know that’s not idle sentiment because I used to do that before my first job, and continue to code for free outside of my day job.

                                                    If I ever get to retire from paid work, I’ll continue doing this.

                                                    I’m not one-dimensional; I have wide ranging interests. I’m just very fortunate that I can make a living doing something I’ve done since I was four years old.

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                                                      Yes and no. I certainly can derive pleasure and satisfaction from solving tricky problems elegantly; but the workaday production of banal software to deal with banal problems is just that – banal. It’s better than digging ditches, and I’m very glad that my early interest in computers has allowed me to make profane amounts of money doing something that is within shouting distance of “fun”, but I am not motivated particularly to code for code’s sake.

                                                      This is largely why I decided that I wanted to get into technical management; I find the problems of people, systems, and culture much more challenging and engaging than those of programming.

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                                                        If you only do it for money and are good at it, then more power to you. Rake in the money as fast as you can so you can move on to something you enjoy in retirement :)

                                                        I, personally, have always enjoyed coding from a very early age. I sometimes don’t enjoy what the people who pay me have me working on, or other things about them, but when I get to actual coding I love it.

                                                        There’s a growing meme that we should all “have other interests” and I suppose that I do. I love my family, my Free Culture advocacy, bicycling and motorcycling. But I spend more time coding than doing any other thing, and I don’t see any problem with that.

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                                                          Rake in the money as fast as you can so you can move on to something you enjoy in retirement :)

                                                          Hah, I wish. My pay is pretty close to my means. I don’t have much pedigree, university, google, or otherwise.

                                                          There’s a growing meme that we should all “have other interests” and I suppose that I do.

                                                          I think that “meme” is just not being a workaholic 🙂

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                                                          I love coding, so much so that it’s what I do during the day if I were independently wealthy and didn’t need to work. I’m lucky that I get paid to do something I enjoy.

                                                          Having said that, a lot of “real work” programming is tedious and frustrating, especially when you work on something you don’t think is necessary, or maintaining someone else’s code.

                                                          Still, programming on a bad day beats a good day of working doing pretty much anything else for me.

                                                          I don’t think you should feel guilty - figure out what matters to you and shape your life around that. If all coding is to you is a way to pay the bills so you get to do what’s important to you, well, there’s no shame in that.

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                                                            The more I do it as a profession the less I like doing it at all. I was a hobbyist for a while but since becoming a professional I find my hobbies have swayed drastically into media and art. I spend a lot of time producing podcasts, doing stand up, producing music, etc. I never code for fun on my own any more.

                                                            Don’t get me wrong though, I enjoy finishing projects, figuring out complex bugs, and implementing feature requests. But I wouldn’t say I have a passion for programming or software development. I have a passion for creating.

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                                                              I’ve been thinking a lot about that myself lately…

                                                              What drives me is to provide value and code by itself has none. What does is using it as a tool to solve a problem. Sometimes you don’t need code to solve a problem; perhaps making a video will do it, designing a wireframe, talking to someone, sending an email, etc.

                                                              I used to get really excited about trying new technologies just for the thrill of it. Where that’s still valid, given you’ll likely learn something, it does not provide direct value. These days my approach is to learn by demand, keeping a list of topics ordered by priority.

                                                              I also think it depends on the project I’m working on. Starting a project from scratch usually is more enjoyable since the risk is lower and you have more freedom which can make things very enjoyable. But if you’re jumping into a five year old e-commerce project to fix a production bug that’s blocking users from buying something, things will be very much not enjoyable.

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                                                                I love coding and have since I was very young, but I think loving it can be an impediment to doing it professionally. I often feel like I was suckered by “do what you love” talk, since being a professional programmer has little to do with loving programming, and can often kill one’s love of it. I’m not convinced it’s a good occupation but it seems to be the one I’m stuck with. I often envy people who got to choose a career in adulthood.

                                                                The aspect of people being worse/better I think is more just that I have written a lot of code since I love doing it, and doing a lot of something will tend to make you better, as well as caring about how you do it. (This aspect can also make you worse in some professional settings, too; caring too much about craftsmanship or artistry can lead a person to ignore what’s important for the business.) One of the important revelations in my career was meeting people who didn’t grow up programming, weren’t passionate about it, and were still extremely competent at their job.

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                                                                  For coding, I love the craft, the theory, and all the pieces.

                                                                  To me it’s like rearranging magnetic fridge poetry to cast spells. I can affect the real world with my BRAIN!

                                                                  I have big piles of books (that I have read) about type theory or theoretical math or everyday pragmatics. I have expensive keyboards I’ve assembled myself. I recently refactored my emacs config down to 250 lines of code. I teach programming for free several times a week. I’m slowly picking up FPGA development, I’ve been building wearable electronics widgets for years.

                                                                  I started doing programming because it was the most fun I could have by myself, and suddenly people started paying me money. I don’t expect programming to be this profitable forever, but it is nice to get paid to do what I love.

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                                                                    I do enjoy writing code, but not so much at work.

                                                                    When I work on my open source projects I can focus on the parts I want to focus on, learn what I want to learn, and basically do what I want. It’s as creative and as challenging as I want it to be, and there’s no pressure to meet deadlines or cut corners or anything like that.

                                                                    Obviously work is different. Sometimes I do really enjoy it, but most of the time it’s a slog. AFAICT, most professions are that way, so I don’t complain too much about it.

                                                                    However, I feel an immense amount of pressure to pretend that I do enjoy coding because there’s a sentiment that people who don’t enjoy it are intrinsically worse at coding that people who do.

                                                                    I’ve never heard anybody claim there was an intrinsic difference, but, like everything else, people who enjoy what they’re doing tend to more engaged, practice more and improve more than people who don’t.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Yes, I enjoy it. Since I was 6yo I’ve liked to tell the machine what to do and make it do things.

                                                                      1. -1

                                                                        Yes.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          Do you think people who don’t enjoy coding have a place in the industry?

                                                                          1. 5

                                                                            Yes, assuming you don’t outright loathe it. How long have you been a professional software engineer?

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              Going on five years. My ability to tolerate it varies on the work environment tbh.