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May 2011
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Ys [userpic]

I hate programming.

This is not a new realization. However, I've been visited by the Mallet Of Reminding in the last few days at work.

Now, some of you know I'm a programmer of sorts for a living, so you're wondering how this makes any sense. To which I respond, I'm not a programmer, I am a software designer.

Writing production-quality code requires attention to detail. Making sure every codepath is sane, tested, and so forth.

I suck at that kind of detail. I can take complex abstract concepts and make them concrete, sketch them out so that someone who is good at that kind of detail can see exactly where they need to fill everything in.

To use an art analogy, my talent is taking a blank sheet of paper and a pencil and drawing the absolute minimum number of lines to get you to see the image I want you to see. Production programming needs the detail and the shading and so forth to get from there to photorealistic.

When I pick up tasks that involve having to fill out the detail, my productivity drops, I come home whiney and exhausted, and I am just generally miserable. I can do it, but it is so very draining.

Hey, self. Stop signing up for those tasks. You know you suck at them and don't like them. Stop doing it! Duh. Stick to the stuff that you're good at and enjoy.


Current Mood: annoyedannoyed


I miss programming.

"the Mallet of Reminding"

Ooooh I like that. I've been whacked upside the head with that a few times in recent weeks myself.

I hear you there. I really love software design - but actual implementation is a bitch. About the only way I enjoy the monotonous side of programming is to get myself into strange states of mind - massive sleep dep, ridiculous caffeine overdose, or accentuating my natural manic-depressive cycle (manic is for design, depressive is for the plodding implementation).

Wheee. Now I'm off to do a round of bugfixing...

Funny you should mention the strange states you need to be in. I have a pack of Vivarin in my desk drawer! hehe

Yeah, but how do you "stop signing up for those tasks?" There's about five million times more need for Implementation Drones than there are Design Queen Bees. I wouldn't mind being high-level myself, but in the universe I inhabit, that appears to be a rarefied position reserved either for

- 1. People who sell themselves and their visionary abilities more aggressively than I am willing or able to self-promote;

- 2. People who manage to convince the world that they are Software Design Gods through some arcane bullshit technique I have never been taught;

- 3. People who have been rewarded with a high-level design job because they have done the requisite amount of time in the trenches (or worse, promoted to a design position to get them out of a programming task because they write bad code. Um, if their code sucks, do you really want them doing design?)

Mind you, in my current state where I can't get a job for trying, I may be a wee tad cynical about the sanity level of the industry. I don't even want one of the sexy jobs and I can't get so much as a peep.

For me, it's pretty easy, I just have to stop saying, "Yeah, I'll do that task" in the planning meetings. *grin*

Which doesn't help you much. I do actually have one of the architect-level jobs (never mind that that's a step down from what I was doing before, *sigh*).

I'll ponder a bit about a more useful answer for you. (However, your "arcane bullshit technique" is certainly a part of any useful answer.)

You and I are more alike that you know. This is where I'm best, too, but I've never been able to get a job doing it. The closest I've come was when I was a rapid prototyper, and I'd throw together something to sell the client that would then get handed off to the regular development squad to turn into a real product.

I hate doing the (largely) mindless, repetitive crap that goes into turning a design concept into working code. On the other hand, I love going through already written code and finding the one line that makes it not work right.

I completely understand and agree with you about this attention to detail issue. My job relies heavily on paying attention to detail all the time. I find that I am also more drained when I have a big project where it is critical that I spend large amounts of time reviewing every detail to ensure it is accurate. I get bored too!

I like to work on a project and have someone else review my work and find the problems. Although, I do have that too now and I hate having to fix my errors after the fact. It creates so much more work for me.

Yesterday while on my lunch break I met Matt and I suggested to him that we should both just leave Wendy's and take a vacation right then and there. Screw going back to work! Then I whined that my lunch break is only and hour and should be like two or three. I want a nap! He just laughed at me. :-/

So anyways, I know what you are going through and if after researching and reviewing you find the absolute answer and you have rechecked yourself several times then let me know what the solution is.

IF work=exhaustion THEN go_home ELSE loop