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Programming For A Hobby (i'm Sick)

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I have a confession to make, sometimes I program just for the fun of it. Sure it sounds like an odd hobby, but it does have it's uses. My friend and I play a game called HeroScape. If you are not familiar with it is great and I am not even into war games that much. When playing you have a variety of characters to choose from each worth a set amount of points. You determine how many points teams will be worth and then take turns drafting characters into your army for the battle. Some times choosing a team in the game can be rather time consuming and when you play one on one most times we found we tended to choose many of the same characters, or close to it, each time unless we made a conscious effort not to. Last night we were playing around with using teams chosen at random. Fast Forward to today and I decide that, being a programmer, making a program to choose our teams for us would be reasonable. Thus I fired up MS Access and threw together a program to randomly select our teams for us based on how many points we wanted the teams to be. It took me about an hour or so to finish. The program is ugly, it is basic, and I did not even bother with record sets or the like. It does not even follow some of the basic naming conventions I typically use resulting in controls with descriptive names like "command3" and "texbox12". Eve the methodology behind the application would be a bad idea in a production environment. Despite the flaws that I am fully aware of, and would never do with a client's application, it was fun to put together. Perhaps I am odd but, putting the thing together was some of the most fun I can have at a PC. Along the way I got to pick up a neat trick to select random rows that I have never really had the need for before. So do you program for the the training/practice and money or sometimes for the sheer logical exercise? PS: Access remain, in my humble opinion, MS's best product. It is a wonderful tool for rapid application development. PSS: I would not consider myself quite as odd had I not spent the previous day wandering through a forest with a sketch book and water colors.


Hi Darasen,



You know, you might have inadvertently insulted many people here with the subject line of this thread (the *I'm sick* part) - After all, this is essentially a community of techies and quasi-geeks, and most of us do program for a hobby


OK OK, of course I'm just kidding. So let me just jump right to your question...


So do you program for the the training/practice and money or sometimes for the sheer logical exercise?

Unfortunately, not anymore. My work is taking so much of my time these days, and since I do all of it on a computer, I find myself driven to spend my free time away from computers and delve into other kinds of human, face-to-face interactions.


But years ago, when I had more time on my hands and less things to take care of, I indeed used to spend days in a row just sitting in front of my computer screen, with more cups of coffee than you can count, and a full-and-spilling ashtray, just trying to figure out how to code a weird idea that hit me some days before. And I admit, despite the tension and sleeplessness, those were some of the most exhilarating days of my life. Does this sound like a geeky thing to say? Of course it is, that's what I've been trying to say at the beginning of my reply


PSS: I would not consider myself quite as odd had I not spent the previous day wandering through a forest with a sketch book and water colors.

Well, if you ask me, this actually means that you still have a very nice kind of balance going on for you. You're expressing your creativity in different ways, and you enjoy a variety of activities. Life nowadays might be roughly divided into Nature and Technology, and if you can strike a balance between appreciating and making good use of both, I guess you're having your cake and eating it, too. So kudos


I think you're quite odd because you say you're sick because you program for fun and you do paint in forests . No offence .A lot of people program for fun (if I wouldn't have to spend so much time for school I would start programming, but now I don't have the time to finish a project), most open source applications are made by such people, we need those people. It's even positive you still have a life, a lot of programmers tend to be stuck behind their computers, sitting there all day long, hardly getting some fresh air, the fact that you go outside and enjoy nature as a beautifull thing is a good thing.Ps. Visual Basic for Office is like the worst programming language ever made .Ps2. programming can make life a lot more easy, 10 lines of codes can do a few 1000 operations per second ... imagine doing all that by hand.


Isn't that how every programmer starts? Sure, there is a small number of people who think to themselves "Programming is well-payed, I think I'll do it for a living", but programmers are usually the ones who found it fun at the begining - and still do I started programming at an age of 14, not because I was made to do so, but because it was interesting. The code was ugly, the programs were practically useless, but it suited me.Now everything has reached a completely different level. I still do programming for a hobby, but besides that I also work on paid projects, and I also plan on studying computer science. I fell sorry for those who do what they don't actually enjoy, and I sincerely hope I won't be one of them ten years from now. I'm enjoying programming and don't consider myself odd - why would you do?


Programing for me is a hoby, something to burn my free time on incase i don't have any plans. It might turn into a money making skill in the future, but atm its just for fun and for education. I am studying at two universities, planning on getting 2 degrees in computer programming at the same time , so yeh iam probably a geek, but a socially active geek


I too am one of the hobbyist Programmer. Once in a while, I use C# to quickly create a program for automating a process. My last work was a manga (comic) downloader which used to categorize and download pictures in batches. I do manage to earn some money by selling softwares on my website. I also took up a Game Development Challenge and won it.

For me, its all about building the application and then showing it to the end user. The greatest return I can get from the job is when I manage to surpass the user's expectation. Programming tends to get monotonous at times; and you feel that you aren't doing anything new. That is when the going gets tough and I don't feel like developing anymore applications. I suppose that is what is happening to you, when you say that you are sick of it. In such times, I take a break from it and if possible head back home for a vacation. There, when I can't do programming the passion for programming is rekindled.