The other day I read this post and was inspired by it so much! Catlin Tucker outlines the reasons she is passionate about teaching. Since I am really connected to education (I taught at a university) this very simple idea really resonated with me. So simple yet so powerful!
Today I don’t teach anymore but I am still passionate about my day to day work: Coding! I love it so much that when people ask me how I can do “the same work” for so many years I always answer that “I have never worked a day in my life since my work is also my hobby :)”
We are only here for so long, so it really makes sense to love what we do! Whether our career or something more personal is what we find most passionate in our lives, it is always a great idea to check in once in a while and remind ourselves what drives this passion. Why do we love to “insert passion here”?
Catlin’s blog inspired me to create my own list of why I love to code. Obviously something drives me if I have a Ph.D. in Software Engineering and started a company to develop software.
Being a CEO of a super fast growing startup company is very challenging and I see a lot of friends from the University that once coded all day, never writing a line of code again. Most of them really regret they do not have time to code. That is why I have set a rule for myself to code at least 2 full days a week and on days I have my “CEO hat” on, when the day is over, I try to code at least for 2 hours.
This is the first paragraph of my dissertation which will give you a sense of how much I love computers and coding:
“Full disclosure: I am a geek. I love computers. I love everything about them. I spend eight to ten hours a day in front of a computer screen as I am coding, debugging, or discussing coding practices and methods with other programmers. When I am not programming, I am teaching about computers at the university or am researching and writing about computers as part of my academic work. I truly get excited when a new kernel of Linux is released or when a new Web application that does something never done before becomes available for beta testing. I am deeply impressed when I see smart and beautiful code that does something I know is hard to accomplish. These are moments when I feel that we have only touched the surface of what we can do with computers, and I know that there is a simple solution to the current programming problem I am facing; I just need to get my head around it. With my spare time, I play around with my operating system, trying out new ideas or writing a patch or a bug report to some open source application I use. Most of my day has something to do with computers, until, of course, my son barges into my office and demands we play a “real game”, outside!”
I think it is quite obvious from the above that I really love coding so I wanted to present this little list of 5 reasons I am passionate about it.
Reason #1: I love to code because it is usable art.
Just like architecture, which is an art used by people daily and affects their everyday life, so is code. You can create something and people interact with, use, touch and work with. That is an amazing feeling.
Reason #2: I love to code because it is a team effort.
Since code is a usable art, a whole team of people are connected to the practice. From the client to the account managers, and including the business people, finance, the support team, QA team, designers, product managers and project managers.
Code touches every single person in the organization and makes a difference to every single user that touches it (for good or bad).
Reason #3: I love to code since it makes a difference in peoples’ lives.
When I manage to build something that saves people time and prevents them from doing tedious tasks, I know that I am making a difference in that person’s life. They now have more time to be with their kids, more time to think up ideas (something computers cannot) and more time to connect to people.
Reason #4: I love to code because if I can think it, I can make it a reality.
In programming if you can consistently create a logic that interacts with the other parts of the computer and other applications you can make it happen. All you need to do after you thought it up is actually write it and presto a new thing is created into the world. That really feels like being a wizard.
Unlike physics where physical restraints are in everything you do, there are no limitations in coding besides your ability to think of a logically consistent solution. When writing an application you do not need to think about the strength of the material, what will happen when there is wear and tear or how you will reach an element to fix it 3 years down the road. It is virtual in a good sense and everything that comes with it.
Reason #5: I love to code because it is fun.
The sense of accomplishment when solving a really complicated problem cannot be beat! It just feels as if you have been at the best party in town.