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Re: It's a problem of motivation, Bob

by Juerd (Abbot)
on May 08, 2004 at 20:43 UTC ( #351758=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to It's a problem of motivation, Bob

What do you do, when your interest is lost, to spark it again?

I spend a lot of time on IRC and here. These days more on IRC than here. I help others code, because I lack inspiration and motivation to code things for myself. Although I am sure that whatever I say to help others has already been said a thousand times before and often much better than I can, I do think helping others code is worth its while.

If you have the skill, but not the motivation, consider sharing your skill with people who have the motivation. Eventually they will share their motivation in return, but it takes time.

The easiest way to help someone is to yell RTFM and refer them to the right documentation. This is also a great way to learn new things yourself. Unfortunately, on Perl Monks, saying RTFM without elaborate explanations and comforting now results in downvotes. (I am convinced that the flood of basic/stupid questions is the direct result of discouraging RTFM-replies.)

Summarized, I suggest that you put away your code for now and help other people, until they help you regain your motivation. You will learn a lot yourself in the process :)

Juerd # { site => '', plp_site => '', do_not_use => 'spamtrap' }

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Re: Re: It's a problem of motivation, Bob
by biosysadmin (Deacon) on May 09, 2004 at 15:42 UTC

    This is really excellent advice. I think that you would be surprised at how much code there is to write in the world. I work in a scientific research field, and the majority of code that has been written for my application is poorly written, poorly designed and generally not commented. I completely agree with your sig "A conclusion is simply the place where someone got tired of thinking," it's applicable here. I've never written a program that I consider finished, there are always new features that I'd love to add, new ideas I'd like to test.

    Helping people learn Perl better is a great way to dredge up useful idioms from the back part of your brain. It can also help you realize how many applications are out there just waiting to be written. Another thing that you could do is to help yourself by using the PM community, post some unreviewed code up in a node and ask people what they think. I'm always impressed by the quality of code review around here.

    One thing that I like to do when I don't feel creative enough to write a new program is to learn a new module. I have no idea what you know or what you are interested in, but over the last week I've learned about Class::DBI a module that has really changed the way that I code database-driven applications.

    I've always thought of writing code as very similar to writing a book or essay. Both are creative processes, both require a great deal of patience, and both can make you susceptible to writer's block. The important thing to remember is that you've been physically hurt by this car accident, and you need to take it easy on yourself for a while. Consider this just a time in which you can improve your Perl Kung-fu significantly, because you have the time to do it.

    One more thing: try to relax as much as possible. Read a book, watch a movie, play cards with some friends. That will probably make you feel better more effectively than any kind of programming, and I think it will improve your attitude about programming a great deal.

    Sorry to hear about the crash, good luck with your recovery.

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