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Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?

by monarch (Priest)
on Oct 20, 2005 at 00:30 UTC ( #501480=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

..so here it is. I'm taking a break from my job as a Perl Programmer, and on holidays in another country! Yes, I'm loving it.. but why do I find myself in internet cafes every so often looking up the perlmonks website!

Perhaps it is a sickness, a sadness, a passion, or something other..

Are other perlmonks so addicted to their profession/hobby? Or can you get away from a computer for weeks at a time with no withdrawal?

Comment on Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Oct 20, 2005 at 01:02 UTC
    Programming is my hobby as well as my profession.

    *ponders*

    That was a lie. Solving certain kinds of puzzles is my hobby and the kinds of programming I do in my professional work tends to be about solving those types of puzzles.


    My criteria for good software:
    1. Does it work?
    2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?
Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by davido (Archbishop) on Oct 20, 2005 at 01:24 UTC

    I had no problem spending two and a half weeks out of the country on vacation with my wife and her family without setting foot in an Internet cafe to visit PerlMonks. The few times that my wife and I considered stopping in to "check our email" we both shrugged and said, "Naw, we're on vacation." That meant vacation from all things ordinary. Even if email isn't technically work, it's still ordinary life to us. We were on vacation. The email and web could wait.

    When I arrived back home I found that PerlMonks was still here, my email had been patient in waiting, and I was healthier for having taken the break.


    Dave

Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by Anonymous Monk on Oct 20, 2005 at 02:56 UTC
    I don't program much at home anymore.

    For one thing, I find that anything worth doing has typically been done much better by a team of other people. ;-) Anything I could create would pale in comparison to the dedicated efforts of thousands of smarter people, so I just don't bother. I guess you could call that laziness, or just cynicism.

    I'm also worried about IP laws, both in general, and the fact that I'm also a computer programmer by profession. My employer owns anything my mind creates that's in any way related to the work I do, and that may or may not include programs I write. I'm a salaried employee, so I don't have "work hours" and "non-work hours"; as far as I know, anything I do belongs to the company.

    So, to be on the safe side, I just don't code anymore. I guess you could call that prudence, or paranoia, depending on your politics. I've thought about hiring an IP lawyer to clarify my own reading of the IP statues, but a good lawyer around here starts at $600/hr, and goes up from there. Add to that need for a second or third opinion (legal opinion isn't legal fact, and unless you've confirmed something from several sources, there's little reason to hold faith in a single person's point of view), and it starts to add up to be some real money. I just can't stomach paying that much just to learn what I can ostensibly find out for myself by reading the statues directly. So, I just read the laws myself, and do my level best to avoid anything that might possibly infringe. For me, that means not programming at all, and limiting my other hobbies carefully. Anything that involves creating a creative work may fall afoul of copyright; anything that involves new ideas or techniques may also be illegal under patent law. Anything that involves performance, like dance steps, can under copyright as well. I'm not sure if that includes martial arts kata, but I worry sometimes. The line between the two isn't that great, and dance steps are specifically included in the Copyright Act.

    Lately, I tend towards studying ancient history, and trying to make medieval style crafts, because I know that's mostly legal, though it's often hard for novices like me to distinguish modern works "inspired by" ancient techniques from things I can legally make or study. It's also very hard to distinguish ancient writings activities which have been recorded in the ancient past; it's important, because copyright starts on the date something is written down, not the date it's thought of. Native Indians, for example, have been complaining because people have been going around writing down their ancient folklore, and then forbiding the natives from reciting their own folklore without a license. Legally, it's still an infringement of copyright to recite a copyrighted work out loud, so the natives are breaking the law if they tell their stories. It's an issue that the government has actively sought public commentary on; but the law hasn't been changed yet. So, yes, I'm paranoid, but not without reason. These laws are tricky and confusing, and not always what you'ld expect!

    For example, translations count both as the original author's work, and as a distinct work by the translator, so you can't just make a copy of, say, the Tao Te Ching without checking the copyright date of the translation, too. You're only allowed to quote from a work for academic or reporting purposes, and you're legally required to attribute the source if known. It's tricky stuff indeed!

    So, no, I don't code, because I can't prove it's legal for me to do so, and it hurts my head every time I try to find a way to do it. I try very hard to be a law abiding citizen, so this private coding stuff is just not for me anymore. *sigh* I do miss it sometimes, though. My work environment doesn't always challenge me.

    I do suffer from email withdrawl: it's how my friends plan outings and events for more than a few people. If I want to hook up with five or six friends for an outing, sure, I might call them all. If I just want to send out a general invite to the 30 or so regulars, and see if I can get eight or ten to show up, (say at a concert, a party, or just a dance club), I'll send out an email to my friend's mailing list, and see who shows up.

    Plus, I miss my friend's livejournals, and so on... some of my friends live hundreds of miles away, so I can't just walk over and see how they're doing, and the information density in a journal posting is sometimes much higher than a random phone call. People tend to post when they've got *news* to share, as opposed to random conversations, when they forget what's been new in their life...

    So, yes I'm very addicted to computers... but not to programming. Programming just isn't worth it.

      So, no, I don't code, because I can't prove it's legal for me to do so.

      This reason for abstaining from one of the things you like in life was damn sad. :-(

      Anything I could create would pale in comparison to the dedicated efforts of thousands of smarter people, so I just don't bother. I guess you could call that laziness, or just cynicism.

      Check out my scratchpad. It has taken a long time (*).

      But I don't think anyone ever did something like that before. It makes some kinds of modelling applications possible to implement that is very, very hard without this module.

      Besides, those commercial programs are made with teams of programmers, so join a team of people doing something (-: there are few idiots like me which aren't rms, but still tackle really large problems :-)

      (*) Documentation was hard to write without a threat to make me starve. This winter I had allergy problems with my stomach and lost 15 kg. It was no fun, but I have learned that documenting is worse than starving. Will make it even harder next time I have to write documentation on a job. :-(

          I don't program much at home anymore.

      I don't program at home any more. Then again I don't program at home any less! :-)


      Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
      Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg
      So, yes I'm very addicted to computers...but not to programming.

      That made for a pretty interesting and slightly sad read - thanks for posting it. I find that I'm just the opposite. I'm addicting to the programming along with puzzles and problem solving in general, yet I'm not crazy about computers... at all. They are more of a means to an end.

      It's a little strange... I can appreciate the conveniences that they provide, but at the same time I resent my increasingly dependance on computers and various other electronic gadgets.

      Rob
Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by pg (Canon) on Oct 20, 2005 at 03:16 UTC

    I am doing less and less coding at work, but I enjoyed coaching other people. However I do coding at home to make it up.

    Programming is my drug.

Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by spiritway (Vicar) on Oct 20, 2005 at 05:25 UTC

    I'm not a professional programmer. As such, it's probably easier for me to be "hooked" into programming, than someone who has to do it for a living, and usually isn't working on projects s/he has chosen.

    I find that I get into some project - whatever has caught my fancy - and spend a whole lot of time on it, often staying up late,and so on. Then I eventually finish, and spend some time recovering.

    Which brings me to another point - when is a project "finished"? In the real world, it must be when you've met the various criteria for it as determined beforehand. In my case (and I suspect in others'), there really is no official "done" state. Once I accomplish my initial goal, there are always those little bits you want to throw in, the "creeping featurism". I'd say that I don't so much finish a project, as abandon it.

Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by parv (Priest) on Oct 20, 2005 at 08:57 UTC

    Regardless of the specifics of a job i may hold, programming is something i do in my free time often.

    It is not the programming or "Perl Monks" that i am addicted to really, but reading science and computer technology, Unix in particular, related news /at least/ daily. And then some newsgroups more often.

Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by TedPride (Priest) on Oct 20, 2005 at 09:19 UTC
    Assuming I have sufficient books, DVDs, board games, etc, I have no objections to leaving my computer turned off, assuming I have no college courses or work scheduled. However, I always do.
Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Oct 20, 2005 at 10:33 UTC
    We are in the "Age of the Expanded Mind". I think TV was the start of it. We could sit in the privacy of our homes, and get a view of the whole world thru the TV camera.

    Computers take us to the next level....interactivity with the whole world from the privacy of our homes. This is going to become bigger than most of us realize; where quite soon, we will all be capable of being our own TV stations, sending out our "channel" over the internet.

    So I think you have to distinquish between "programming" and "programming for the internet".

    Personnally, if there was no internet, my fascination with programming computers would quickly fade.


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh
      Personnally, if there was no internet, my fascination with programming computers would quickly fade.
      True for me too.
Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by perlsen (Chaplain) on Oct 20, 2005 at 12:12 UTC
    Programming is a kind of Profession exactly.
    In this profession We get problems and solutions from different Knowledgable persons.
    These Solutions and their Approach gives us new innovative way of thinking than the original what we had already.
    like these kind of sites shows the Global Knowledge Sharing among the users in a friendly way.

    For this purpose only I am always hitting this site.

    --perlsen
Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by Courage (Parson) on Oct 20, 2005 at 12:41 UTC
    I am quite absorbed.

    I take Perl everywhere I go, thank goodness it is possible to have it on PocketPC device.
    There are some GUI programs (with Tcl::Tk module) that I did while being in gym, and mostly do miscellaneous experiments

Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by McDarren (Abbot) on Oct 20, 2005 at 14:52 UTC
    s/Programming/Perl/

    I'd classify myself as a "Perl enthusiast".

    Although I do write a fair amount of Perl code at work, I do it more by choice rather than because it's what I've been assigned to do. Coding is not my primary role and I'm certainly not a Professional Programmer by any stretch of the imagination.
    I guess I'm in a rather fortunate (and perhaps envious) position whereby I'm pretty much able (most of the time) to choose my own projects and set my own schedule. And I choose to assign myself tasks that require me to learn and use Perl :D

    And yes, I'd say I'm pretty much hooked on Perl ;)

    I have several weeks of time off work coming up over the next 2-3 months, and I plan to spend a fair chunk of that studying Perl and working on a few of my own little Perl projects :)
Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by bluto (Curate) on Oct 20, 2005 at 15:07 UTC
    Perhaps it is a sickness...

    That's probably about right. I caught the disease when I was 13, back in the mid 70s, and taught myself to program from wall charts and left over program listings while hanging around in a college computer lab. People were actually foolish enough to let me use punch cards, paper tape, mainframes, and other great stuff. If you haven't seen a card sorter, hand mounted a disk pack, or whistled a carrier tone, you haven't lived. :-)

    I still love to code, and will continue to do it until I go blind and/or senile (no management for me) -- so I think it's terminal.

Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by Moron (Curate) on Oct 20, 2005 at 15:50 UTC
    I would be surprised if you could honestly claim to be making the most of your holiday. Are you sure you:

    a) met and talked to enough new people?

    b) did enough activities available locally, sharing the experience with other people?

    If the answer is yes to both then either you picked the wrong holiday or you should have no time to even look for an internet café.

    -M

    Free your mind

      I feel like I'm making the most of my holiday.. I'm not online 24/7.. in fact maybe an hour a day if that, which is much less than my usual intake.

      Met and talked to quite a few new people.. the night life is pretty good..

      As for activities.. sometimes it is nice to have a holiday without "achieving" too much. I have caught up with friends and just not had to work for a whole week - which was my goal. Sometimes people go on honeymoons or family holidays and they end up being far more work than they wished for..

        Activities can also be used as an excuse to get time out if you need it (I often do!) from the people you went on holiday with and meet new people. Of course, you still might find them coming along and taking photos from the sidelines!

        -M

        Free your mind

Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by artist (Parson) on Oct 20, 2005 at 17:14 UTC
    If you have ability, for learning from non-traditional (vary in every case) sources, you can easily disengange yourself from a particular source. Being free from source, is a great challange, we face in life. It might have to do with fear, security etc..

    Create more pictures of yourself in different things, at different places, at different times and live accordingly. That can give more views about yourself, rather than constrained view of a particular source.

    --Artist
Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by steelrose (Scribe) on Oct 20, 2005 at 19:35 UTC
    I got into programming as a hobby, and developed it into a career.

    I was so wrapped up in my career at one point, that I had to put aside the hobby.

    Now I've found a balance of both.

    If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day.
    If you teach a man to fish he will buy an ugly hat.
    If you talk about fish to a starving man, you're a consultant.
Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by sh1tn (Priest) on Oct 20, 2005 at 20:15 UTC
    The Monastery was&&is&&(I->hope(will be)) part of my life.


Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by blue_cowdawg (Monsignor) on Oct 20, 2005 at 20:29 UTC
        Are other perlmonks so addicted to their profession/hobby? Or can you get away from a computer for weeks at a time with no withdrawal?

    I have many passions so it is easy for me to get away from programming for a while and do something else. And I have many things to choose from. In no particular order except wife/family are on top for a reason:

    • Wife.. married since 1977 and we are still "sweethearts" and spend as much time as healthy and possible doing things together.
    • Two offspring that are right now at the stage they want to do things on their own. This seems to happen at two points in a "child's" life. When they are in their mid-teens and when they first get out of college. I'm positive they'll look for Mom and Dad's attention again soon. I know my wife and I went through those stages! :-)
    • Fishing. Salt and freshwater.
    • Cooking.
    • Brewing beer
    • Training and showing my dogs
    • Feeding and helping house homeless families
    • Rescuing homeless dogs
    • and other things

    Once in a while I deliberately go vacationing somewhere where there are no internet cafes, no internet connections and get away from all this technology I live with every day of my life. I think that is a very healthy thing for anybody to do.


    Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
    Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg
Re: Just How Absorbed Are You Into Programming?
by Perl Mouse (Chaplain) on Oct 24, 2005 at 09:55 UTC
    Vacation is the only time I get away from computers, like last week, when we spent a week in Scotland. But then I'm really away. I do bring a laptop, but that only gets booted once a day to move the pictures from my digital camera to harddisk - and to view those pictures. No programming. And we only use an internet cafe if we're away for several weeks and we'd want to send a message to family and friends. And even then I let my wife do the emailing.
    Perl --((8:>*

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