in reply to What kind of programmer are you?

Call me a realist-hobbyist. When I was looking around for a new career in the mid-90s, it was obvious to me that all the energy was in computers, and that the programmers were the ones who were driving it. I'd taken a few programming classes in school (Basic for the TRS 80, Pascal for the Apple II), and I've always been vaguely techie, so it wasn't a huge leap.

After a few months of school, I got a job writing tools for site monitoring at a .com. There, I got into the idea of making things that made life easier. If you have to do A-B-C over and over, sooner or later there are going to be mistakes. But if you can make a tool that will do A-B-C, all you have to do is check the results, and you can spend your time on D.

At work, this means writing tools to automate test procedures. The current project is a script which will auto-install daily builds on test servers, then trigger acceptance tests. It's a real challenge because it has to work on three different operating systems.

At home, I user perl for processing mp3s. I have a huge collection that grows all the time. It's an easy task to edit the ID3 tag on one file, but after 100, it gets really old. Using perl, I'm able to automate a lot of the work.

I honestly don't know if it's coding that I like or if I like having the ability to do cool things with code. I guess it's the debate between process and result: did you enjoy the building of the house or the satisfaction of having built the house? Either way, I make hard/boring jobs easy, and get paid for it. Having worked as a DJ, a pizza delivery guy, a barrista, and a programmer, I can say that programming has treated me the best. What I'd say that if spinning records paid the same as churning out code is a different story.

"What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."