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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

I am a lousy programmer, why people around say the contraty...

I hate coding, i hate it, hate , hate, haaate!...  i get it  , i'm a lousy programmer...

i worked 1 year before with a  annoyingly useless rad tool ,i work with PHP from 4 years now ,  and everybody in the world knows its just an easy language, yet i find myself degladiating pieces of code wich should be simple to a "real"developer, like  bubble sort and dealling with nested arrays.

I mean i get the programming stuff, how programs work , i get the object orientation, i can understand easily most concepts on software development,  it just seems that i'm not made to go there and do this stuff, write code,  its so boring sometimes i think about swallowing my own hand so i can choke and go to the hospital, just to stop the boredom.

I don't mean i hate software or developing, i love it, its sooo exciting to produce useful aplications, to be in a ever evolving market, and working with the internet... its just so amazing.
really everything about the web and the internet is so amazing, i couldn't live without it.

what i really hate is actually having to polish every bit and bite of a idea, i love to have and idea or to help somebody working out an idea, this is just great and enjoying, lets do it this or that way, because of this or that motivation, it's challenging and joyful.  but actually going there and coding seems so slow and boring, i even imagine how to do some stuff - the code itself-  but i don't enjoy doing it, and its most part of the work.

i don't know if i'm just tired of my job, or if  i choose the work work, or even if i have the IQ of a potato and its my fate to have the most boring job ever.

I just don't know whats wrong with me...  people seems to think i'm a pretty good programmer, yet i hate it!
Johny, the slow Send private email
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Here are two solutions I have found to these problems.

1. Experiment with Test Driven Development.

2. Try to solve a general and more generic problem than the specific one you are working on.
Asim Jalis Send private email
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The best part of coding is coming up with a new idea and running with it. I see you like that.

The really boring part is going back and making it all work.

I agree with you. I don't know how to alleviate this. Test Driven development is a good approach. However, it is hard to do if its not part of the process of your company, plus you have to be a VERY fast programmer to use this method.
Contractor Send private email
Thursday, August 27, 2009
You work with a medium that's intangible, to create ephemeral solutions, that work via invisible plumbing - it's totally natural and *very* common to feel a little bit like a fraud because you find something relatively easy yet others think you're a software wizard. My guess is you're not as lousy a programmer as you think. There is some natural selection; *truly* terrible programmers produce nothing of value and in even the worst companies get marginalized into quasi business analyst roles (or architects!).

So, congratulations, you have the skills that very few possess, coupled with what appears to be enough humility to prevent you from being an arrogant prick!
Mark Dochstader Send private email
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Mark, that's so true. That's why hobbies like model railroads or cooking are so popular. Instant gratification: There, I made that.
Drew Kime Send private email
Thursday, August 27, 2009
For most of us here, software development is craftsmanship (note that I am excluding here big software products, which is actually software engineering -- another topic altogether). What I mean by "craftsmanship" is that one has the inspiration and the ideas, but also the technical skills to make the idea a reality. Any kind of craftsmanship  (software, painting, car maintenance, woodwork... pick one) always has fun tasks and boring, procedural and repetitive tasks.

I love software, but I also don't like some tasks associated with it, actual coding being one (I wouldn't say "hate it" though). For me, the solution was the realization that software development is indeed craftsmanship, and as such that is just something that comes with the craft. If I love to have a vision, architect, design, troubleshoot, see actual users using my software, etc... I must have to go through the "boring" task of coding.

Also, it helped me to identify what specific areas of coding that I dislike. Once I reflected upon it, I realized that it is actually a small subset of an entire project. Like you, I hate dealing with stuff like bubble-sorting, etc... but coding (say) a new service that will communicate with other systems, that's pretty cool. Think about it: What % of your project is actually dealing with nested arrays?

Also, Test Driven Development (like Asim and others pointed out) helped me immensely to overcome this issue. TDD is actually very fun, when you can use it.
Felipe Albertao Send private email
Thursday, August 27, 2009
OP sounds like you are more suited to be an analyst/product manager, rather than a coder/software engineer.
Andy Brice Send private email
Thursday, August 27, 2009
TDD is probably the leading *cause* of this guy's problems. To hold it out as a solution for how to make programming less rote and repetitive and more interesting is laughable. It's just another technique, people, sometimes useful, sometimes not. The zealotry it engenders is truly baffling. Johnny, my man, ignore these TDD wing-nuts, ignore any kind of process, or any sense of what you *should* be doing, and just try some mini-project that is fun and interesting to you. Build it in a sloppy way. Be Jackson Pollock rather than M.C. Escher. You can reapply process later. For now you just need to rediscover a love of programming for the sheer joy of it. If you can't find that joy even under the best of artificial circumstances, you might want to think about a new career. Maybe you can get a job selling TDD snake oil to gullible silver-bullet-seekers.
someone Send private email
Thursday, August 27, 2009
"what i really hate is actually having to polish every bit and bite of a idea"

If you hate to polish your work, well... maybe you should stop coding and try another profession.

Software development is about good, explosive ideas but is also about the detail: polishing small bit of codes, rethinking , rewriting...

Marketing is all about thinking about products, what value they add to customer, etc. Maybe you should go that way...
Javier Send private email
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I can't think of any profession that doesn't polish the little bits - isn't that what makes it a profession? So if it's software, carpentry or heart surgery you better love it enough to take care of the tiniest of details.

Oh wait - you could be a software architect; apparently they never have to worry about the small things, like implementation.

I do agree with the post that suggested trying something new within the domain - perhaps not the sloppy approach proposed, but do something new to you and you'll make plenty of mistakes. A simple game for the handheld market, a web site, a utility for only your personal use. You've got to have some thoughts...
Mark Dochstader Send private email
Thursday, August 27, 2009
"Oh wait - you could be a software architect; apparently they never have to worry about the small things, like implementation."


good one
Javier Send private email
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Interesting topic! People are different. Some tend to see it as a puzzle. The final idea is the picture on the box, only you don't get to actually see it before you start.

The lines of code are the pieces of the puzzle, but you have to create them, cut each one of them out of, let's say, wood (c++) or foam (flame here).

Then you have to draw the little drawing on each piece, and polish the corners so it fits with the other pieces.

Less pieces is better. Polished pieces fit better together. And the final picture was actually a  zebra, not a giraffe.

I think it's fun. The wife thinks I am weird for staring at a bunch of text for hours and going through the emotional rollercoaster of someone watching a suspense-horror-drama blockbuster.

Ari Telias Send private email
Friday, August 28, 2009
I think you have all been trolled.


Gene Wirchenko
Gene Wirchenko Send private email
Friday, August 28, 2009
> I can't think of any profession that doesn't polish the little bits - isn't that what makes it a profession?


I think it depends on what "polish" means. If it means for the consumer, then there are lots:

* Politics: Please name a single instance where this has truly benefited the customer more than the business.  :)

* Banking: Please name a single instance where this differs from politics. :p

* Finance: I believe that this industry is entirely about polishing things (for itself) so that it can convince people to give it money to play with and make money for itself at no risk to itself, while putting the entire risk on the consumer (who invariably gets screwed). How does it differ from Las Vegas? Oh! They've got booze and hookers in Las Vegas to make it fun for the consumer to get screwed! If there's an instance of the finance industry polishing things for the consumer, I'd like to know. :P

Oh... My mistake! There's lots of polish in those! Polishing (sharpening) the blade... :P


Sorry... Couldn't resist. :D
Ryan Smyth Send private email
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Every profession taken to a certain level of professionalism is going to need  important amounts of attention to detail and polishing.
I think the only thing that can save you from boredom and frustration is to work on something you truly believe in.
It will always will feel less like work and more like fun if you love the gadget, feature, invention you are trying to create..
Michael Zenbach Send private email
Sunday, August 30, 2009

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