Non writing pursuits

Diary of a mad mind

I grew up fairly glued to a computer (a Commodore 64, to be precise), and used it in two ways. Firstly, I became a fairly heavily self taught programmer, and either through ability or just general messy programming, managed to push the put c64 to it’s limits towards the end of my teenager years. I also read a voracious amount, and used my c64 for something that it wasn’t really built for. Writing.

Of the many things I did in college, programming and computers was eventually one of them, and I then spent a goodly amount of my working life as a web designer (another self taught skill, with my introduction to the web in the early 90’s via an external 33.6k modem!). Life conspired however, and after a lengthy period off work, I found myself pondering, what should I do next?

My work councillor at the time ran me through some strange tests and eventually discovered that I was probably best suited to something creative. Why, I asked, when all I’d ever done was technical and such. I certainly did like creative things, and even continued writing all the way through my college years (and then on the net, self published for free). Ah, she said, you have been trained to think logically, but creative and instinct are more your domain.

So I ended up as a librarian. With heavy technical leanings when I can manage it. Ideally, I’d like to be a librarian with a heavy slant towards how libraries are progressing.

There’s something rather nice about programming, as aposed to writing. You know when you get something right in programming. It either works, or it comes back at you in a steaming heap telling you it won’t work. Writing isn’t much like that. Whether it works or not is a far less immediate thing. Programming is simple. Learn the rules, and run with them. Writing is effort. Learn the rules and practice with them, then break the rules, and go with what works for you, and what gets results (I think).

Long story short, I haven’t written today, but boy does it feel good to find progress in the straight forwardness of code. Code never talks back or bruises you, and there’s always something pretty at the other end. Results! Having said that, there are horrible downsides to coding, as all coders will know. But for today I could at least work with the basics, and everything was good.

Tomorrow I should write.

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2 thoughts on “Diary of a mad mind

  1. I think programming (at least at high-level houses) has become more like writing. Just because some code “works” doesn’t make it correct anymore. Is it spaced correctly? Does it use the correct libs? Is it commented? Does it use correct patterns and coding style? How fast is it? Is it properly refactored to allow reuse and utility calls? What about unit tests?

    I’ve been through the programming gauntlet, and for right now, I feel that writing is easier. I’m just looking at writing as learning a new programming language called ENGLISH (enigmatic nuances give literature it’s shiny hue)

  2. I believe you too. I’ve only ever worked solo on very small projects (comparatively). Once I worked on a two person project. Mostly my ideas are too nutty to rope people in on (let alone for testing).

    Hmmm … maybe I should take on board your comparison of writing and programming. I’m interested to see there are other people in the same boat.

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