17 April 2008

Some Observations on the Nature of Coding

Never explain the details of any coding problem to a True Coder. Their eyes will light up, their brain will start working out how to solve it, and next thing you know they've taken over doing the whole thing. Then things get all awkward if you don't actually use their solution, because all you were doing was thinking out loud or seeking some sympathy. It's better to just not even mention it (or, if they're helping with part of a larger problem, that the larger problem exists).

Never explain the details of any coding problem to a non-coder either. Their eyes will glaze over and they'll start looking for escape routes. Or they'll feel all helpless that they have no idea how to help you with what is obviously an exceptionally upsetting tribulation.

In short, coding woes are meant to be suffered alone*. As are coding triumphs meant to be enjoyed alone, because without any commiseration during the woe suffering, the triumphs won't make much sense to the outside observer. Coding is fundamentally a solitary pursuit.

*unless you're stuck in an IRC channel with me. In which case you might be subjected to random outbursts of High Geek that make no sense....


vince said...

Of coure, it's the non-coders who don't understand why you are having coding problems in the first place and why the project wasn't finished two months ago although they kept changing what they wanted the program to do and you have to interface with another program for which there is minimal documentation.

Yet oddly enough, of all the computer stuff I do, I like coding best.

Tom said...

Woo hoo! The dragons are back!

John the Scientist said...

I don't code much anymore, but I work in lots of situations where the layman expects things to just WORK, when in fact there are a lot of things going on underneath that can and do go wrong.