Today I really got back into coding in a big way. The iron grip of CiV has loosened some and I am now beginning to really hammer out my Retribution Paladin spreadsheet for the upcoming expansion. Going back to coding after a long vacation really reminds me of some of the incredible highs and lows that it brings; it triggers memories of long, late night programming sessions in the labs at university.
Strangely coding ends up being much like an addictive video game in that I lose time while doing it. I sat down early in the morning to do just a little work and ended up noticing that I was hungry hours and hours later. I kept thinking that I had lots of time to do the chores of the day but I ended up doing very little because huge chunks of my day just kept vanishing as I struggled against the machine and against my own incompetence. I love the feeling of a program that hums along, doing precisely what I intended. I love finally finding that stubborn bug and crushing it and watching the numbers flow just the way they should. That high of success is very reminiscent of a video game high I think, just as the drudgery of bug hunting is like the drudgery of killing more monsters to level up.
The most amusing part of all this is that I grumble about my code and Wendy comes over to try to help. She is good at coding and a fresh perspective really does help catch bugs a lot of the time but I have a tremendous independent, proud streak that wants to do it all myself. I don't want help, I don't want someone to wander along and crush the bug I have been hunting... then I still get the annoying part but without the sense of triumph at the end! Of course, I do want help because I want my program to work in the end and I want the bugs squashed, even if I don't get to do all the squashing myself. I am not going to order her away because she is really helpful, but a voice in the back somewhere is shouting
"NO! Don't accept help, you can do it yourself. If you let someone else fix the problem you LOSE!"