Has becoming a developer changed you?

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Some of us have been programmers since we learned to talk. Some of us are still pretty new to the whole thing.

Do you think your life outside programming has changed, for good or bad, because of it? Has it shaped you as a person?

For instance, have you met more friends, learned to think about everyday situations as a series of a logical processes... or has it made you grumpy and dispirited?

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I feel like I'm more likely to see a problem and feel empowered to solve it. I'm also more likely to start a bunch of projects and stop without finishing them.

I've also attended several conferences and meetups in the last several years. I've spoken at quite a few. I think I've become more socially competent and outgoing than I used to be as a result of being in the development community.

 

Definitely,

  • I write everything as a list now days
  • more pragmatic and efficient (I try to let it go once in a while)
  • higher attention to details (sometimes I feel like sherlock holmes, noticing stuff that others do not)
  • failure scenarios (or paranoia) - I cannot stop analyze every action or scenario where something will go wrong. "If you leave this chair here most likely someone will open that door and trip over it" kind of things. I smell disasters miles away :))

Less friends (but higher quality) definitely, but I do not think is a causality effect from my profession. I think the pragmatism was inside all along, and my profession just made it shine.

 

Big plus from me on attention to details and foreseeing problems.

Once you've seen things go wrong, you cant's stop yourself avoiding them even where is not your responsibility.

Devil is on the details. With that comes affection to debug complex things, it can get really frustrating but so rewarding once you figure it out. In the end you hate yourself for spending so much time on it but proud, because others didn't had patience to do it.

 

The scenarios thing is something I identify with - it's like when you learn an instrument and suddenly start analysing every song that comes on.

 

Yes to all of this! I think problem solving and pragmatism are two points I can relate to heavily.

 

I've been writing HTML since middle school, and it definitely shaped the way I relate to the web. Since I started as a full-time web dev about four years ago, I've had much more of a growth mindset and been better at accepting myself. Also, I've been able to feel more comfortable as myself at work in the tech industry, as opposed to retail, and I've been able to do fun, affirming things like dyeing my hair and coming out as trans. :D

 

Probably for the worse. I don't do anything other than code for the past few years. I forgot how walk, talk, take out the dog, drive a car. Programming has ruined my life. (Joking!)

But honestly, closer to neutral, if not positive impact on my life. It hasn't done anything directly, but it has certainly been a good stress relief, and I hope to make a career out of it in the near future

 

My life outside of programming has definitely been impacted because of programming. Specifically, being able to work remotely (which, in my previous career as a dental tech wasn't possible).

At my current job, I work from home 4 days a week with 1 day in the office. On my work from home days, I usually spend 3-4 hours at my favorite coffee shop. Being a regular there has led me to meeting all kinds of different people and making new friends, even if that's the only place I see them. It's kinda like Cheers. 😁

 

Remote working is such a big thing at the moment isn't it? Being in the industry I sometimes forget that a lot the massive majority of other careers don't have that option.

 

Ok, there is "learning to code" part and "working as a developer". The first one was years and years ago, and it was mostly fun. It definitely changed the way my brain operates but in subtle ways.
The second one is more recent and had more effect on my life in general. This is what I got:
More confidence, because I know I can make things I don't yet know how to make.
On the other hand, imposter syndrome because things are hard most of the time and you don't know how to solve them until you solve them. It feels you are stumbling in the dark most of the way.
Almost no social life and no active hobbies since I started working on my own stuff in addition to the main job. All I want to do is coding and learning more useful things. Or collapse.
My eyesight dropped. And I developed an unhealthy relationship with coffee.
Feeling of safety because I know I can always find a job.

 

Life has totally changed

Parents

Earlier I used laptop for playing games and my parents always stop me from playing games, but now doing some coding stuff they are saying that do not sit for longer period of time, take few nap in between.

Friends

Old friends are always friend, but I met with new friends who love to code.

Music

While working, I just plug-in headphones and listen to music while coding.

 

The one essential change is that I don't think about money anymore 😄I have enough to live comfortably and to focus on other things. Another change is that after working as DB Admin for 7 years I no longer have a feeling of dread and despair when I think about going to the office. Life is to short to spend one-third of your day on something you don't like :)
Also, as others have mentioned programming changes your mindset as you are surrounded by think-alike people, and also cool people in my case.

 

Definitely.

A CS background, and then "programming as hobby" (yes, I chose a different career path, nevermind) taught me a lot about thinking in a different way on everything.

Everyday actions became more shematic, more efficient, now I use to think a lot about how to improve my performance overall, how to not waste time and energy on things, how to put more and more attention on details that can impact, in a way or another, on my efficiency, how to focus on the problem and how to solve it, etc.

The whole thing about learning how to program imo, it's probably that it will shape your mind, it will train it, it will teach you "how to think" and not only "how to build", that's something you can use everywhere on everything, not only at work.

 

Lot of feelings about this one!

I started programming HyperCard when I was 8, and started to learn "real" languages like Scheme and C when I was 13, but I stopped for a while after high school. I went to a really intense STEM program in high school. The dudes in that program were, well, what you might expect. Some of them were great, but there were also a lot of sexist jerks. The program made some attempts to undercut this. My 9th grade CS class involved a tour of different programming paradigms -- Excel, Scheme, boolean algebra for chip design, even visual programming with STELLA -- and was deliberately designed to disorient the hotshot jerks and get them to realize that they didn't know everything. But it mostly didn't work. Also, some of the teachers had #metoo problems -- bad for the girls directly, and a bad influence on the guys.

Even so I spent a lot of that time fooling around with HTML and CSS -- but I didn't think of that as "real programming," just like I hadn't thought of HyperCard as "real programming." "Real programming" was C++, right? And I wasn't all that good at C++.

(God, I'm glad I'm over that attitude!)

After high school, I stopped programming for a while. I went to my local community college's theater program, learned how to paint scenery, and started to have a budding career as a set designer & scenic painter.

This budding career did not involve health insurance. It did involve back problems.

So I got a tech support & web production job. Because I wasn't really a programmer, right? The only things I was good at were HTML and CSS. That wasn't enough to go for PROGRAMMING jobs. And learning Rails on the side to help code fanfiction sites, that wasn't really programming either, and anyway I wasn't that good at it yet.

Luckily, someone saw "Rails" on my resume when I applied for an online community management job and put it in the "programmer" resume pile instead. It completely changed my life. That was a decade ago. Now, the only reason I worry about health insurance is that I started my own business a year ago. Last year I got a free trip to Singapore to speak at a conference. I won't say it got rid of the back problems, but they're a lot better now -- and they mostly only crop up when I code too much from my couch instead of my office.

 

I think becoming a dev didn't change me as much as some other decisions I made along my career.

Sure, I came from a low-income family and becoming a dev made me probably one of the wealthiest people I know. So, well, yes, that changed.

But quitting my day job, starting to work remote and becoming a freelancer change much more. I even think blogging on this platform changed my life more than becoming a dev in the first place.

Things that changed me were mostly about becoming aware of the possibilities life brings.

 

I would say, like some others have said, I tend to think of “happy/sad” paths; how will I handle a “failure”? Gracefully? Do I flip the table and yell “500!!!”? What does “success” look like?

Also, I find myself to have far less tolerance for (what I feel to be) stupid shit with other people. If the relationship is not mutually beneficial, or I realize I simply don’t like someone, I’m much more comfortable “403-ing” them.

 

In some ways yes, I tend to think a lot differently and logically now that I'm working on it full time instead of just a hobby. As for friends I know my social life has taken a downpour as I'm always so busy, that has led to losing some friends that I knew from school, but more importantly, the places I've been in have helped me make new friends through working with them. I'd say that it has changed a lot for the better.

Also, my sleep schedule is ruined, but never really had one.

 

My wife has been an extrovert before came into the dev world, now she's introvert and we like it. Also, we would not have met if she was an extrovert 🤖

 

Can't stand anymore people's behaviours or talks who don't think about consequences even when they don't do something or stay quiet...

 
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Ben Sinclair profile image
I've been a professional C, Perl, PHP and Python developer. I'm an ex-sysadmin. Back in the day, I had a geekcode which I'm not going to share with you. 418 I'm a teapot.

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