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Why do you code?

I've been coding for almost 2yrs and I still kept asking myself the same question: Why do I code?.

I was 16/yo when I started to write codes using HTML and CSS only. I have this mentor, adviser, and teacher in our school. His name is Cris. And while I was downloading some pirated tutorials from udemy in our computer lab. Cris suddenly approaches me and ask me if I want to join a Web Design contest in our school. My response to Him (with a pessimist mind) was "I'm sorry but I cannot, because I know nothing about writing codes".

Cris, knowing that I don't have any experience with programming neither design still ask me the question. Then He told me that there is a cash prize for the winner and there is a slight chance that you will lose from the competition plus in our school programming and Web Design is oblivion. So I took the opportunity not because of what He just told me but what He thinks about me. That I can do more so I started searching tutorials from youtube related to Web Design or using HTML, CSS to convert the design into a static Website.

Long story short; I won the contest not because I was good but because I'm the only contestant.

After a month or so. I still kept on thinking about pursuing this career (programming). So I started to pull up my browser and search some online tutorials on How to program while I was going through this path. I've realized that there are an unlimited possibilities that I can do with this thing that I also consider as superpower or I can also mentor somebody like what Cris did to me.

Now I want to ask: Why do you code?
just put your answers down below in the comment section.

Top comments (66)

theycallmenucci profile image
Steve Antonucci

Coding for me is a means to express myself. Much like an artist and their canvas. I enjoy creating things, learning things, and solving problems.

It is as much a passion as it is a hobby and a career to me.

It is my escape.

nileshpharate profile image
Nilesh Pharate

Well said. Same with me.

oieeaaaa profile image
Joe Author

Thanks Steve, I really appreciate your answer. :D

jenkinsdev profile image

Ditto. Couldn't have put it better myself

dihfahsih1 profile image
Mugoya Dihfahsih

It's indeed a passion

rcpp85 profile image

Long story short: Because I have bills to pay.

I almost gave up codding and the entire IT field, but this is what I know to do and I am good - not superb, not mediocre, a little above the average.

Programming is just that for me, nothing else, nothing less.

PS.: I felt old when you said "when I was 16" and mentioned Udemy. "Was Udemy already a thing in the 00s??? ..... OOOOOOOHHHHH."

oieeaaaa profile image
Joe Author

I felt old when you said "when I was 16" and mentioned Udemy. "Was Udemy already a thing in the 00s??? ..... OOOOOOOHHHHH."

I didn't mean to offend, I'm just really terrible at english my vocabulary is lacking to find a better word. I'm sorry :)

I don't really know when Udemy was released, But I think you have books that is adequate to supply your needs to learn programming. And I also find myself learning more by reading books, articles, or posts here @dev than watching some online tutorials. :)

P.S.: I'm only 18yo :D, no offense. You are awesome!


dihfahsih1 profile image
Mugoya Dihfahsih

On top of it paying your bills, it gives you a best option to express yourself with ideas that are hard to explain to a lehman

fpuffer profile image
Frank Puffer • Edited on

I like to create things or improve existing things. Coding promises the ability to achieve this with very little effort, just by typing a few lines. There are almost no material restrictions as in other areas, just available memory and calculation speed.

In practice however, most of the time it seems that this promise is not kept. But this is mostly because of things that are outside the actual coding, like

  • unclear or conflicting requirements,
  • poorly documented or buggy systems your code has to interact with.

So after more than 20 years of coding professionally, it is still the favourite part of my work.

oieeaaaa profile image
Joe Author

Yeah, at first you have this beautiful and cute pet as you start the project. But the more the requirements the more the complexity there is, and based on my experience I had to deal with adding this nasty "band-aids" to our codebase.

So after more than 20 years of coding professionally, it is still the favourite part of my work

This is awesome!
I've just realized that I need more energy and passion to reach this kind of experience.

Thanks! :)

buphmin profile image

Besides the obvious of needing an income xD I find the problem solving enjoyable. Making software that has a final result on the end user is very rewarding. I remember a long time ago I used to make reactive character sheets in Excel for D&D. In a way making a character sheet like that is like programming in a framework. There were if statements everywhere, defining cells by name (variables), looking up values in a table with vlookup (sql anyone?). The end result is you could dropdown an item and it would change your damage, stats, everything automatically. All of my friends loved it at the time and it was nice to have all the work done for you. I think it is moments like those that are the reason I really got into coding and continue to enjoy it.

sunnysingh profile image
Sunny Singh • Edited on

I started very young as well, 13 in fact. It's a curiosity that led to a hobby that led to a career.

Personally I really enjoy how coding can be both creative and analytical. I can architect and write clean code while also caring about how pleasant the interface is to use.

Most importantly though, it lets me build stuff for people that solve real problems.

warichter1 profile image

Just like to build.

I learned to program in my late teens, at the time a hobby. I can build systems from the ground up, and extend across multiple platforms. I’ve also worked in construction, do woodworking and build robots.

Always come back to programming. Programmming for almost 40 years now.

areknawo profile image
Arek Nawo

I'm a very creative kind-of guy (or at least that's what I think about myself). Having my first encounter with programming language at the age of 9 I didn't really understand it. But I saw potential in it. Because I love creating new things, I thought of programming and various other virtual and creative goods as an endless playground with limitless possibilities. That's what made me learn how to code in my free time and that's why I code everyday.👍

oieeaaaa profile image
Joe Author

thought of programming and various other virtual and creative goods as an endless playground with limitless possibilities

This is also what sustains me in coding. The limitless possibilities that you lies at your fingertips. That I can also use to serve others or to build something for yourself.

I've visited your personal site I'm really inspired to build such a beautiful website like this. I wonder if you use some third party api for you blog posts?

areknawo profile image
Arek Nawo

Thanks for kind words. As for the site, there's only 3rd party notifications service if that's what you wanted to hear. Besides that, the blog is based on Ghost platform and the theme is a custom version of this OSS theme. Still, I'm planning on redesigning it from the ground up. 😉

killants profile image

For me, personally, it's all about the "puzzles"...
Getting a problem to be solved and solve it! The satisfaction on complete a puzzle amouses me since i was 17 and start learning c++ to occupy my free time (@ the time i was stuck in a hospital bed, without any hobby). For sure i had already an interest about all the unknown "witchcraft" going on in computer world, and that free time was just what i needed to get my learning process started and unveil all this computer secrets.

The biggest plus sign in all this is of course getting paid to do it! :D
I'm not a big brainy (trust me, i'm not XD), but getting to learn new stuff every day while i'm getting paid to do so... Man it feels so good!

So.... Why do i code? Well, at some point of my life it was what made sense to me! It's what i like to do!

kenjibaby profile image

I code because it helps to keep my mind occupied. I also love the feeling of accomplishment that comes over me after I conquer code that had me stumped for hours or sometimes days. The feeling of accomplishment can last for days at a time. So for me, its a way of getting lit.

damcosset profile image
Damien Cosset

I've tried quite a few things in my life. Coding is the one thing where I actually felt something positive, I felt I could grow in this domain. I don't think I would call it a passion. I just happened to fall into it in my mid-20's when I was looking for a career where I could be happy. I guess it was there at the right time and the right place.

oieeaaaa profile image
Joe Author

I'm just glad you discovered this career.

Thanks Damien! :)

simoroshka profile image
Anna Simoroshka • Edited on
  1. Dopamine. Code has this amazing quality: it either works or it doesn't and in many cases you can get almost instant feedback.
  2. Money. I went into an IT program in uni mainly because I knew I will always be able to find a job and maybe a well paid one.
  3. Building meaningful and useful things. Hopefully.
mak12776 profile image
Mohammad Amin Khakzadan • Edited on

I'm just coding to make programs for others to use.

Programming is just worthless and time-consuming. When you are programming computers, is like that you are just playing with your toys. You connect the legos together and make your tiny lego castle. And then you can enjoy looking at it. But when you share your castles with someone else, you will get real pleasure because they also can play with your toys and enjoy them.

But most developers do this for money, they're ignorant of how much gaming with computers can be enjoyable.

danjmillier profile image
Daniel Millier

For me, I find it relaxing. I also really enjoy listening to music. When I get an idea for something small--even just a simple static site layout--the headphones go on, VS Code is open and away my thoughts go!

tuisgemaak profile image

Coding is addictive. It can be a hobby as well as a career. Solving problems stimulates the human mind and coding is just that. I see it as a brain sport. And we all need those for one day when we are old and can't necessarily be physically active. Some people develop chess skill to address this future problem. I think coding is a great solution for the "old age sport" problem.

rahucrux profile image
Rahul Mourya

Thought that one day I'll make my own J.A.R.V.I.S (about to start).
And Iron Man's Armour which require some serious coding skills.

erdo profile image
Eric Donovan
  • I like to make things (from wood, metal, paper, whatever) - but with code I actually get paid for what I make.

  • Each day at work, I make or fix something. I almost never have day when I just have meetings, and it feels like nothing changed at all (a lot of non developers have days like that)

  • Coding feels like solving a fun puzzle, or meditation to me, if I don't code I actually miss it - which is pretty cool for something I get paid for.

Us developers are all part of a club of people who can do something that other people find impossible to do (sure they can join the club if they like, and I'd totally support it, but most give up before they've even started). Other people want this thing we do so badly, that they don't care what we look like, where we're from, what we wear or even what time we turn up. And they'll pay us a lot of money for it. And I think that's pretty cool :)

yaeker profile image

I love coding, for selfish reasons. I like to feel useful to myself and others. Also because I'm extremely lazy

I love to automate mine and other prople's work, either by developing tools or simple scripts that will spare them those extra 30 seconds of painful double checking and command typing.

If I could, I would build a script to automate my morning face washing.

alexchildress profile image
Dominick Alexander Childress-Beckham

I code because I start with something simple and I build upon that. The complexity that comes from building a program is rewarding when it works, frustrating when it doesn't, then awesome when it finally works again.

miguelrodoma95 profile image
Miguel Rodriguez

Coding is creating. I do it because it makes me feel like a creator.
It is the combination between engineering/logic and creating something from just your skills, current knowledge and what you'll learn in the process.
I didn't study CS, but programming is the field where I feel you learn and grow the most, both as an engineer and as a creator.

miguelrodoma95 profile image
Miguel Rodriguez

Great post btw and great story. Thanks so much for sharing.

bitdweller profile image
Pedro Pimenta

For me it started naturally when I was a kid. We had a computer at home from an early age so I grew fond of it, first playing games but quickly trying to get the most I could from DOS then Windows then I discovered Linux. This was a time when you needed your monitor manual when installing :)

From there on it was kind of a natural relationship of tinkering with the machine and suddenly I was building websites on Terravista (portuguese Geocities). Then for my dad. Then it grew as a possible career and here I am and loving it!

gmartigny profile image
Guillaume Martigny

As I was bored in maths class a decade ago, I played some silly game on my college calculator (you know the programmable ones). I end up opening the editor to look what make these games works and I learned to write BASIC by trial and error.

Today, I'm still (kinda) doing the same thing. I love to take on a problem and find a solution of my own.

Coding allow you to experiment without loss, invent without knowledge, and create without any materials.

rcmedeiros profile image
Rafael Medeiros

I've been coding for 23 years now, with some interruptions for management positions. For some reason the market thinks a good programmer will make a good project manager, until I find some other job that will pay me the same to do actual work.

I code because I, just like y'all, see the abstract world as well as other people see the concrete world, and the former is way more interesting and deserving of beauty. And coding is my way of interfering with this world, making things right, creating order, poping things into existence. It's like walking through some place and realizing that a wall has some missing bricks, and creating those bricks. And the complete wall gives me instant satisfaction.

I'm very grateful people actually pay me to do it.

privettoli profile image
Anatolii Papenko

It all started at age of probably 10, from modifying (reverse-engineering, sprites replacement) .jar games on Siemens CX75 to have fun, then scripting trainers/bots for offline and online games. Then scripting in Pascal that made me feel like I'm some kind of god who "creates" stuff out of nothing. Moving forward, a lot of interesting mini-pet projects on ActiveScript, Flash, earn first money on CIS social media vkontakte by publishing online games with in-app purchases. At age of 15-16 went through Java training and got the first job with Big Data in a local company with government contracts (Ukraine). Little did I know that I'll still enjoy what I'm doing throughout all the years.

yashsway profile image
Yash Kadaru

The idea that I can create anything I can imagine and see real tangible results always stuck with me. As I grew older I realized, it had the power to reach, help and change so much, but I always think back to those days when I played endless hours on Roller Coaster Tycoon, and countless other strategy games, dreaming up of ways to make my own.

I've also always thought of it like art, or sometimes like architecture, or even pottery. Moulding something with my own two hands, on what is essentially controlled flow & storage of electricity. It's truly, truly mind-blowing if you think about, just every keystroke you're making and how that translates to everything in tech.

glennmen profile image
Glenn Carremans

I might not be the most artistic person, or handy person. So painting of woodworking for me.
But programming is something that I really enjoy, making something from nothing. Breaking your mind about problems, searching the web for solutions or improvements. Learning new things in an always changing world. Making things that help other people even though it might only reach a small group of users.

Even though since I started working full time and making business apps now (that still help people but different) I still try to make time for other projects. Currently most of the time I make PR's to open source projects and less time in own projects.

jckuhl profile image
Jonathan Kuhl

I started with Legos. I like building and seeing what I can create. I also liked taking apart things and seeing how they worked. Code lets me do both. "Oh, how's an page work? dotnet new webapp oh cool . . ."

cecilelebleu profile image
Cécile Lebleu

I like organizing stuff. I really like playing Tetris and Dr Mario, the oldest versions are the best. My brain is stimulated in a similar way when I’m playing these types of box games as when I’m programming or building or designing anything with code. I love optimizing, removing unnecessary code, and building something as perfectly as I can. I also really enjoy studying and getting better at things or deeper into a subject. For me it’s like a game I could spend hours playing until my hands and eyes and back can’t take it anymore. (Wait that’s what I actually do)

shogogan profile image
Victor Homem Heck

Coding for me is creating life, not much like a "god" but we take some blank canvas and create not only a possibly beautiful painting(Thanks UI guys), but also make them alive.

Started coding for fun and is my actual passion :)

kailouu profile image
Louis Connors • Edited on

Coding for me is the perfect mid-way point between technical and artistic.

In school i always loved my design classes as i could design things how i thought looked good, but was average at bringing my ideas to fruition.
I was however very decent and mathematics, physics and computing classes, which allowed me to problem solve and lead me to an objective answer to problems.

Programming and web design, allowed me to utilise these two passions together. So that's why i code.

Anyone else ever feel something similar in the duality of programming?

jckuhl profile image
Jonathan Kuhl

I think it's because I liked to build stuff from legos or take apart old VCRs and other machines to see how they worked. Coding lets me tinker and see how things work and build new things.

And it's cheap. Don't need to buy parts lol.

abhinav1217 profile image
Abhinav Kulshreshtha

I code because i used to be good at it.. i wasn't good at sports, i was average in rest of studies. First time i was called for appreciation was when i build a library management system in gwbasic for my school which got its first set of computers from govt that year.

Now i code to pay my bills..

I also code for open source because it's great learning experience.

bag0niku profile image

I am very new to coding, but have always liked to build things. I started leaning to code in November 2018 for work. When i was a kid (I'm 32 now) my teachers called me the micro engineer. I've had projects on my mind to do at home but didn't know where to start. Coding makes those projects easier and now have a clear path for each one.

I don't know where coding will take me but it'll be fun.

saraahmed626 profile image
Sara °°°

Mainly because it's fun, specially when the code works at the end and one look at the results, that feeling is so valuable.
It's challenging; with all the structures, analysis and writing the code it self, plus you will be learning all the way.

dnaport22 profile image
Nav Dhuti • Edited on
nax3t profile image
Ian Schoonover

"And while I was downloading some pirated tutorials from udemy in our computer lab."

Nice one.

dihfahsih1 profile image
Mugoya Dihfahsih

I code because it's the only profession where learning never ends, each day am learning a new gig.

Also coding helps me to think deep and wide on how to relate computer algorithms with real world problems and how to solve them..

hugotox profile image
Hugo Pineda

Sometimes is fun. The fun is gone when you get paid and get deadlines

pinguinosod profile image
David Cautin

I am decent at it && I like doing it && it provides money

🤔 I cannot think on something else which would be true on those 3 conditions. 🤷🏻‍♂️

justinkaffenberger profile image

It provides a balance of work satisfaction (due to the way it exercises the brain) and earning enough money to have a decent quality of life (due to the high demand of developers).

codingmindfully profile image
Daragh Byrne

My answer partly explained here:

jesushowwedoit profile image
Jesus H Christ

Because I get paid 6 figures.

allobrox profile image
Tamas Rigoczki

Food and bills

edmar profile image
Edmar S. Gonçalves

The big picture to me is - code is a means to an end.
Today we're living in a world where code provides solutions that can, and in fact have, made the world a better place.

And that is why I code ;)

niorad profile image
Antonio Radovcic

Because it's fun for me to type code/instructions into a machine and see it working, and I somehow got lucky to work in that field.

ivanx95 profile image

Well, i'll just say no matter its a big o little problem, I like to think.

notwrittenbm profile image

I started when I was 7 with Basic. I started because I wanted to make the screen diplay something, and now I do it because I want computer to do something for me.

nicomil59 profile image

I code because I love it and I want to make money of it. :-)

jenc profile image
jen chan

I like seeing the results... I like making things. It's like cooking. 😂
3 years into this professionally and I only just started to appreciate the way you can refine and optimize code.

maciekchmura profile image
Maciek Chmura • Edited on

If a computer is like a bicycle for the mind, then coding is like an airplane for a maker.
Travel fast and far.
Reach almost anywhere.

squidbe profile image

We are software engineers, and engineers build things. For me, it's simply that I like to build something that's (hopefully) useful and can improve some people's lives in some way.

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