DEV Community

Discussion on: To Be A Great Programmer: Mindset And Learning Strategy

snj profile image
Nic Author • Edited on


I was thinking, maybe it's because of my not so well English writing skills delivered the wrong messages. Since English is not my first language.

But I finally got the reason is we have a different value system.

Let me explain it:

'A programmer who loves programming does not feel boring even with too much time spent on the keyboard, on the opposite, he will be enjoyable and satisfied.'

The meaning I want to express is: If some people get huge interests in one thing, they don't care to spend too much time and energy on it. I saw some great programmer build an OS from scratch, they coding more than 10 hours a day, feel not tired. Why? It's just because they love it, they want to know the details of creating an OS, they don't consider what the value of recreating a new OS(without any actual user). No one forces them to do so, it's all the choices of themselves.

Maybe I need a more accurate expression in my post about this.

Yes, the balance between work and life is important, I also wrote some about this at the end of this post.

As for your following points, please note this, my subject of this post is not: "To be a RICH programmer: The mindset and learning Strategy".

What's you are talking about is a totally different subject.

Why some great programmers still working for companies?
Maybe they just love the job, and their skills of IT are their strength, and their jobs already make enough money for life.

Please note, not everyone has all the skills, ability, determination to be a founder of some startup or business. Building a successful startup also need some luck, you know 99% startups die.

Even someone doesn't have any interest in AI, but it's getting a well paid these days, should he move to this field and try to be a so-called expert in AI?

No, I don't think it's the right choice for everyone. I think it's better to follow the heart, try to create value for the others and wealth will follow.

If you think getting rich will be the only freedom for you(working for companies is just a slave's life), go to pursue it, try to get rich. It's your choice, we can not say it's wrong or right.

Btw, be a programmer is not the only way to get rich, even not the best way.

@dabrady have a good explanation, thanks.

PS: The Moon and Sixpence, by W. Somerset Maugham is a awesome book!

phasedephase profile image

OK I get it. If you have that kind of passion for something, then yes, you won't feel bored or tired until you collapse from exhaustion. I remember the days when I used to code 24 hours straight before passing out. Anyway, that was some crazy time. But this level of intensity is OK if you do it for your own company, not the company of someone else who doesn't care about you and your family. That's what I was trying to say.

And also clumsily, trying to say that the goal is to be free, and free in this society where we depend on a company for a paycheck, means financial freedom. So the goal is not necessarily to become rich, but to make enough so that you do not need to depend on an employer or boss and not need to fear of being let go because you don't want to or can't learn the latest language or framework--I am writing this with the following in mind: if it's something cool, then no problem, but OMG, if I had to learn Javascript and JQuery, I'd shoot myself.

And before anyone starts telling me how wonderful JS is, this guy, Kenneth Eng, explains much better than I ever will: .

But to go back to your point: I guess I am taking issue with what you wrote because to me it appears you are advocating self-sacrifice for something that is not worth it, not at the levels you mention, because as you say, it is not the best way to get rich, if that were the goal, and it certainly is also not the best way to be able to save enough money to get out of the race financially secure 20 years later, unless as in my examples, you work a job that pays you what is called f*ck-you-money.

If on the other hand, you have a vision and are so passionate about it that you will commit everything to it, just as in the case of Jobs or Gates, then yes, I have no problem with that.

But busting my ass for years and 20 years later struggling (because now you are older and you have to fight the age bias at all the Silicon Valley startups you apply to, the guy interviewing you probably is even at least 20 years younger than you!) to find another job because either the company doesn't exist anymore, or they promoted you to a managerial position when all you want to do really is coding and you quit because you can't see yourself live like this for the rest of your life, and you still don't have enough money saved to retire--retire as in escape the grind and be able to work on your own stuff when and where you please--then that is what I call insanity.

Unfortunately, like you said, it is not given to everyone to find a way out. But I believe, this is the higher goal that will enable you to dedicate all your energy and passion to some higher cause, just as Bill Gates does (but am not saying it means you need to join the 3 comma club, although it would not hurt ;) )

Anyway, nuff said, I think we get the gist now.