Broken Programming

In which I write about my lack of desire in coding.

I think something is wrong with me. I have, in the past, been an avid programmer. Programming was something I could do and it made me happy because I was able to affect change in the world, even at a small level. I spent many-a-year debating text editors, programming languages and generally being in it.

I don’t anymore. What I mean by that is that I don’t care for, or find programming fun or satisfying anymore. Even with this blog, I’m using the default twentytwenty theme with some modifications for color and other minor tweaks. I used to write my own themes and build my own components. I would labor endlessly over the smallest details, and tweak things until it was made “correct” in my eyes.

Now? Now I can’t be bothered to even open a text editor except out of novelty. I banged out a couple of lines of code that I modified from Kev for old posts, I dropped in some CSS to make it look okay and I was done. Opening a modern theme is like wading into a jungle of templates, CSS, JavaScript, Node.js, build systems and more. Even with IDEs like PHPStorm, I just can’t muster the energy to work on it.

I think I’m broken. Or at least I’ve broken my desire to code. I wonder if I wore it out, or if it’s a “young man’s game” and I’ve just past my prime. I don’t think that is the case, since I threw together a 500-line collection script for work that I was plenty interested in a week or two ago. No, I think my problem is it’s all so complicated now. The barrier to entry is high. Really high. You need to have gigabytes of compilers, build tools and linkers to just even bang out a “Hello World”. I feel like we’ve built this digital Tower of Babel and it’s looking a little creaky at this height.

Back in My Day!

The wonders that modern-day systems have brought is amazing. When I was a kid, using computers meant you knew something. It was a talent. Most people either did basic data entry on it or were programmers. Anything in between was hard to find. I guess that makes me an old man yelling at a cloud.

A screen grab from a Simpsons episode. A hand is holding a cut out from a news paper. On the clipping, a picture can be seen of an old man shaking his fist and yelling angrily at a cloud. The article is entitled "Old Man Yells at Cloud"
Back in my day, clouds were just clouds, not other people’s computers!

Maybe I should pick up C, or Python and kick around some simple programs. Get an idea for something and work on it until completion. A sort of hobby project. I’m fighting for time less with video games as of late, so I might be able to squeeze in something like that.

By Nathan

Nathan is a technologist and Open Source enthusiast living and working in Florida. Often, he can be found playing board games with his family, video games by himself or breaking technological things in order to fix them "better".