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2015/10/03

You Know Where You Stand In Your Hellhole

Sawyer X tweeted this:
I said "Deep".

This can be a variation of "He says he has 5 years of experience, but he really has 1 year of experience 5 times." Except not really.

I've worked as a developer for years, and it took me years before I started writing modules. It took a while after before I started having those modules being more than bags of vaguely related functions. And it was just this year before I looked into and started contributing patches to open source projects..

So, one way of looking at this is "I have one year experience as a newbie which I repeated for five years, one year of being a coder which I repeated for five years, and I've just finished a year of being a developer making modern tools for other developers, which I haven't repeated." Or the like.

There isn't necessarily anything wrong with this. In the year where you've been coding, you're doing a thing. You aren't growing, you aren't taking it to the next level, but you are creating and maintaining code, and you are making something that provides value to someone.

Or, you can think of Sawyer's statement more like I've been coding, working at the a well-trod level, bit-twiddling and the like, but not doing anything interesting. This is the feeling I get when I get close to more computer-theoretical things. I have access to computers with massive amounts of cores, massive amounts of memory, but don't see where my problems map to those resources. Until I do interesting things with interesting data on interesting hardware, I'm a coder, not a programmer.

I'm interested in improving, in coding less and programming more. Or, perhaps, interested in aspects of improvement but less interested in doing the work. There's a certain safety in knowing that you're doing what you're experienced with, not reaching out. Perhaps David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel say it best in the last chorus: "you know where you stand in a hell hole".


I'm trying to take steps to move forward. Maybe find myself a new, more interesting hell hole to program in.