From meeting smarter people to writing, programming helped me in more ways than just financially

Man standing with arms spread out on top of rock
Man standing with arms spread out on top of rock
Photo by Grant Ritchie on Unsplash.

Most people know exactly one thing about programming: It has the potential to pay well. But money is only one part of the freedom that it has afforded me. It has also completely changed my trajectory and outlook on life.

Programming Isn’t the Worst Career To Stumble Into

I had never even thought about becoming a programmer. I just applied to a listing, got invited to an assessment centre, then got hired. It was too good an opportunity to pass up, and I seriously had no plan at all for my life, so I shrugged and showed up for work.

That is not the usual origin story of…


And sprint reviews are pillow talk

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

I had way too much fun writing this post, if you have even half as much fun reading you’re in for a treat. Or a tacky mess you wish you could forget. You never know until the morning after.

So, here’s why programming is like sex, totally.

You have either too much or too little of it

Either you’re starved, or stuffed. Finding the balance point is almost impossible, and never more than a fleeting moment.

One day you are swamped in work, the next three years you are thoroughly underworked. Think about quitting, both the job and programming itself, but then something always keeps you going just a little…


All the drama that’s currently going on misses the point

Photo by Jonas Weckschmied on Unsplash

There’s a good chance you may not be aware of just how impactful the past month and a bit has been for Medium and us, the readers and writers. Let me quickly summarize: Big publications are no longer the focus, their funding cut (and likely diverted to us individual authors through that care package cheque), now the recent news is that PSILY is shutting down (and I never got the chance to get a piece published there, damn it!).

The editorial team got bought out, new figures added to the leadership roster, plenty of tech updates under the hood.

Just…


A lesson in keeping your ego out of the equation

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

I could be retired today, not even have to work on the enjoyable projects. Pick my poisons rather than my cures. If only I had learned earlier to stay in line with my writing skills at the time. If some rare presence out there had taken pity with me and pointed my focus in the right direction.

But instead, I got lost in the whirlwind of trying to break out of the “creative constraints”. I tried to get out of the path that so clearly presented itself. …


This may just be your most important skill to perfect

Bike under a bridge
Bike under a bridge
My teacher once told me I’d end up under a bridge. Photo by the author.

It is hardly a secret that many of us programmers spend a lot of time at our desks — likely more than just eight hours per day. Gaming is fun, but that’s six more hours of sitting and staring at a screen after eight hours of doing the very same thing. Working on your own coding projects can add an extra few hours to an already long day.

There is a very real chance of working yourself into a rabbit hole to various, worrisome degrees. I sure spent some good hours farming the crypts in Act I, and I have…


I never get so much done, so quickly then when I’m escaping my past self.

Photo by OSPAN ALI on Unsplash

Have you ever heard the sentence “There is no stronger believer than a recent convert”? That is one of my favorite quotes, always has been since I first read it. Funnily enough, my interpretation of it has changed over the years, I now read it as a statement more along the lines of “when the student is ready, the teacher will present themself”.

When I look back at my life I find that it is clearly cyclic, with shortening cycles between drastic changes. I moved quite often, always leaving behind a whole world and taking very little with me into…


The ultimate programmer’s guide to social life

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

The pandemic has taught us all a thing or two about life — such as that people are really just JSON files wrapped in a nice frontend. Slightly confusing to look at, potentially infinite layers of hidden depth — and if they are missing a bracket on either end of the file they quickly fall apart and become unreadable.

It is such profound wisdom that I acquired during the past year-that-felt-like-a-decade. Plenty of nuggets that I’m about to share with you, whether you want it or not.

Nobody bothered to document the code

And if they did, it’s grossly out of date.

Sometimes you look at…


Just a few fun lines that made me yell at random things on my desk

Man breaking stone with punch
Man breaking stone with punch
Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash.

Coding is a lot of fun — usually. Sometimes you just sit there and wonder if this line of code was really worth all the trouble that it caused. You wonder if you should just resign, call it a day, take that sweet paycheck, and invest it into all the booze from the local corner store.

Here are three particular examples that looked harmless on their own but cost me a day or even a week of my life.

;commit;

Let’s start with an easy one: SQL scripts that somebody else wrote. Personally, I always made use of the Commit button…


And it taught me quite a few useful techniques

Photo by Mister Lee on Unsplash

I still remember the first line of code that I changed: a single integer increase to make bigger explosions in a game called Clonk Rage. I treasure that moment because it was the first time I looked beneath the surface of any kind of program.

I quickly lost interest thereafter, completely overwhelmed by everything, everywhere. Then I got my coding apprenticeship pretty much solely because I talked about my casemodding hobby and could list the individual steps that it takes to cook coffee in a technical manner.

Again, I was overwhelmed by everything, all the time. I could barely keep…


Let me tell you why M1s are great, yet caught in their own net

Photo by el alce web on Unsplash

Do you know what I like about my shiny new M1 MacBook Air? A lot of things. One cute thing about it is that I can now make informed comparisons on topics I long wanted to talk about.

For some reason, a lot of people are still hell-bent on creating their own personal narrative that either of the two competitors has what it takes to become the only one. I don’t see the need for that to begin with, we have enough monopolies, to begin with. As I type this on the couch the beefy GPU in my Windows PC…

keypressingmonkey

Programmer by day, creative writer by night. Get my spreadsheet full of freelance writing resources that help me earn money: http://eepurl.com/g0OZaX

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store