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Why programming is hard ?


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#1 fir   Members   -  Reputation: -460

Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:52 PM

Recently (a couple of last weeks) I met a strange crisis in my life,I cannot focus to program, I cannot focus to read articles i only manage to read most general topics and answer to them and so on, I cannot make me interested in some things in core programming (It is probably because I am overworked so I thing it will change after some time)

 

This made me thinking that programming is hard because it is neccessary in this work to hold a real strong focus on some sort of things, and also wander (think) why programming is hard in general... Why programming is hard ? (I found it hard; at the beginning - i was coding in c64 asm when i was about 13 it was not so hard, but when you do it a couple of years at full time job it became hard for me - I am not sure but sometimes i think that when i was 13 I was doing it better then now at the age of 35 (code was maybe uglier but i was doing it with much more energy) - but this is digression)


Edited by fir, 11 September 2013 - 03:53 PM.


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#2 noatom   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:58 PM

Well...it's supposed to be hard right? If it would be easy it would mean that you're not really too free to do whatever you want.

 

Maybe try a higher level language? That should help.

 

It also depends on what kind of field you're working....if you want to make games but you have to make office extensions....i can understand why you're bored.



#3 mochiler   Members   -  Reputation: 191

Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:32 PM

Well, it's called fatigue my friend, the enthusiasm is gone the joy of creating something with code is gone.

Don't worry it comes back! 

 

some programming projects demands a lot of mental concentration and repetition of the same routine with no right away see results,

sometime in a professional work you need to write ton of code that is not directly connected to the end result (error handling for example) and it's a lot of sisyphean work.

working lot's of hours to get that deadline. there are many more reasons of course but you probably know them :)...

all this cause the fatigue.

 

I see coding as a form of art, and any artist after doing some grand art creation needs a rest.

you just need a vacation!! a rest to the mind, then back to the joy of creation.



#4 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2139

Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:59 PM

In principle programming is very simple (the computer does what you tell it to do and you don't have to worry about stuff that are part of other professions), but programs are extraordinary mind-blowingly complex. That's pretty much it.

 

Or something...



#5 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2063

Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:45 PM

When I work on my personal projects I call myself a hobbiest. That way I don't have anyone to answer to but myself. The code structure, the process, the documentation can be as formal or informal as I see fit. I would describe it as the difference of being to run fast and free to go where I want to. I love that feeling of coding free of worries and concerns. But it doesn't pay worth a damn.

For my job, I don't think of it as being paid to program, I'm paid to do all the other stuff. The formal process, the research, the documentation, the meetings. And I'm happy to do it because then I have both work that I do to make the money that I need to eat and live and a separate project that gives me the creative outlet that I need that keeps coding fun.
 



#6 mike656   Members   -  Reputation: 152

Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:00 PM

You just need to figure out how your own brain works and work to it's benefit towards your programming goal. Just like we all learn differently, we also work and program differently. We all, however, have certain thresholds and must properly balance work with play. Our brains must have play and time to relax. It's like a muscle. Some of us reach our thresholds sooner than others, and sometimes at more frequent times of the year than others. I know that I'm more productive at certain times of the year. It is indeed an art form and it's the same with art or any other creative brain process.

 

For myself, I take it day-by-day. I learned that my own brain can go seriously long periods of heavy coding, often very long days (12-18 hour days of nonstop coding is common with me) and I can go days and days like this, sometimes entire weeks and months. This year for me is a case in point. I don't even remember the first half of the year!

 

However, I will always reach a point where my brain has had enough and I have to do a 180. I have to take a step back and do something entirely different. I have to work my brain on a different level, often on a much lower level for a while, while my higher brain (and logical aspects) recuperate. It's a balancing act. So sometimes I absolutely have to stop coding, even if I'm in the middle of something... just stop and walk away and do something much simpler for a while. If it means taking a week off, then so be it. 

 

What always happens with me, is when I come back to coding... when I shift back into high gear... I'm completely refreshed. I'm often more productive when I allow myself to take these "steps back" than I am when I force myself to constantly run on overdrive all the time.

 

I can sit there and be dumbfounded by a problem for hours. I could be coding fine all day, conquering obstacles left and right.. and then I'll hit a road block. If I force myself to sit there for hours I just won't get anywhere. But if i stop, take a long break, possibly go to sleep or take a nap, I'll come back to the problem and almost instantly I'm able to work my way around whatever issue I had. So I learned to be able to read myself and my own brain's wiring very well. 

 

I think ultimately we all need to, to become productive and successful programmers/game developers.

 

Also remember that you are what you eat. If you put good food into your body your brain will have everything it needs to over come obstacles and figure out problems. If you are putting terrible stuff in you will be working your brain on inadequate fuel. Most people, however, never make this fundamental connection and go their whole lives looking at all the other culprits. cool.png  



#7 fir   Members   -  Reputation: -460

Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:25 PM

Well, it's called fatigue my friend, the enthusiasm is gone the joy of creating something with code is gone.

Don't worry it comes back! 

 

some programming projects demands a lot of mental concentration and repetition of the same routine with no right away see results,

sometime in a professional work you need to write ton of code that is not directly connected to the end result (error handling for example) and it's a lot of sisyphean work.

working lot's of hours to get that deadline. there are many more reasons of course but you probably know them smile.png...

all this cause the fatigue.

 

I see coding as a form of art, and any artist after doing some grand art creation needs a rest.

you just need a vacation!! a rest to the mind, then back to the joy of creation.

 

i got some longer break at the beginning of the year (in winter), and after that for couple of days i was feeling something like 'coding frenzy', excitement to code, but after a couple of months again i was begining to feel like i wrote above, i cannot focus.

 

But I was asking not only about that, I wander WHY programming is hard: (i do not know), i think some

reasons

 

- this is hard becouse of the fact that you must hold a focus for some kind of things for a long tIme (and this is maybe even unnatural for a man i think, - I feel it, focus is a strain and this strain is not healthy imo)

 

-  this is hard becouse there is a lot to learn in the community to be considered a experienced programmer 

 

- yet probably more reasons


Edited by fir, 11 September 2013 - 04:38 PM.


#8 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1852

Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:52 PM

Long breaks and other hobbies as well you need indeed, or else your brain will be damaged by stress and in the end it will lose its ability to learn and focus.

 

I am not kidding you. Stress is very dangerous for the brain. Take breaks and accept that you need them(breaks). No matter what other tells you. Your brain is your working tool. Take good care of it smile.png


"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education"

Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education"

Albert Einstein

 


#9 Tom_Kazansky   Members   -  Reputation: 150

Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:38 PM

Sometimes, I really don't feel like coding at all, I can't concentrate. So I spend the rest of the day to play games or watch anime. In the next day, I can code again, no problem. Sometimes it would take more than one day to get over this... "fatigue" (as mochiler said above) you think "programming is hard"? yeah, it IS hard and another reason: currently the brain is not working properly (for coding) because of stress. we all have this problem so don't worry, just take a break.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke


#10 Buster2000   Members   -  Reputation: 1663

Posted 12 September 2013 - 02:07 AM

I don't find programming hard.  In fact I find programming to be a fairly trivial task.  Photoshop and artsy stuff now I find that really hard.

However as people have already said what you are suffering from is fatigue.  Take a holiday for two weeks and you will be fine.



#11 fir   Members   -  Reputation: -460

Posted 12 September 2013 - 03:58 AM

I don't find programming hard.  In fact I find programming to be a fairly trivial task.  Photoshop and artsy stuff now I find that really hard.

However as people have already said what you are suffering from is fatigue.  Take a holiday for two weeks and you will be fine.

 

fairly trivial ;-) youre mistaknig something ; -)

 

a bit of it can be trivial but doing it at large is very hard (at least for me it is very hard)

I could rest and today I can already focus some more but the feeling of being overvorked mets me often then it is yet a second thing of being not able to focus as i described it :/



#12 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1742

Posted 12 September 2013 - 04:45 AM

Programming requires you to be able to think in a specific way, for some people this is easy, for some this is impossible (which is why in game development there tends to be a "hard" divide between programmers and artists... their brains are usually wired differently and they approach problems in completely different ways). So whether it's hard or not depends on how you think.

 

That said, if you didn't have any issues with assembly back in the day then probably that isn't the problem... Have you tried looking at doing it again? (homebrew?) If you still find it easy then maybe your issue is more with how things are handled now (I know a lot of people are good at low level programming but horrible at high level programming, and vice versa... I'm weird in that I can cope with both except the weird middle ground that's C++, which is why I tend to use C instead).


Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

#13 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2139

Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:16 AM

Programming requires you to be able to think in a specific way, for some people this is easy, for some this is impossible (which is why in game development there tends to be a "hard" divide between programmers and artists... their brains are usually wired differently and they approach problems in completely different ways). So whether it's hard or not depends on how you think.

 

I don't think that's true at all. I could do art if I wanted to (almost did) and got into it, and I can do some programming too.



#14 fir   Members   -  Reputation: -460

Posted 12 September 2013 - 11:40 AM

Programming requires you to be able to think in a specific way, for some people this is easy, for some this is impossible (which is why in game development there tends to be a "hard" divide between programmers and artists... their brains are usually wired differently and they approach problems in completely different ways). So whether it's hard or not depends on how you think.

 

That said, if you didn't have any issues with assembly back in the day then probably that isn't the problem... Have you tried looking at doing it again? (homebrew?) If you still find it easy then maybe your issue is more with how things are handled now (I know a lot of people are good at low level programming but horrible at high level programming, and vice versa... I'm weird in that I can cope with both except the weird middle ground that's C++, which is why I tend to use C instead).

 

As to high level / low level I am more a low level  c man

(I am a big almost religious fan of c language ;-) ) with respect to assembly or os internals too, but recently began to like javascript+canvas too, so i think I am not too low level or low level only

 (in general I find myself moderately skilled and experienced now)

 

as to asembly

 

Back in the days I was coding in assembly far better than

today. :-/ A couple of months ago I was doing a couple of

procedures in nasm, some simple fpu/sse,  and I can do

that, but it makes me far more trouble and less pleasure than back in the days (so it seem like I decreased in skills :/) :-?

 

 

Same with, when i was in high school i wrote some simple 3d

rasterizer in weak language qbasic and some code with models under that - I did it in a weekend or less time (about two days )

 

This year I have written some not perfect but of course 

far better/faster software rasterizer in some proper c coding

but it cost me energy of couple of long weeks :-/

 

This seem to be strange and fatal :-/ - i got some wider

 konwledge today and I still go forward but has much trouble with an energy to code. :C

 

I see it but am not sure how to do with that - still going

forward but it cost me much  (but this is all digression,

I wanted not to speak about myself but maybe about some ideas why programming is hard situation)


Edited by fir, 12 September 2013 - 11:49 PM.


#15 mike656   Members   -  Reputation: 152

Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:57 AM

 

Programming requires you to be able to think in a specific way, for some people this is easy, for some this is impossible (which is why in game development there tends to be a "hard" divide between programmers and artists... their brains are usually wired differently and they approach problems in completely different ways). So whether it's hard or not depends on how you think.

 

I don't think that's true at all. I could do art if I wanted to (almost did) and got into it, and I can do some programming too.

 

 

I agree with Szecs, here. The "hard divide" may exist for some but not for all. I grew up as an artist. I think I came out of the womb with a pencil in my hand LoL. I studied art for the first 20 years of my life before I even touched a computer. Then I was able to go right into a left brain logical world and adjust very easily. For me, It's a balancing act and I do both very well. I think having the background in Art helped me to learn things I would need for programming (like focus, attention to detail, etc). But I do believe not everyone is wired the same and it could be very difficult for most people who have not trained their brain to work with both left and right brain aspects. If you look at most people they fall under one side or the other. This is probably why so many struggle.



#16 Vortez   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2698

Posted 14 September 2013 - 04:00 AM

I believe projects complexity increase exponentially as it grow in size, anybody noticed that too?

 

I mean, a project with a single file and a 100 lines of codes is very easy

to work with, while 100k lines of code may be too much for a single person to handle, while 10k lines of code is not so bad.

 

Just my though.



#17 walsh06   Members   -  Reputation: 662

Posted 14 September 2013 - 10:33 AM

Programming itself is hard in that you need to be able to think in a certain way. But if you are able to think like that it simplifies things a lot. I tend not to use the word hard as it implies difficulty. I would say challenging. That way whatever is currently causing my difficulty is simply a challenge to be overcome. And while that can be tough I enjoy trying to find the solution. 

 

Perspective and mindset I think can have a big impact. Taking a break (as others have suggested) can make a drastic improvement. You can distract yourself with something for a while and come back to your issue refreshed. Sitting staring at some error for hours is not going to make much difference. 



#18 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1718

Posted 14 September 2013 - 01:47 PM

I believe projects complexity increase exponentially as it grow in size, anybody noticed that too?

 

I mean, a project with a single file and a 100 lines of codes is very easy

to work with, while 100k lines of code may be too much for a single person to handle, while 10k lines of code is not so bad.

 

Just my though.

 

That's why it's important to keep your code base as simple as possible. Do the most simple thing that works. There are way too many cycles wasted on YAGNI over-engineered cruft and pointless abstraction layers.



#19 135790   Members   -  Reputation: 83

Posted 14 September 2013 - 06:01 PM

Don't program anymore.  Design!



#20 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4333

Posted 14 September 2013 - 06:50 PM

Everything is hard.


"I AM ZE EMPRAH OPENGL 3.3 THE CORE, I DEMAND FROM THEE ZE SHADERZ AND MATRIXEZ"

 

My journals: dustArtemis ECS framework and Making a Terrain Generator





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