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To people who code for a living

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I have never had a job as a computer programmer before, and I am considering Comp Sci or Electrical Engineering as a major at college. What Im wondering is once you begin to program for a living and your doing it all day long, what are the most irritating parts of the job? I personally find programming quite fun, but I imagine once you do it all day long it must be easy to burn out on it.

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The main thing that annoys me about coding at work is that when I''m not at work staring at a monitor is the last thing I want to do.

Actually that''s not quite true: I want to get cracking on my game engine, but find it hard to get motivated to use my brain properly when I''m tired and my eyes ache.

I imagine non-programming jobs do the same, it''s just more annoying when you know you use your brain for someone else, but find it hard to get time to do so for your own interests.

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Well, it depends on where you are working.. I code for a living in a development company and it''s cool, even doing it everyday ''cause any project it''s different and you have to learn new things to accomplish the work.

In my job, i don''t find anything irritating, every day I learn something else. If your job it doesn''t give you challenges, then you have a boring job.

A workplace where i couldn''t work is a bank. Working in a bank(here in panama, central america) as programmer is death. I''ve known people who work there and they don''t see to go anywhere. They just do the same thing everyday and no challenge.

That''s all i can say for now.


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I cannot say that I already programm for a living, but before I started studying, I worked three or four months >50 hours per week as a programmer.
What I realized in this time:
- you cannot go on to the next project if you have major problems with the current one.
- you cannot take a (long) creative break and watch some tv for example just to relax when you struggle.
- some projects are really boring!
- you cannot use your own coding style and have to use the one the company wants you to use.
- you also have to write a LOT of comments and documentation.
- deadlines are not really your friend.
- when I come home I couldn''t see my computer anymore (except for checking mails, but definetly not for programming anymore)
- as a result I had to find some other hobbies I could do after work.

On the other hand:
- I met a lot of interesting people (at meetings, conventions, etc.)
- I learned a lot from advanced programmers in the company.
- I earned a lot of money for something I like.
- I enjoyed seeing people using MY work.

For me personally I would say, that I propably will work for about 10 years as a programmer but after that I''m not sure if it''s still that much fun... who knows?

Hope that helps.

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I moved to programming from PC Support because I can make more money programming. I agree with most of the other comments, I don''t code for fun as much as I used to.

Originally coding for a living was fun (lucky me being paid for my hobby), especially when you get a good challenge, but I''ve got cornered in developing in a niche language (Visual FoxPro), and finding it hard to get onto a more interesting development career.

I think there is definitely still a good career in being a programmer. The important thing for you to do while studying is to make code you can demo to potential employers. Not just wizzy graphics, but databases and real world applications. Keep your source from college/Uni and put together a demo CD you can send to prospective employers.

As for burn out, I''ve not been coding for a living long enough. Your biggest threat to your employement enjoyment is unvaried work and being unappreciated by your employers. Which I''ve done and it will tear your soul apart!

Anyway good luck with your studies, and don''t spend too much time drinking and downloading pr0n.

Mouse

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- you cannot use your own coding style and have to use the one the company wants you to use.
- you also have to write a LOT of comments and documentation.


Yep, I don''t work for a company, but I have heard that is very true. You have to comment you code, and explain what everything does and how to use it in a design document.

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Yes, I comment and write out a "How to use" thing, but I heard if you work somewhere, you have to comment a ton .

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The amount of code commenting is less than you would expect. Most small to medium software companies don''t comment as mush as they should.

I''ve had to plough through some serious code with zero comments.

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quote:
Original post by MainframeMouse
Anyway good luck with your studies, and don''t spend too much time drinking and downloading pr0n.


Lol... but somehow true.

Of course it''s true that you should comment your own (private) code, but my experience was that I had to write more documentation than I did before. And on some days I wrote more documentation than actual code.

I think that depends on the company and the kind of project you''re working on. If it is a small tool which is only used for internal uses than it won''t be that much commented. Other code I had to comment a lot. Especially code which might be sell to other companies in the future.
I found also the other extreme. Once I had to extend an existing small tool and there were no comments at all. And I can only say that it was a pain in the ass to read through this (tricky) code. As a result I rewrote the whole thing.

But as I mentioned: those are just my experiences. And in companies where several programmers are working on the same code they will also have to comment there code. (or you''re called e.g. Carmack and are the only one who is working on a part of a project and you know what you are doing and nobody else will work on the code then the company might let you do it your way. In all other cases I think you have to comment quite a lot...)

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