03 April, 2012

program a little bit every day

Something I've been trying for the last year or so is to make sure that I program a little bit every day.

I've seen lots of my friends drift upwards into management or other fields, where their default program becomes Word or Powerpoint rather than vi.

I've seen other people already in a management position when I met them, desperate to hack on things rather than manage things, but finding time to do it.

Having seen all that, and eventually realising what I saw, I became fearful that the same would happen to me.

So I started trying to program a little bit every day, at least on workdays.

The rules are pretty simple: I try to edit some code, compile and run it.

Often, I'm being paid by someone to write code for them. That makes things real easy. Not only to do I get my resolution done, but I get a wad of money too.

Sometimes I don't - perhaps because I've spent a day on paperwork, on design documentation, on configuring things, on phoning other people to find out why shit is broken.

In those cases, I have to make time to program. Sometimes the change I make is as small as renaming a variable I didn't like. Or rephasing an error message.

But the important thing is that it keeps me touching a programming editor (vi in my case, but whatever) and compiling stuff and running it and testing it, every day. Stopping me falling down the slope of "its been N days since I last programmed" which seems so easily to become "its been N years since I last programmed".

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