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The Ranting's Of A PsychoCoder Inside the mind of A PsychoCoder
This is the question I asked myself today, just to see what kind of answer I would give myself. These are the kinds of questions I've had time to ask myself wince surgery (02JUL07) to correct a hernia and a problem with my Ileostomy. It's weird, I, like millions of other people, get up every morning, drink my coffee and read my RSS feeds (Hey what can I say, I'm a geek) then head of to work. And like so many others I never stop to ask myself questions like this one, mainly because I really don't have time to ponder questions like this, I mean I have a family to support and bills to pay (just like everyone else).

My last day of work before surgery (was a Friday luckily) was like any other, I got up at 4:00AM (Hey I live a long way from work, what can I say), had my morning coffee, read my RSS feeds and headed off to work, like any Monday through Friday. I knew my day was going to be short that day so I arrived early (well early for me, I'm always there an hour before the actual start of work) because there were some loose ends I needed to tie up for the monthly release of my application before leaving for 4-6 weeks, I also wanted to get my release functionality "pushed" out to the QA department to ensure there were no "snags" that my programming partner would have to clean up for me.

As I sat at work writing code, testing, writing release notes and such it hit me, I'm not going to be back here for 4-6 weeks, I'm not going to be able to write code for 4-6 weeks, and it scared me to think that I couldn't think of a single thing to occupy my time if I couldn't program. People who know me know I'm a workaholic when it comes to programming, so much so that I will forgo sleep & food to write the "prefect" code, and my boss (great man to work for by the way) knows this so he actually disabled my Active Directory account so I couldn't even so much as check my email while I was away. So without work what am I going to do, without work who exactly am I?

Well part of this time was easy enough to deal with, I went into the hospital Monday morning (02JUL07) for surgery and was there, in a hospital bed, until Thursday (05JUL07). Then when I was released I was in so much pain and so "medicated" (well more pain then medicated) that sitting at a computer and writing code was the last thing on my mind (shocking eh?). Then for the next 4-5 days I couldn't even be out of bed more than a couple hours at a time before the pain would get to me, and I would get tired and exhausted (having major surgery takes a lot out of you) so I would head back to bed and ultimately fall asleep.

Okay, that takes care of 7 or 8 days and I'm thinking to myself "Hey, this isn't so bad, I can do this" and proceeded to continue my recuperation from surgery. On about day 10 or 11, I'm starting to slowly feel better, I'm able to be out of bed for like 2 or 3 (sometimes even 4) hours at a time, it was at this moment that I realized that it's only been 10 or 11 days and I have up to 4 more weeks to go, and I still can't write code. It was at this moment that I had a realization, I am addicted to writing code, I am a full blown "code junkie". I eat, sleep, breath, dream code. Coding has gone from "what I do" to "what I am (or who I am)".

I am a programmer, for better or worse this is who and what I am. I am as much a part of the code I write as I am a member of the society I live in. This the first time in MANY years that I'm not able to write code, in some fashion or another, and I have no idea how to "entertain" myself for this long of a period. I knew many years ago what I wanted to be "when I grew up", and I'm one of the fortunate ones who gets paid to do what I truly love, to do what I actually enjoy. TO me writing code is less work and more therapy. If I'm having a bad day/week I can lose myself in my code for hours on end and forget about anything that has happened in that day or week. Programming is my passion and without it I almost feel lost, without it's almost like a part of me is missing.

Writing code is as much a part of me as your arm is a part of you, writing code is what keeps me "sane" (well as sane as a computer geek can be that is). Yes, this has given me more time with my family, yes this has given me time to rest and re-charge my battery, yes this surgery will, in the long run, improve my quality of life, but it has also taken something from me that means A LOT to me, my code.

So the only answer I have for the posed question is this: Yes, technically, there is more to life than programming, but for all us "code junkies" out there, what kind of life would it be without our code?
Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2007 6:20 PM General | Back to top

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