I’ve noticed behaviors and opinions in other programmers that I’ve gone to school with, worked it, or come across in other various ways. These behaviors make me feel like I’m a shitty programmer. I’ve listed a few.
- I’m not in love with the command line. I started out on the command line, but I love my graphical interfaces. I’m more comfortable in Windows than Linux. Even in Linux, I look for graphical tools. I hate typing out a command to do something that 2 clicks will handle just as well. I heard someone smugly say recently, “We don’t use file explorers in Linux”. I do. People complain about bugs in Windows, but Linux seems far more unstable to me.
- I am not in love with vi. On Solaris systems, I tended to use emacs, but on Linux I started using gedit. When it comes to development, I prefer an IDE. I know that IDEs have a lot of features you don’t need, but the ones that I like make it worth it.
- I don’t like to talk about programming ALL THE TIME. At my first job in this industry, my co-workers had a rule that we didn’t talk about work away from the office. In the years since, I’ve tried to adhere to that rule. I’m the kind of person that needs a break. Some of the co-workers I’ve had since then have made it difficult, talking about work or programming in general throughout lunch, while walking to and from meetings, in the car on the way to some place, etc. Just let my mind have a break.
- I don’t like to participate in random arguments/discussions. I don’t want to argue about which language is better, which framework is better, etc. If it’s related to a specific task, that’s good, but otherwise what’s the point?
- I’m not app crazy. I’m not constantly looking for new apps to do what I can already do pretty well.
- I don’t do a lot of development outside of work. I have ideas for projects that I want to work on in my free time, but I never get around to them because I would rather watch TV or read a book. I can only spend so much time hunched over a computer in a week.
- I have an iPhone. It seems like the majority of programmers love Android phones. I thought about getting an Android phone earlier this year. I even went to the Verizon store to get one. In the end, I kept my iPhone. I have an Android tablet and I love it, but I like Apple devices more. That’s probably because I’m more used to it.
- I don’t speak on every subject like I’m an expert. If I don’t know a lot about something, I’ll tell you I don’t know much about it.
- I don’t like to “read the docs”. I can see some smug, smart ass jerk on stack overflow telling someone to read the docs, maybe even posting a link. Some people don’t learn well that way and I’m one of them. Some documentation is terrible, but I have a hard time focusing on the good documentation long enough to get anything useful out of it. A short explanation and even an example will do much more for me than the docs.
I know I’m not a shitty programmer. I always get great employee evaluations and I’ve been employed for all except 6 weeks since I got my first real job after grad school 8 years ago. I know that many in my profession and other professions feel like others know way more than them. Sometimes I wonder if people think less of me because of the reasons I listed above. It’s probably all in my head.
Saturday, December 29th, 2012
I had a lot of fun with new tech in 2012.
In March I got a 3rd generation iPad. It was my first iPad. My boss, another co-worker, and I went to Best Buy and got in line the day they went on sale. It was kind of an impulse buy because I had decided to get an iPad 2 since the price was going to go down. I love my iPad! I hardly go a day without using it. It’s one of those things that you don’t think you need, but once you have one you can’t live without it. I think everyone should get one of these. As it turns out, I don’t mind reading on this as much as I thought I would. I never use that Kindle that I bought last year anymore.
A few months later I bought a Nexus 7 because I wanted to learn Android programming and have a real device to test on. I do like how open Android is, but I still prefer iOS, probably just because I’ve had so much more experience with it. Sometimes I still don’t know what to expect when I press a button. It wasn’t until last week that I got a chance to start learning Android programming.
On another sort of impulse I decided to go to the Verizon store on the day the iPhone 5 went on sale. I was fed up with AT&T’s service and decided to make the switch. And I had the urge to get a new phone and it would be another year before I was eligible for an upgrade with AT&T. I am very pleased with this phone except for the fact that I needed new charging cables.
I pre-ordered a Wii U the day I heard that pre-orders were being taken. I love the gamepad and I love the Mario game that I got. My biggest problem is how slow everything is. I didn’t mind the long update before I could even play it that much because it gave me time to read the manuals. But you have to wait so long for anything to load. I really do need to spend more time using it, though. Maybe I’ll get more used to it.
I won an iPad mini at my company’s Christmas party, which I have written about previously. I’m really digging this little thing and I had no interest in it before. It’s so light and it’s just the right size. My only problem is that it doesn’t have a retina display. The text is very small in the Kindle app, so I have to read on my big iPad.
I wonder what I’ll get to play with next year. New consoles?
Technology is great, except for when it’s not.
One day I came to work and I couldn’t sign into my PC. I went and got one of the user support people. He logged in as an administrator and determined that something had turned off the services on my machine. He, of course, thought that it was a virus. I’m not sure though. I’m pretty careful, but I do sometimes click on links that people post on Twitter without thinking. He turned on the services that he thought needed to be on and ran a bunch of scans, which turned up nothing. I couldn’t get any work done that day, but at the end I got my PC back. It has really been the same since. I wish I could get a new PC.
The weekend before this past weekend, DirecTV came to install a 2nd receiver. This one went in the bedroom. From what I understand, the DirecTV installers are usually people that work at third-party companies that DirecTV hires to do the work. The installer got there at the beginning of the 4-hour range they gave me. He did all the wiring and connected the receiver in a decent amount of time. However, he couldn’t activate the receiver because DirecTV’s systems were down. He didn’t know how long the wait would be. He said that his supervisor (I’m assuming the one at whatever company he works for) wouldn’t allow him to leave a receiver that wasn’t activated. He would have to take the receiver and reschedule for another day, which would be 2 weeks later. Of course, I was angry because I had already waited 2 weeks for him to come in the first place. He called DirecTV to reschedule and they said he couldn’t reschedule for that reason. After sitting on my couch for a couple hours, he finally got approval to leave the receiver with me. He told me to call in later to activate it myself. He finally left after about 3.5 hours. I finally have satellite in my room. It’s great to have another option for TV viewing. Sometimes I get tired of sitting on my old couch. Also, I can sit in bed and watch Golden Girls reruns.
It’s a good thing I got the new receiver in the bed room because my big living room TV is dying. On Friday when I turned on the TV the screen was flickering rapidly. I could hear a clicking noise every time it flickered. I’ve only had this TV for 3.5 years, so I was mad that it was malfunctioning. It’s a cheap Vizio, so I shouldn’t be surprised. It was my first HDTV, and at the time I couldn’t afford to get anything more expensive. After talking to Vizio and the company Vizio uses for repairs, we determined what the problem was and that it would be better to buy a new TV than fix this one. When I bought this TV, I also bought an extended warranty. I remember that I didn’t want to, but my roommate at the time convinced me to do so. Well, all of my warranty coverage expired on January 31, 2011, which was less than 6 months ago. If it had done this before January 31, I could have gotten it repaired or replaced for free. Oh well. I’m getting a new TV. It definitely won’t be a Vizio. I’ve already picked out a Samsung that I like. I’ve had great luck with Samsung products in the past and they’re not as expensive as Sony products. I’m going to wait until after my vacation this week to order so it won’t be left outside my door and stolen while I’m gone. Sometimes the Vizio will come on and not flicker, but when it does flicker I can go watch TV in the bedroom.
These are first world problems if anything.