I'm a casual tech user so forgive me if I'm interjecting. I just feel some of the questions are general enough for me to answer.
What do you think is interesting about Computer Programming?
First off, I haven't read this blog post but this might interest you: http://paulstamatiou...ow-i-learned-to-code
Ultimately, God Mode. Less narcissistically, Productivity Mode. Essentialy, Pro-Activity.
It's this "pro-activity" that interest me most. Once you become a computer programmer, and I mean legitimately a "programmer". It is not just that you can (potentially) create anything nor is it about (potentially) being able to cut corners and shortcuts and all that stuff. It is literally "freedom". It is literally "no more philosophy or idealistic determination, once you step off that couch and start programming, you start manipulating." BAM! Instant. You're off. Lifestyle change. Application of freedom of choice. No Open Source? Learn how to code law into your program and change the world. No Freeware? Learn how to code program and screw the man. Bad support? Learn how to integrate social media or popularize social media and use your influence to change that company. It's just BAM! BAM! BAM! Instant.
I'm not talking about coding. I'm talking about "programming". Once you have that mindset, destiny says you're guaranteed to do something. It's not a guarantee to success, but it is a guarantee to impact. Ripple, Tidal Waves, Black Hole... doesn't matter. Once you get into that mindset, you become a writer who has the ability to wield the rarest and most powerful weapons so you're no longer pressured by fanboys to yield to their quality.
The world doesn't just open; it changes
Suddenly you're not just a classical physicist researching on the next big thing: You've been teleported and are now knee deep into quantum physics
and the world would only continue to feel your ripple the more you integrate yourself into the "programming" mindset.
Suddenly, you no longer need to be that guy in that tower defense game Immortal Defense who has to sacrifice his body to become immortal in space and put his love points in a section and his pride points in another section and have them serve as towers.
Suddenly, you are literally what that game's text describe as you win in a stage. Some guy who is now asked himself stuff like: "How does it feel to shoot those who cannot shoot back?"
Suddenly, you're now a guy who can be caught knee deep in a government conspiracy like that guy in Broken Saints but no longer need to pray to God to save a man from losing his eye-sight while he's holed up in a hidden underground base where no one but his company knows.
Suddenly, computer programming didn't just make you feel alive like anything a person might be passionate of. Suddenly, computer programming made you feel pro-active and suddenly, life just got a little easier to understand because you now have the very structure, the very plate that society has been born off, that religion has been born off, that science has been born off...ALL within the comfort of whatever it is you are trying to program. Suddenly, life is no longer about wondering where the grass is greener. Life has become the simulation and you are the simulator giving birth or operating on a test addition to life while being inside the simulation itself.
Computer programming didn't just give you the key to programming a computer, computer programming, once fully synchronize, gives you the realization that life and a computer has very little difference except in scale...and that's what's most interesting about it to me.
What do you like about Computer Programming?
The evolution. Almost everything in life has a vertical rise even among the talented ones.
In basketball, doesn't matter how great you are, if you're much more interesting you get payed more.
In MMA, doesn't matter how great you are, if you know and have been trained by a legend or is undefeated and exciting, you go way ahead in the sport.
Even in a non-physical activity like in writing, Stephen King = more publishers willing to spread his books than Stephen Queen.
EVEN a research-centric activity like science still gives authority for the big honchos to steal your research ideas or pressure you to change your passion by mob threatening your reputation and history revisioning your works.
In computer programming, it's literally as Malcolm Gladwell implied in Outliers...all you need is the right opportunity and almost the right amount of luck and you're in. Bill Gates as the book writes, didn't need to know the right fundamentals or the right circumstances, he just needed the right model to fall on his lap and then drive it away and he's literally won the lottery and kicked out most of his "betters"
For this same reason, no one is safe in the world of computer programming. It is constant creativity, constant marketing, constant competition, constant "changing" or what is essentially "programming" by it's very nature and that's what I like about it.
In computer programming, you're not screwing yourself by learning and implementing more than you can chew. Neither are you screwing yourself by implementing and learning less so you can focus on other areas you prefer. In computer programming, at the very core, you are only screwed by everything that made you a computer programmer.
If you believe a computer programmer is defined by his paycheck, then management often times screws you.
If you believe a computer programmer is defined by the quality of the product you make, then the marketer and freeware computer programmers screws you by riding on your back to make a better quality program.
If you believe a computer programmer is defined by dedication, then you are the one who often screws yourself by not being dedicated to programming and limiting yourself only to the "coding".
If you could change one thing about computer programmers what would it be?
Perception. Right now there's too many pseudo-experts roaming around and gaining influence as well as people even experts setting up a spikier barrier of learning because that's what most of modern society involves in but it's basically screwing them up also.
By being more of an isolationist, computer programmers rather than use their new found mindsets to "program" their environment become slaves to their society.
I'm not saying all computer programmers are creating shells. Certainly, even if this stereotype holds enough quantity to be true, that's not the problem.
The problem is enough appreciation of the value of programming. That, I feel is what many computer programmers sell themselves short and I can't blame them. Life can be rough and modern society can't just be "sci-fi"-ed into mind control chips that follow you around.
But see...that's the thing! If you're a budding programmer and you don't know a Programming Language well enough, life is only as comfortable as when you limit yourself to anything your capabilities can do. A script kiddie is not going to enjoy playing with his hacked Iphone if he's suddenly tasked with trying to hack a super secure high tech computer that in 10 seconds would launch a nuclear device straight to his home! Why should programmers allow their environment to define how "programmers" should act and treat the world and give up on "programming" the world?
I'm not saying they should gather all the spec sheets on that girl they've been stalking. I'm saying look what's in front of your mind! "Program it!" Write well written codes. Write great guis by actually listening to your lesser brethrens and not just hide or convince them "not to think" like Apple does. I'm also not saying show your end-users everything! Even Britney Spears couldn't pull that off!
I just want perception to be considered. If the program works well enough. Program the site! Site is working enough. Program the availability and clarity of the manual! Use technology that's easier on the eyes for casual users. Manual is good enough? Program the forums, the blogs, the marketing, the feedback form, your friendliness...No, don't change yourself or be a slave to your users. Just follow the mindset of programming: change minds, not switches.
Obviously this isn't just limited to programmers and that's part of the difficulty because society is the new invisible falling off a gravity scenario after the parachute was invented but it's such a crucial need and computer programmers are such an important facet to the growth of the world that I feel it's the one thing that they not only should change but they can actually change without needing a genie fulfilling my wish and just require having 1 or 2 computer programmers start considering perception today or getting motivated again to further improve perception just a wee bit more that Margaret Mead's quote (Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that has.) starts to work a wee bit better.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing that Computer Programmers have given the world?