Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 08, 2016, 02:18:38 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Programming Ennui, Anyone?  (Read 7602 times)

kyrathaba

  • N.A.N.Y. Organizer
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 3,120
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« on: October 14, 2010, 09:44:12 PM »
I've been working on my N.A.N.Y. 2010 app since August.  It's going quite well, and is, by my estimation, about 90% "done".  Some of my RPG players have done some testing for me.  I still have some finishing-up touches to make.  Perhaps a few more hours of coding.  What I've been finding is that I've begun to lose a little "steam", or drive, to work on it.

I've noticed a similar pattern over the past four or five years when working on a fairly sizable project:  I start off great guns, working lots of hours per week with great enthusiasm.  As time goes on, a sense of ennui gradually steals over me.

Don't get me wrong:  I fully intend to finish the project, and it will be useful when completed -- albeit to a rather limited audience. 

I wonder if the rest of you coders experience a similar ennui-phenomenon?

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,130
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2010, 09:48:25 PM »
  • Writers Block
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of Inspiration
  • Distraction By Another Project

4 Things pretty much every Programmer, Writer, or Designer faces each and every day :)

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,416
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010, 10:58:18 PM »
Oh my yes.. Only a fraction of projects i work on ever escape this pattern.. The miracle is when you manage to stick with them long enough to reach escape velocity from the ennui.

Honestly this is one of those things that makes you a real programmer, developing the habits and skills that can carry you past the inevitable decrease in enthusiasm that happens when you start really getting into the weeds with a project and hitting the unfun slog through getting it really "finished".  It's not easy.

barney

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,282
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2010, 11:13:42 PM »
Hee, hee  :D.  The last decade I was in corporate America, the hardest part of anything I did, whether report, Web site, program, whatever, was the last 5%-10%.  Seemed as though every time the end of the tunnel - not the light at the end of the tunnel, but the end of the tunnel - showed up, I'd slow down.  Hardest work I did was that last 5%-10%.  Oh, I'd finish ... but it hurt  ;D.

phitsc

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 1,187
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2010, 01:55:57 AM »
I have the opposite problem right now. I find it really hard to start private projects at the moment. I have quite a few ideas of applications I'd like to start, or programming stuff (technologies, programming languages, etc) I'd like to look into. But it's so much easier to start the PS3, or just follow a book. One of my problems is the knowledge of how much time it takes to bring something to a useful state, or even finish it. Then I compare that with the private time I have currently available and see that I just won't get anywhere with the time I could invest right now. That is enough de-motivation to keep me from even starting something.

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,416
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2010, 02:06:32 AM »
phitsc, yes i experience that too.. for me i sometimes i have the hardest time pulling the trigger and starting coding on a project, and feel like i am locked into the research+plan stage where i am evaluating options.

perhaps the resistance to starting and finishing are connecting in terms of a difficulty in overcoming momentum..

Target

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,606
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2010, 02:19:05 AM »
... for me i sometimes i have the hardest time pulling the trigger and starting coding on a project, and feel like i am locked into the research+plan stage where i am evaluating options.

isn't this called the Duke Nukem effect?

barney

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,282
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2010, 02:25:36 AM »
Quote
perhaps the resistance to starting and finishing are connecting in terms of a difficulty in overcoming momentum..
That makes sense for the start, but I kinda see a different outlook for the end.  For me, at least, and for a few other folk, as well, according to past happy hour discussions, the slowdown at the end of a project oft involves the question, "What will I do now?"  

We can get so involved in a project that we don't want to see it end, so even when we have a clear termination in view, we try to delay it.  I found that to be particularly true when I was learning PHP - I was constantly refining pages because I didn't envision any further project(s), so I didn't want the one at hand to end  :o.

'Course that could be just me, but past conversations lead me to believe I'm not alone  ;D.

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2010, 05:19:09 AM »
Glad to hear it's not just me who suffer from programming ennui - I've had it on almost every project I've worked on.

... for me i sometimes i have the hardest time pulling the trigger and starting coding on a project, and feel like i am locked into the research+plan stage where i am evaluating options.

isn't this called the Duke Nukem effect?
Naaah, the actually did a lot of programming - if they had done some planning, and locked themselves on a feature set and 3D engine, they might have been able to finish the game :)
- carpe noctem

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,296
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2010, 06:21:52 AM »
I've got a project now that I've hit-the-wall on. Granted (lack of) time is the biggest factor, but I'm really not chomping-at-the-bit to attack it either. Hopfully I'll be able to refocus on it in the next month or so...as it has started taunting me lately.

kyrathaba

  • N.A.N.Y. Organizer
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 3,120
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2010, 07:16:36 AM »
Another thing I notice is that, if I'm in a "programming mood" and work on my project for a considerable length of time prior to calling it a night and hitting the sack, I then have difficulty going to sleep.  It's like the act of programming is a stimulant like caffeine.  I'll toss and turn, and continue to think of the program.  I'll find myself making mental notes: okay, tomorrow, I need to refine method [whatever] by refactoring.  It's so clunky the way I wrote it.  And it'll actually bother me that there's something in my code that isn't well-written.  Anyone else experienced this?

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,416
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2010, 07:17:44 AM »
Quote
And it'll actually bother me that there's something in my code that isn't well-written.  Anyone else experienced this?

nope.

ok ok, yes sometimes.  it can definitely nag at your brain as well.  but you also have to choose your battles -- sometimes it's best to push on and leave some imperfect code for the next version, otherwise you'd never finish.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 07:30:43 AM by mouser »

Perry Mowbray

  • N.A.N.Y. Organizer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,817
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2010, 07:23:47 AM »
If I'm very late to bed it's usually because I'm struggling with something... and generally what happens is that after I give up and call it a morning and climb into bed the answer to the problem occurs to me. At that point the struggle is not to get back up again and see if my subconscious was right   ;)... but to trust my memory and go to sleep satisfied

phitsc

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 1,187
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2010, 07:43:12 AM »
but to trust my memory and go to sleep satisfied

I always have pen and paper on the bedside table :Thmbsup:

phitsc

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 1,187
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2010, 07:45:18 AM »
Another thing I notice is that, if I'm in a "programming mood" and work on my project for a considerable length of time prior to calling it a night and hitting the sack, I then have difficulty going to sleep.  ....

I don't think that's exclusive to programming. I have that with everything which I have been doing with much concentration before trying to sleep.

Perry Mowbray

  • N.A.N.Y. Organizer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,817
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2010, 08:13:39 AM »
but to trust my memory and go to sleep satisfied

I always have pen and paper on the bedside table :Thmbsup:

Yes, I take a notebook (paper) everywhere with me... but not to bed. The last thing my poor suffering wife needs is to be woken up by crazed scribbling and a light turned on  :-[

cranioscopical

  • Friend of the Site
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,367
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2010, 12:00:29 PM »
The last thing my poor suffering wife needs is to be woken up by crazed scribbling and a light turned on  :-[

No excuses

penlight.jpg

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2010, 01:06:34 PM »
  • Writers Block
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of Inspiration
  • Distraction By Another Project

Sounds pretty much like LIFE to me ... never mind programming!  :-[

kyrathaba

  • N.A.N.Y. Organizer
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 3,120
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2010, 04:58:15 PM »
Although I already suspected it to be the case, it's reassuring to see I'm not alone in experiencing these things ;)

barney

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,282
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2010, 05:23:09 PM »
Welcome to becoming a mere mortal  ;D ;D.

mahesh2k

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,417
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2010, 03:31:11 AM »
Yes. Yes.  :-[

Perry Mowbray

  • N.A.N.Y. Organizer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,817
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2010, 12:58:50 AM »
The last thing my poor suffering wife needs is to be woken up by crazed scribbling and a light turned on  :-[

No excuses
 (see attachment in previous post)

Chris... can you asure me that that pen is absolutely silent???

cranioscopical

  • Friend of the Site
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,367
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2010, 01:12:57 AM »
Chris... can you asure me that that pen is absolutely silent???
Not if you're  going to drop it on the floor! For a good night's peace you might consider NyQuill.

Perry Mowbray

  • N.A.N.Y. Organizer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,817
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2010, 07:43:41 AM »
Actually...

When my father was doing his leaving exams from school he insisted on writing them with quills that he'd made. That was until his fellow classmates complained about the squeaking that the quills made on the paper and the head insisted that he use a fountain pen like the rest of the cohort.

Being a (slightly) rebellious chap (always wondered where I got it from) he went out and purchased some Biro's, which had not been used in that institution previously, and proceeded to become the first Biro writing leaving student!

 

cranioscopical

  • Friend of the Site
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,367
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Programming Ennui, Anyone?
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2010, 08:10:32 AM »
When my father was doing his leaving exams from school he insisted on writing them with quills…  he went out and purchased some Biro's, which had not been used in that institution previously, and proceeded to become the first Biro writing leaving student!
That's a nice thing to know about one's father  :Thmbsup: