Whether you’re self-employed or working for the stingy nasty boss, you probably feel sometimes bored and, well… useless. You are a coder, you feel the real power we all share and are proud of, that ability to create things starting from a dream, but man! How vain you feel sometimes!
Let me share with you my humble conclusions on how to be a happy coder and challenge you on something. Just read on 🙂
1# Boredom is about interest and will.
You’re bored because you don’t have as much interests as you need to fill your time. That’s it. Maybe you’d really like to start something big, maybe you are used to failure in every project you start, but “crying” has never been a solution. Start learning NOW, start trying new things. The chore in our work is generally due to our laziness to learn new ways of doing things.
2# Exercise your brain’s muscles!
If you feel that you never achieve anything, than maybe you just undertake big things —bigger than what your current mindset can handle. It’s like exercise, you can’t lift 400lbs if you’ve never exercised before on something lighter. Ok, say, you can lift 400 lbs but you’ll feel the pain dear! And you won’t be able to lift anything during days or weeks. Probably, you’ll even hate lifting things from then on, just because you weren’t able to lift 400lbs… Come on!
3# Passion is destructive.
Real love is that one that shines tenderly for a very long time, not a firework that sparks for seconds and die. Don’t let your passion for the new things, that you learn or work on, kill the love. Go on steadily, step by step. Don’t ignore your daily and usual job just to work on your latest beloved piece of code. You’ll be overwhelmed.
Say, you settle the goal of learning C++ in 21 hours . Even if the course will take exactly 21 hours, don’t try to learn that in one day! This is darn stupid! You won’t learn anything! And you end your day work without doing anything actually, with the stingy boss yelling and a never-ending todo list.
4# Use the right tools.
Have a clean desktop and a minimalist set of tools to use. Don’t collect just anything you stumble upon and tell “Hey! This will help me be more productive!” tsss… Productivity is about how much you do in how much time. When you waste your time on useless stuff, your productivity lowers.
5# Give and share
No man is an island! Maybe you’re powerful enough to make whatever you want, you’re still useless if no one uses what you’ve done. In the other hand, don’t let your pride kill you. If you want to be more productive, use PTPM (People’s Time and People’s Money)
Build a network around you, be surrounded by people that can help you and that will be happy if you help them. Sometimes, all it takes to make someone grateful is 5 minutes of your time, yes, really! And in return people will help you with their time and knowledge. Look at Darren Rowse , the problogger. He knows how to write amazing blog posts, but also has a very famous blog with tons of good content written by… others!
6# Start NOW!
What? You’re still reading this article? 🙂 Go ahead, now ! Start a little, tiny app to give away! Whatever! Create a little script, a little program that does a very defined thing and does it well. Host it on google code, sourceforge… and invite your friends to help and share. Be useful now! Thousands of people ignore what you are able to do! Thousands of people are just waiting for that tiny app that you can make in an hour!
7# Make it a habit.
The nice thing about giving away is its magic. You will receive nice emails, many thanks, everyday! This will encourage you and make you happy and willing to make something new again. One joy plus one joy equals multiple joys. Take the challenge of delivering every month something new, no matter how big it is, no matter how many people will find it useful (you just can’t know, by the way). At the end of the year you’ll be the father of 12 children, and have I told you about the joy of being a father? 🙂
That’s it folks, I call the last advice “12PY“ a codename for a good habit, a challenge I dare you all to take: 12 Projects every Year! Happy coding and sharing! And let me know what you’ve done 🙂
P.S. The illustration in this article was made with inkscape a wonderful vector drawing software. I’m not a specialist and these are my first drawings with it. If you want the SVG to modify it or whatever, you can download it here 🙂