Why Everyone is Obsessed With Programming? Are You Obsessed With Programming?

More and more people say they want to learn programming, and more and more people learn programming. But is there a good reason for that?

Yeah. There’s a very good reason.

If I spend any time, say, exploring programmers who use SQL, it becomes increasingly clear that almost all programmers are, at some level, completely obsessed with the production of logic. 

Since SQL is the most popular database format, most programmers read and write SQL (even when writing databases, this is the language of choice) almost as much as they read other programming languages. If you go on the Internet and look at programming blogs, you’ll see that most of the conversation is entirely related to SQL. 

This isn’t surprising: SQL is the most popular database system. But if you look at programming companies (at least in the Bay Area), many of the developers working for these companies are SQL programmers.

I’m sure there are SQL developers outside the Bay Area, too. I’m also sure there are programmers who use other programming languages almost as much as they use SQL. All programmers read other programming languages and almost all programmers write other programming languages. 

When we’re asked to write a simple program, most of us simply write an example of our language, or of the language we use the most.

Why is programming so obsessed with logic?

A couple of theories come to mind. The first is that this obsession is a result of teaching programming to very young children, who are typically introduced to programming by trying to teach them the logic of programming games or puzzle games like the Game Boy, or by trying to teach them how to program basic components of an object-oriented program, or by trying to teach them how to use a language to generate one-line commands (especially as a programmer myself, I do this almost daily).

Programming could be seen as the logical extension of teaching children logic, because programming is a formal language that allows logic to be defined and assigned to variables (and maybe some other features). 

This emphasis on logic is probably why there are so many tutorials on programming today compare to these tutorials, and the hundreds more that were created after the Internet became popular.

Perhaps in this sense, programming really started with logic-oriented instruction, and logic has become the driving force that makes programming so obsessed with programming.

The second theory is perhaps even more powerful: Some programmers actually do produce logic by writing code. Most of us spend our entire careers writing code, but programming may be unique in that some programmers actually produce logic through writing code (although I would argue that programming in general tends to produce less, not more, logic).

What is so important about programming that it is the number one desired career for all the under-employed under-achievers?

The answers to these questions are not as exciting as building a spaceship or as personally rewarding as creating a novel plot. They are boring, sometimes dull and very dirty. We obsess so that we can take care of our families, so we can pay our bills.

The answers to these questions are not as exciting as building a spaceship or as personally rewarding as creating a novel plot. They are boring, sometimes dull and very dirty.

What am I talking about?

Not your perfect programmer that can program circles around anyone and turn out flawless code. Not your programmer that can build the fastest architecture for your startup and not even your programmer that can solve all the problems with his programming skills. The real question that we need to answer to explain our obsession with programming is that: Why do we find programming so interesting?

We talk about programming like a cool hobby

One guy introduced programming in front of his girlfriend by saying that he is trying to program his computer. The conversation sounded much more interesting than that of explaining art to the girl: “But you know, I am trying to paint a portrait of you with the pictures from my paintings in the past…”

A programmer that is too clever to use a simple method will waste lots of time implementing a complicated design that he will eventually find useless.

One guy got back from his first coding class to his room and just screamed with excitement at his keyboard, “I did it! I wrote a program that works!”

The girl that he met in the previous date did not really care. She just left him alone because of that one shocking statement.

The programmers who had to work late in order to finish a project can lose the interest in the project when the project starts to work.

Programming is just something that is “obsessed” with us. It is not too boring, too intellectual, or too complex that it can not be explained to a newbie or to a struggling programmer that is just getting his feet wet.

We are obsessed with programming because it is one of the fastest ways of solving all the problems that we think are important.

Everyone thinks that they are a genius with a great programming skill. Everyone thinks that they can help other people solve their problem, everyone wants to create a cool design that impresses other people, everyone is obsessed with programming in general.

Furthermore, everyone who has a problem thinks that coding is the solution. Not everyone is obsessed with programming and not everyone likes programming. The truth is that the majority of people who are obsessed with programming are not really happy with their job.

Nobody is truly happy with programming. Why? Because everyone needs a great designer to build that great app. Not everyone has the time or skill to build a nice UI for the website, Not everyone has the skill to make their product stand out in the app store.

Not everyone is smart enough to build the system that knows how to write smart programs like the ones we write for our web apps.

Programmers are crazy, paranoid, obsessive, addicted to programming, obsessed, obsessed, obsessed…

Is it really so bad?

Would you like to hang out with someone that is obsessed with programming, Would you like to become a programmer if it were as a cool hobby for a weekend, Would you like to obsess with programming and find out that you have hidden talents? Would you like to get paid well?

If you ask that question to people, the majority would tell you that coding is a great profession. They would never admit that they are insanely obsessed with programming, that they always have something to work on and that they can not stop coding for a single minute.

What do you think? Are you obsessed with programming? Let us know.

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