Why I like to code

Published on 2021-10-04 | Jeremy Greze
Why I like to code

I've been interested in computers since I was a child. I would go to my father's work just to use one. I think I was just happy to move files into folders, lol.

Around the time I was 10 years old, I received a personal computer for kids: a VTECH GENIUS 5000. That's how I started to learn how to code in BASIC (the language), reading the user manual. Simple loops and IF statements. And many GOTO statements. Fun time.

Since then, I have continued to practice. Coding is now part of my life, and I can't imagine stopping one day.

Let me try to describe why I like to code.

Problem Solving

I am the type of person who likes solving problems. I guess you can put in this category people who fancy solving math problems, sudokus, puzzles, etc.

Coding is relaxing. You stay calm and focused on one specific task: what blocks do I need to write to develop a logical and coherent design that works? It's the problem to solve.

And it can be gratifying once you have succeeded. For example, I think I'll always be so thrilled when I see a graphic animating for the first time (D3.js, thanks!).

Creativity

Since I'm a child, I have enjoyed building things. For example, I had an entire city built with LEGO, and I can't count how many hours I spent on this. Coding has opened a new world of opportunities for me. A new world to build my own things, like websites.

Coders can feel like artists. This quote from Fred Brooks puts it much more nicely than I could:

The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures. – Fred Brooks, The Mythical Man Month

Power

Learning how to code is like gaining a new skill to build your own things. But this skill is increasingly useful since the digitalization of society continues to progress. Internet and smartphones are now everywhere. You can build useful things for many people. It gives a great feeling of power.

For all these reasons, I have coded with great pleasure for more than 20 years now. Even if I didn't study computer science and I'm not a full-time software developer! But that's another story. Anyway, coding is a passion that serves me well in my professional career and for my projects.

Happy Coding :)

Photo taken from a classified ad.