No doubt about it, I’m burnt-out. Not in the personal sense, but from the professional perspective. I still produce code, but not as much as I used to, and more because I want to and not because I need to.
I used to be a programmer back in the 80’s, when most people who labeled themselves as ‘a programmer’ was usually someone who reveled in the intricacies of the lines of code that almost literally sprung from their fingers tapping on clunky keyboards of steel, with nary a care for whether what they were coding actually solved anything of use to a client.
Oh, no doubt about it, I had my share of gleeful moments when I successfully coded a tricky bit of logic. Whether it was crafting a nifty bit of window-dressing for a keyboard input routine, or hand-coding a report-generating program, a sense of veritable god-hood would sweep through the core of my being whenever the code would perform as expected. The adrenalin- or endorphin- or whatever-you-call-it-almost-chemical rush was addicting, and I would eagerly anticipate the next challenge, the next rush, as I pounded away at the keyboard into each day and on through the night.
In truth, the cliques that we formed back then could have easily been compared to the ones that drug addicts created. With each clique advocating their own cocktail of drug aka programming language or methodology. I suppose psychologists would have a field day studying our “kind” and comparing individual and group behavior patterns to that of drug addicts. Then again, programming is not a prohibited activity unless its hacking into other peoples’ systems, or the creation of malicious software or malware, so I seriously doubt anyone has actually thought to conduct such a study.
The picture I paint of myself, albeit caricature-ish, was and still is true for IT professionals all over the world. Although I used to be proud to be called a programmer, in retrospect, I see myself as a junkie, and sometimes when I recall those times, I have to shake my head in self-annoyance at all that time I spent in front of the computer screen when I could have been enjoying a more normal life.
So here I am in my mid-40’s in the early 2000’s, floating, wondering what to do with myself in terms of a career. Suggestions are welcome, and more personal thoughts, updates and stories to come in the future. I hope. Unless I discover something equally-as addicting. hehehe…