2007-01-17

Programmers Block...

I have always been a programmer. I started programming in BASIC with the ZX Spectrum. Incredibly as it might sound I even wrote a game for that computer. Over the years things evolved and know I would like to say that I use the language that serves best the needs at hand, but facts are that I do most things in Java. That is the language that I use at work. At home, for my pet projects, I choose language and it goes from C to Java. Lately I've been looking a Python and Ruby, but I haven't really tried them out.

At work I have evolved to what I call a "Word Programmer". What is a "Word Programmer"? Well, it is someone that makes highly detailed specifications that others follow when programming. I call it "Word Programmer" because "Word" is the name of the Text Editor that the company I work for forces me to use. The idea is to develop software from very high-level languages: English and UML (Unified Modeling Language). It is an interesting work since you get to develop something that the University doesn't teach: Soft Skills. I say this because the compilers that actually turn the source code I write into an executable program are the programmers of the team. Each one with their own personality and experience.

One of the things I learned after all these years as a programmer is that sometimes you reach what I like to tall "Programmers Block". Like it happens with writers that are with Writer's Block, sometimes I simply can write a single line of code. No matter how long I stare at the editor no single line comes out. It seems that my "Over Engineering" neuron is firing all the time and everything seems to complicated. End result: no source code comes out. But then something clicks, the neuron stops firing and source code starts to poor out as usual. I just have to wait for a while.

Has this haver happened to you? Because I believe this is another proof that developing software is just another form of art. If only my bosses figured this out and stopped thinking that the programmer is like a factory worker that consistently delivers 15k lines of source code per day...

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