1x0

Contemplating the side effects of being a coder

22 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I putting this out there to gain from your perceptions if you wish to join me.

I have been a coder for quite some time. In some way it brings me fulfilment, putting things in order, progressing with the masses, providing value by creating automatable tasks and communication channels. etc...

In other ways, Being so focused on purely human created expressions in the form of lexical symbols all day long seems to take me further and further away from actual reality. Away from time to experience the beauty in nature, and relationships, and other non-computer related perspectives.

I know I have a choice, in that I can create a balance, but the nature of the working environment is constantly insisting us all to be specialists, to work as hard as we can and be the master of our universe. If I relax or diversify in the working environment, I no longer lead, I am no longer the creator, I am a slave.

As a coder, I am less a big systems thinker, I am a tool working on the conveyor belt, as a middle manager I am a facilitator of human resources, as a director I lack hands on experiences. Maybe I just need to be self employed to be it all.

Thoughts? ...

Thanks in advance!

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26 minutes ago, 1x0 said:

a coder for

What's your definition of "being a coder"?

27 minutes ago, 1x0 said:

human created expressions in the form of lexical symbols all day long seems to take me further and further away from actual reality.

You talk about two distinct things? If so what is the super-set of everything? Is reality of your definition is a subset of something else?

29 minutes ago, 1x0 said:

Thoughts? ...

What's your wish in this life?

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hey @non_nothing, a coder is a computer programmer. 

28 minutes ago, non_nothing said:

You talk about two distinct things? If so what is the super-set of everything? Is reality of your definition is a subset of something else?

ok, so the code I write/use is a part of actual reality, However, the point I am trying to make is that it is man made made one that is pretty primitive compared to that of nature and perception. The fact I spend soooo much time focused on this little thing which is quite far off complex systems (even though it may seem like a complex system to an outsider), I think , is quite a deception. I have no idea what my wish in life is. Maybe that is the root of the my discernment.

@Caterpillar, nice words and I feel like I am heading in that direction. Just trying to avoid being a generalist too.

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2 minutes ago, 1x0 said:

hey @non_nothing, a coder is a computer programmer. 

This is not your definition/ the role you're playing. E.g with a personal thing, I have a developer role at where I work.

4 minutes ago, 1x0 said:

I have no idea what my wish in life is. Maybe that is the root of the my discernment.

Then I ask that again to you. What's your wish in this life. Do not skip me.

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1 hour ago, non_nothing said:

Then I ask that again to you. What's your wish in this life. Do not skip me.

haha, like it. This is an impossible question for me at the moment. A wish is a thought, Then, another thought happens, another wish. I smashed together my values, then realised that I could quite easily wake up the next morning with different ones. After reducing myself to simply an appearance in the moment, I could only answer that question with relevance to right now knowing that it is going to change again soon. The reason it is difficult question to answer right now is because I am walking the line between wanting to outwardly promote vs inwardly search. In this confusion I feel somewhat frozen and having to take a role of an observer with no wish other than to perceive and let go. Maybe before I wished we would all become more responsible and forward thinking over our actions on the environment and one another. However, going back to my thoughts on being a coder/developer/programmer, does this role contribute to this desired wish of responsibility? I don't know. But it certainly doesn't feel like it. It feels like I am in the success driven, self serving, competitive hierarchical rat race.... with a glimmer of being useful to society.

Edited by 1x0

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1 hour ago, Shadowraix said:

Programming is a puzzle in the same way figuring out reality is.

... but is it? Reality is much much more complex. Coding is mostly harnessing human created tools to do human desired things. Maybe its a distraction of sorts. 

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I totally get it.  Coding is fulfilling but also dehumanizing on some level too.  I do coding as a hobby because it’s important for me as a future personal development teacher to know how to code so I can do my own web development.  But what I’ve found is tech problems frustrate me on a level almost like nothing else can.  In almost everything else in life the human mind can bullshit it’s way out of a tough spot.  But when something doesn’t work in tech and you’ve been beating your head against the wall trying to solve the problem to no avail — it can be the most infuriating thing that you can ever experience.  And this is one reason I’m glad I didn’t become a programmer which I almost did before I switched majors from Computer Science and Engineering to Philosophy.  I get really incensed dealing with tech problems and it’s no good for me.  But at the same time I need to know how to build my own tech infrastructure that I need for my life purpose goals, so I’m a fan of coding and I promote people learning to code.  I think I’ve leveled more swear words and threats at my computer than I have at anything else in life haha.  Yo, and what annoys me to no avail is when I go and look to try to find a solution on the Internet or YouTube and I get these communications from tech people who seem to lack basic oral and written communication skills.  Engineers are notoriously bad communicators just like lawyers are notoriously bad managers.  

Edited by Joseph Maynor

  • Never rely on anybody for anything.
  • All suffering is caused by ignorance.

 

 

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3 hours ago, 1x0 said:

haha, like it. This is an impossible question for me at the moment. A wish is a thought, Then, another thought happens, another wish. I smashed together my values, then realised that I could quite easily wake up the next morning with different ones. After reducing myself to simply an appearance in the moment, I could only answer that question with relevance to right now knowing that it is going to change again soon. The reason it is difficult question to answer right now is because I am walking the line between wanting to outwardly promote vs inwardly search. In this confusion I feel somewhat frozen and having to take a role of an observer with no wish other than to perceive and let go. Maybe before I wished we would all become more responsible and forward thinking over our actions on the environment and one another. However, going back to my thoughts on being a coder/developer/programmer, does this role contribute to this desired wish of responsibility? I don't know. But it certainly doesn't feel like it. It feels like I am in the success driven, self serving, competitive hierarchical rat race.... with a glimmer of being useful to society.

I understand. I would like to offer you going out and spending your weekend alone somewhere like forest or far away. It will replenish the power you need to function well again

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@1x0 That's right, there is a trade-off between being a technician versus being a big picture thinker.

Project leads do very little actual coding. So you have to decide what you want out of life: Do you love coding so much that you want to be a master hands-on coder, or do you love other things more, like management, big picture thinking, business strategy, etc? In that case, you must surrender your desire for hands-on coding.

It's sort of the difference between being a bricklayer and an architect. If you love to lay bricks you shouldn't become an architect.

There is no right or wrong answer. It is perfectly acceptable to just enjoy the art and science of coding or bricklaying. It's not always better to be a project lead. You can just be a master coder. Then again, coding can be quite dehumanizing and a waste of life. Do you really want to be sitting behind a computer screen for 12 hours per day? Is there something more fun and valuable that you could be doing? Does the world really need another code monkey? Or could your creative talents be put to better use?

But it's not just about getting more money for your time. You must enjoy the thing you're doing. So if coding is what you genuinely most enjoy, then do that. The trick is, there are probably other things you enjoy more but haven't discovered yet. So then your task would be to discover that.

Personally I don't enjoy management so I avoid positions where I have to manage lots of people. I would rather be working independently, doing my art. But that's me. Some people love to work in groups and manage others. It all depends on your personality type.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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If you love to layer bricks you shouldn't become an architect.

Maybe you have to understand the intricacies of laying bricks to become the greatest architect...

Quote

So if coding is what you genuinely most enjoy, then do that. 

For myself at least, web/mobile apps are a medium through which I create technology related to my life purpose. So I have been down the path (still am whilst I transition towards my life-purpose full time) of just coding and designing for the paycheck.

I worked casually as a programmer, I could only do so much of that before I began to hate my life. I now run my own web and app development business, which I enjoy doing enough to happily maintain whilst I work on Life Purpose. It covers my costs and provides me with a high degree of freedom which is important.

For me though my ideal domain for my life purpose is technology (startups), and having little capital and high expectations meant having to do the work by myself. For now at least, until I can create more value by paying someone else to do the programming. 

But I'm the programmer, designer, marketer, manager, writer, editor and everything in my business (which keeps things way more interesting) so I'd recommend not limiting yourself to the one role.

Just felt there was a slight negative skew in the thread, and I'd try and rephrase it based on my personal experiences.

Basically programming towards your life purpose is enjoyable and fulfilling, framing it so you don't end up being the programmer forever is probably best -- at some point you definitely want to move solely into the bigger-picture role.

For those interested, I just launched my Life Purpose app actually: https://www.purposefinder.io (maybe you'll get some idea of the "value-driven" creations you can build through programming).

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56 minutes ago, Bluebird said:

Maybe you have to understand the intricacies of laying bricks to become the greatest architect...

You are treating it as a means to another end, while I am talking about being a bricklayer as its own end.

Imagine you laid bricks for the rest of your life. Not to advance to some other position, but just because you loved the art of laying bricks.

Obviously bricklaying is not YOUR LP since you want to do big picture stuff, but that is not clear for OP.

The ultimate question isn't about means but ends. Where do you want to end up?


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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@Leo Gura That makes sense, guess I'm just muddling the situation :S

But OP you can definitely enjoy coding without wanting to be a developer forever!

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Programming is a very broad spectrum field. Whether you are a mindless keyboard puncher or a big system thinker will depending on what type of software you write and what company you work for. 

In general, in a big company, you will most likely end up grinding away in a corner of a huge code base. While in a startup, you will have to be more creative and diversify your work.

It very much depends on what kind of programming you are involved with. I would imagine if you are doing R&D, it's much more interesting and involved than mundane maintenance. 

Also, you always have the choice to explore new paths in programming. If you've been a web developer for a while, try going down to the application layer and build programs for the OS. If you have an inclination for math, try Data science or if you want to explore big complex systems, do Kernel programming. When you are good with the low-level languages, you can explore embedded development or firmware programming. This will open up a whole new world of electronics and hardware for you. 

You don't have to be stuck in one particular framework. I would argue that exploring new routes will make you a much better programmer even in the same sphere.

There are endless opportunities. I think your work feels uninspiring because you've been doing uninspiring work yourself, and not because of the field itself. 

Edited by Arthur

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I am more or less in a similar position as you are as I am contemplating between investing my life into programming or monkhood.

Investing your life into programming for the sake of your career would be stupid as when we die we lose all the accumulations, this is a losing investment in regard to your eternity. But if it is a mean to creating a beautiful life then this can make sense.

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Thanks all, you have been amazing!!!!! I feel very luck to have been offered such fab advise!

To summarise if I may:
- Be clear on what makes for a beautiful life.
- Make sure the things you actually do are things you enjoy, not what society has led you to believe, if not then make some space to find it.
- Make a choice because, unless you are lucky, you can't impact a lot of people without being in a big company and you can't be in a big company without being a specialist.

Returning to the original question "Contemplating the side effects of being a coder", Due to what I said at the beginning of this thread, I still feel that the software development environment encourages a disconnect from the search for Truth.

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you can't impact a lot of people without being in a big company

Question this belief! Is it true? Is impacting many people more important than impacting fewer people in deeper ways?

Quote

I still feel that the software development environment encourages a disconnect from the search for Truth

Depends on the person, for me, it's a part of my search for Truth and building my life up!

How would you know about Leo id someone hadn't built YouTube, or this Forum?

Code up a side project and see how you feel about it then. Or if you have something else that is clearly more aligned to your search for Truth that can be a part of your life purpose and career, do that.

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11 hours ago, 1x0 said:

I still feel that the software development environment encourages a disconnect from the search for Truth.

That's gonna be true of most work environments. The search for Truth is the opposite of doing everyday work.

Even the work I do for Actualized.org is counter-productive for seeking Truth. In fact, very much so. Because work is just not about that. Work is a survival function, which is the opposite of Truth.

The biggest problem I see with programming is that it consigns you to sit at a computer terminal for 8 hours per day for 40 years. But then again, lots of work does that these days. I spend much of my time on a computer. So....


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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17 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Even the work I do for Actualized.org is counter-productive for seeking Truth. In fact, very much so. Because work is just not about that. Work is a survival function, which is the opposite of Truth.

It's really interesting and really funny you say that because that's always been something that I found crazy about your work and I'm actually astonished at how you manage both. I mean, most people go through the whole enlightenment truth endeavor then start the organization, the ashram, the business, the teaching, etc. and with you it's backwards and I'm personally astonished at how you manage both. 

I actually question now how much of my framework of how I want my life purpose to play out is a limiting belief because the center piece of my life purpose is "full" enlightenment because hey, that's how it's always been done. Buddha, Osho, Sadhguru, Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, Zen masters, etc. and that whole way of seeing it really frustrates me because it feels like I have to wait years before I hammer my foot on the gas pedal and floor it in pursuit of Truth even though this is the thing I want to do now and make an impact on the world with and spend my time mastering. 

Edited by kieranperez

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4 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

The biggest problem I see with programming is that it consigns you to sit at a computer terminal for 8 hours per day for 40 years. But then again, lots of work does that these days. I spend much of my time on a computer. So....

It's possible to retire in 10-20 years if you invest a majority of your income and spend little. Someone living at their parent's house can retire in like 5-7 years if they don't pay any bills. Search for FIRE (financial independence retire early)

Edited by Outer

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