(This is a snapshot of my old weblog. New posts and selected republished essays can be found at raganwald.com.)

Friday, September 01, 2006
  Just in time for "labour" day

I strongly oppose the false dichotomy of either you program for fun or you program for business. That split is not only artificial, but seems more like a self-serving fairy tale you can tell yourself to why your current environment is making you unhappy. Well, I'm doing Serious Business Stuff, so it has to suck. That's just the way the world spins. Bullocks.
David Heinemeier Hansson, commenting on Less is Better



Comments on “Just in time for "labour" day:
Years ago I worked at a video game company. One night, as I slapped the monitor in disgust and swore at the code for the 83rd time, my coding partner smiled and said, "Dude, remember: if we're not having fun, we're doing something wrong."

He wasn't talking about writing games. He was talking about being a programmer. (Frankly, everything you've heard about the gaming industry is true: every "business" job I've had since then has been less stress and more fun.)

This was one of the most useful career lessons I've ever learned. Nowadays I'm optimizing distributed databases... and loving it. To me, "programming for hire" means "programming for fun... while getting paid to do it."
anonymous: thanks!
It is a great truism in life that if you don't like what you are doing, you had better change it. You HAVE to like your job (i.e. there has to be some fun in it) or you'll simply go C r A z Y! Too much of our time as a populous is spent at work for it to additionally be a boring, dull, drag as well.

If your job sucks - start looking for another - more fun - position!
Say hi to Msrs. False Dichotomy and Strawman Argument. It always has to be DHH's way or the sucky way. There couldn't be any more variables, and we only have to look at the very beginning of the process because that's what RoR is geared up for. Looking at the whole process, looking at the many things missing from RoR, looking at the smiles on the faces of the children who's lives you were able to save because you didn't waste money and time on on RoR and take unnecessary risks just to amuse yourself in a way that makes DHH's ego swell instead of amusing yourself in a way that would let those kids live, that's just unpossible.
It always has to be DHH's way or the sucky way.

I don't personally care about what he may or may not have said elsewhere. The quote merely says that it is a false dichotomy that work cannot be fun.

looking at the smiles on the faces of the children who's lives you were able to save because you didn't waste money and time on on RoR and take unnecessary risks...

If smiling children make you happy, aren't you really in violent agreement with him? Aren't you saying that your work can make you happy?

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Reg Braithwaite

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