Bad metaphor for coding

Working on a challenging project for class this weekend. Thinking that the same dopamine surges that accompany addictions are occurring with intense coding sessions. (I’m no expert on this, even though I want to feel well-read on the topic. I don’t have the time to do research.) The similarity in coding is that, when things are going badly, as they often are, I am less likely to step away and more likely to “double-down” and work more furiously, often digging myself deeper. It’s horrible, and yet, it’s absolutely worth it when that “big win” finally comes in terms of an “aha” moment. Like with gambling, I feel like the aha moment cancels out the preceding lengthy drain, even if the losses (in time, in the coding case) are too massive to recover from. The rush of the aha moment is sufficient to keep me going. 

The difference between coding and gambling (yes, “the” difference in the oh-so-elaborate metaphor I have constructed) is that you’ll never come out ahead in gambling, over the long haul. In coding, the more experience you have, the quicker the aha moments come, and you do come out ahead. And, there are occasionally people who can help you keep in the odds in your favor. (The problem I figured out ten minutes ago, I did so all on my own…thanks for nothing, Stack Overflow…but I know I’d have some support if I needed it.)

Back to work…

(As for that photo, all I can say is that I took it in Vegas years ago. It has little to do with the metaphor, but I was amused to have rediscovered it.)


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