Software for me

by John Olsson

What about the users?

After coding nearly fifteen years professionally I feel like some of the joy I experienced learning how to program while growing up have disappeared. I often feel a sudden motivation, look at my long list of project ideas, setup a skeleton project in a language that feels interesting at the time… And then I start to think about the imaginary users of my program. I think about all the ways I should generalize my program to be configurable enough for my fictional audience and their use cases. Thinking this way drains all that energy, motivation and creativity and basically gets me back into a work mindset when I’m actually trying to relax with my favorite hobby.

Making programming fun again

Thinking back to my high school years when I learned C++ as my first real language (having dabbled in QBasic and Delphi before that), I never thought about anyone using what I made. I created things I either wanted to use myself or just wanted to code for the sake of it. I want to find my way back to that mindset. I want to code just for fun again, not thinking of potential users, unrealistic project scopes or… test coverage.

The top of my project list has contained “code editor” for years, and it’s something I think about often and I’ve done my research. I know about the rope data structure. I know about tree sitter. I know how to render glyphs in an opengl/vulkan setting. I just don’t know how to start and not worry about the direction the project will take.

Time to set up a new project! Rust this time I think. Let’s not think about tomorrow!

Made with Emacs! hacker emblem