I’m an addict.
I realized it yesterday morning, while I was setting up at my tech start-up’s office at the Accelerator Center here in Stratford.
Work has been extremely busy, and I’m frantically trying to get 286 Solution’s first product, BubbleFlow, ready for beta.
As I got set to get to work on the BFlow editor, I thought about how it was a good thing that I rock at code, because I suck at life in general.
But it doesn’t matter, because “Code is My Drug” (thats even the name of my other blog). I thought about all the times that code (I’m talking about programming), became my refuge. No matter how shitty life was at the moment, even the all encompassing, soul crushing loneliness disappears in the beautiful logic of code.
I’m sure co-workers have noticed it. I come into work in a snarly mood. Then I sit down, and start coding, and a short time later, everything is right in my world.
It was as I was thinking this, that I recalled a conversation I had years ago with a friend who was a hardcore opiate addict.
She told me that, aside from the physical addiction, of what drugs did for her.
“For a few minutes, all my problems go away, and I know, that no matter how hard it gets, I can always escape.”
That sounds pretty familiar eh?
She went on to talk about how drugs destroyed her relationship with friends and family.
“It got to the point where I was either high, thinking about getting high, or sleeping it off.”
Uhhh…yeah….that’s pretty much my relationship with code.
Many of my friends have observed that I’m not satisfied by doing easy stuff. The harder the task, the happier I am.
So yes, that means that I’m hooked on the hard code!
By hard code, I don’t mean things like dynamic web content controlled by a PHP script. There was a time that was hard enough to keep me happy….but now, I’m talking asynchronous encrypted data transfer with rotating keys.
Hell, I’m working on a way to send an encrypted message using a picture as the cipher key….for fun! Most programmers would rather gouge their eyes out…but for me…its fun. I do it to relax! (and yes, this is a project I’m actually working on).
Then of course, there is how your drug of choice affects your ability to communicate.
Those under the influence of street drugs can be just plain incomprehensible, or just so plain wound up that they try to include you in on conversations they’re having with some pink fucking bunny rabbit in their hallucinations…
Ever talk to a code-junkie when they’re high on code? If not…here’s a taste of what you might hear:
“Holy fucking shit man, I increased the efficiency of my XML DOM traversal logic and reduced the seek time by 12%! And that’s not all….I thought 12ms was too fucking long to get a rowset back from the database, so I took the whole fucking thing, migrated it over to a NOSQL platform and benchmarked 17 different metaphone select algorithms…and then I went to the bathroom, and when I came back, I looked, and couldn’t remember what I was trying to do, so I deleted the whole fucking thing and started from scratch.
So I ended up with this awesome data migration tool that intuitively parses the data into a a database it creates on the fly…and it was awesome! And then I remembered I was supposed to write a web page that told you what the weather was outside….so I took a picture out my window, made it the background of the webpage, and hit “publish”.
Yeah…that’s what talking to a coder whose high on code is like!
Of course, unlike street drugs, my ability with code makes me employable, and provides a comfortable living, and you’ll never hear me trying to get a code dealer to spot me because I’m jonsing!
But, I guess…when I’m ready to retire, I’ll have to find the local Codeaholic’s Anonymous chapter…
In writing this, it is not my intention to trivialize the ravages of addiction and the struggles of those who suffer, every day to escape.
I’ve known a few people who suffer from addiction. I know people who have lost that battle. I’ve known people who went from being decent people to raging little hate monsters (it took me 3 years to be able to watch Breaking Bad because I’ve seen, first hand, what Crystal Meth can do to a person (ie: raging little hate monster)).
In fact, I want to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my friend Janna, who is approaching the 60 day clean and sober mark after 20 years of addiction. I will point out that I’ve never seen Janna turn into a raging little hate monster, nor is she the person from 8 years ago.
Janna, I am so proud of you! The strength you continue to show is an inspiration, so much so, that if I could do it without becoming unemployed, I would kick my code addiction! (j/k’ing…I’m not as strong as you).
And you know I mean what I said…..if you ever need a shoulder, an ear, or a kick in the ass, you know my number, and you can call me 24/7.