01-31-2002, 05:25 AM
Hobbie or Career?
I always had a fascination with computers since a young age, and have always considered programming, or graphics to be my ideal career.
Yet since I started to learn programming in vb at college the structured lessons that I have to attend have started to feel boring, and that hold no interest for me.
I like to be able to sit at a computer and freely programme what I wish, taking the time to have breaks, to change things on a whim, not some project set by the teacher.
This sudden change in attitude to programming has got me thinking, is computing a HOBBIE OR CAREER?
You get people that can program, yet only do so as a job, and seem to hold no (can I say this?) love for what they can actually do.
Yet you get people like myself that enjoys programming, but not the confines of doing what someone else tells you, when they tell you to do it.
I find sitting at a computer, in lesson, typing away at a program that holds no real interest to me quite daunting, and have started to wonder, IS THIS WHAT A CAREER WOULD BE LIKE?
If I get a job working in computers will I be sat at a machine, coding away for someone else’s benefit, at programs that I don’t 'feel part of'.
I guess what im really wondering is how many of you program for a career or hobbie. And does it really feel, as it’s beginning to feel to me?
01-31-2002, 05:31 AM
I have begun to feel the same recently..... I'm in my second year of A levels and have taken up a first year computing course, beacuse thats where i wanted my career to go. However, sitting in lessons copying work from a sheet is the most boring way of learning I've come across. I have to resort to playing with the network to amuse myself.
Of course there is the added incentive of working as a programmer - money. Also you'll get to work as part of a team, and hopefully be working in an area that interests you, on applications that will be useful to the world.
There'll always be areas of a particular job or career that are a bit dull, but they wont last. If they do - get another job.
01-31-2002, 06:38 AM
Im currently in my second year of A Levels, but im in my second year of computing, but being an idiot ive also started the year one course of IT.
The lessons havent got to the point of copying work from a piece of paper, my teachers far more inventive, he writes it on the board.:(
I agree playing with the network is probably more amusing then the lessons, but since the new citrix servers been installed, ive become unable to even do that as restrictions are set on everything.
Im glad that im not the only one that feels this way about the way programming is being taught to A Level students, but the question remains,
Can computing be a HOBBIE and a CAREER?
Some replies from the people employed as programmers might be more enlightening as to just how programming works in an job scenario.
01-31-2002, 07:35 AM
Computing was a hobby for me for 10 years before I actually got
a job with it. Making it work can very much take the fun out of it,
but when you see a new project come together, and see users
happy because their job suddenly gets so much easier, it is much
better than anything you experience as a casual programmer.
It sure doesn't sound like your teachers have much imagination
for teaching the subject, and I reason that is because they don't
really care if you enjoy doing it. "Why should you get to enjoy
doing something difficult that will also pay well?" Maybe it is a
good lesson because there are times when work will be that way.
But, it is surely making your job of learning much harder right now.
Are teachers primarily paid to help people learn, or to weed out
people who don't have the discipline to make themselves work
through the boring, tedious times.
01-31-2002, 07:59 AM
I guess this would also be a good place to put in my opinion, since I have similar feelings to the other posters on this post. I am one of those people who LOVE programming, and like scytheuk, I have had a fascination with computers since my first class when I was about 4 (1989, remember how SLOW they were, but nobody noticed? lol), anyway, I can bang up some pretty nice things on my own, as many people on this forum have said that they liked my RoseBud13 Game. But when I took computer programming last school year, whenever the teacher gave us an assignment, I couldn't figure it out. I couldn't sort a list, but I could make a 2-D World Map, an almost started fighting game (like the old Urban Champion Game), and several other things.
But One thing that I did notice was that whenever he did assign some kind of simple game (with one exception (The Game of Life, that biology thing, I had to recreate, couldn't do it)), but I had fun doing that, so I think there is a spot in the World for me with Game Programming.
Remember, your teachers / professors really don't care about how much fun you have (probably, there is always an exception),
but if you can't think of yourself working behind a desk, you oughta work for yourself, and build some kind of name, so that you do get paid well, but you could take a break whenever you needed one (assuming the job gets done, of course, lol).
Well, that's my opinion, it's fun as a hobby, fun and rewarding, if you do the right branch of programming.
Thanks for listening to my long post
01-31-2002, 08:16 AM
Programming is my career. I started programming as a hobby when I was around 9 or 10 I think, on GW-BASIC.
Once I had learned Visual Basic I did a couple of programming jobs for companies, and a couple of websites. Now programming and web development is my career, and I still enjoy it. Sure, I am generally working towards a goal set by someone else, but how I get there is up to me. I am still constantly learning new things, it still has the "fun" aspect.
I've never taken a programming class in my life, but any subject you enjoy normally is a drag when you're actully being taught it. Programming, especially, is one of those things it is better to teach yourself, if you ask me. As long as you get rid of any bad habits you develop ;)
01-31-2002, 08:21 AM
Maybe I'm just funny... but I still remember the thrill I got when I wrote my first simple program. This was back in... 1983? on an HP mini computer, in Fortran. It didn't do much. Just printed some stuff out to the screen. But I had gotten a book, and figured out how to do it, all by myself, and I knew this was what I wanted to do.
I still feel that way. I can't imagine doing anything else. And I can't imagine doing this job and NOT feeling that way. Sure it sometimes gets boring. I'm personally at my best when I'm doing something new, learning something new, solving problems. That's exciting. Programming is just like any other job, if you're doing the same thing over and over, it gets tedious.
Fortunately, most of us in this field don't have to worry about staying bored for very long. Microsoft (just to name one) keeps new technology rolling out faster than most of us can keep up with it. It's a rare day that goes by that I don't learn something new.
Maybe I was just lucky in college. Maybe I had good teachers that made things interesting, because I always enjoyed the assignments there too. Maybe because I enjoyed it so much, my instructors didn't just seem like drudges just trying to get us all in and out as fast as possible.
Maybe some people should re-think their career choices.....
01-31-2002, 08:27 AM
Programming is just a hobby, though I might make a little money off of my friends at school...:)
I got my first computer when I was twelve (we've had a computer ever since I can remember, but this one was mine). All I did on it was play games, surf the net, and do homework. I used all sorts of programs, and really got fed up with all of the bugs in them. (The Asteroids game, mostly, that shipped with MS Entertainment Pack for Win95.)
So, I had a dream of making my own games one day. I moved to Canada, got a new computer, and took a java class at the local mall (last year). As I was learning basic java in the console, I saw a VB5 box on the table, and started reading it....I was hooked. I got my mother do buy the Pro edition at her University for pretty cheap ($100-$200). Since then, I've quite decent at it, and it's enspired me to learn C++, PHP, and (possibly, we'll see what the local expert says) In-Line Assembly. I love to program.
01-31-2002, 08:31 AM
To be absolutely honest i've never had much luck with the eductaion side of computing. Until the age of 8 i had only eva used a bbc micro to perform operations such as move a turtle round the screen, ( anyone remember that one?), from the age of 8 i was introduced to the acorn, and found that within a week i knew more about one (through playing of my own accord) then the teacher was aware.
I proceded up through the years at school to study GCSE IT only to find that we would be using PC's, and yet be taught by a teacher, who had only ever used an acorn.
I guess what im trying to say is that i love programming, i originaly started by using basic on the old spectrums, and have found that i only seem to enjoy programming, when im doing what i want.
I wouldn't say my knowledge of programming is adequate for me to branch out on my own as suggested (though it is sometimes tempting), a job working for someone else is realy the only option available.
Divil mentioned working to achieve someone elses goal, but getting there on your on, but the way the subject is being taught her, they give the impression that these kindve jobs are sparse.
And that most jobs consist of, us, the programmer, given a large document, stating what is wanted, how it will work, how it will look, how calculations take place, etc.
Is this how it realy is.
They teach us here that programmers do nothing more then convert the designs of someone else into the language that they have chosen.
In that case, is that all programmers are, a means of producing a working program from complex designs.
In which case could'nt there be just a simple language for the designers to use that understands their designs, and performs the function of the programmer.
But then if that was the case, they would probably require us to use it for them
Sorry, this reply appears to have gone on abit
01-31-2002, 08:39 AM
Most of the things you say.... are the way things are in most careers you might choose. Maybe you should consider becoming a politician? :p
01-31-2002, 09:13 AM
I'm sat in computing right now. The teacher is working on his laptop some ten feet away, and he hasn't said a word to the class yet. We've been given sheets to work through and thats it.
Still, I do get a thrill from writing a successfull program, watching it work, knowing i did it myself, and that other peoplec can enjoy it too. Like most of us, I am almost entirely self taught, so am finding this course tedious, cos I'm above its level.
I can't wait to get into employment where I'll hopefully be tested, challenged and driven to learn better things. Until then, Access Car Hire databases are calling my name..... sigh.
01-31-2002, 09:38 AM
programming (and computers in general) are a hobby for me.
Maybe when i retire from the AF in 5 years, I might know enough to get a programming job to supplement my pension, if not I will get some job dealing with computers(selling, fixing etc)
I dont think i could do something from a piece of paper or a blackboard, unless it just maybe gave very general instructions like make a program that moves 6 pictures around. the rest is up to you, or something like that. That would be kinda ok if i could go my own way with it. I would love to take a few classes, but no time for it now.
01-31-2002, 09:42 AM
If you're in to programming as a hobby, chances are you're going to get pretty good at it. If you do, then you have something which you are especially good at, which is always a good thing to start a career with! Once I started to get quite competant at programming I knew it was the career for me.
01-31-2002, 10:11 AM
Heh, the idiots in my computing (A level) class are 'paying' me for debugging their ridiculus programs. :rolleyes: Its Pascal (yuck), but its easy :D
Plus, (oh my god) I had to show the teacher how to intercept control codes from the keyboard. Its a waste of time (the class), but its easy qualifications in my mind, easy easy :)
sure you have to do what other people want unless you can fund yourself, I wish :rolleyes: but that's life, I used to be a chippy (that's a carpenter to you yankees, not a fries maker at McDonalds ;) ) and I used to think arghh its only 4 o'clock,which eventually ended up as "God its only 9.30", now I get to the end of the day and think "blimey where did the time go"
what I'm trying to say is what better way to spend most of your waking life than doing something you enjoy :D, if you're not convinced then try working as something like a toilet cleaner for a couple of weeks and then see how you feel about it :p
01-31-2002, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by Ad1
... if you're not convinced then try working as something like a toilet cleaner for a couple of weeks and then see how you feel about it :p
That's what I was trying to say... but you put it so much more eloquently... :p
I had a period in the middle of my programming career where I was doing something else... a job I had to literally force myself to go to every day. I'll stick with programming. You're right, it's quite grand to say "Oh my, is it 5:00 already! Where did the day go?", instead of "Is it only noon!? Will this day never end?" :)
01-31-2002, 01:16 PM
Well, for me, I have enjoyed computers since 84ish with the Commadore 64. I had a friend 2 houses down that had a friend in dallas who had 2 friends in california who...well...I was young and never in need for games. Anyway, I didnt think I could make money with computers. I never feel like I know enough. It doesnt help that I dont think someone ever can 'know' what I consider 'enough'. <g> But I apparently enjoyed school so much that even after having graduated and being out on my own 'workforce wise', I just couldnt stop myself from taking a job as a Visual Basic instructor. rofl. Lord help us all huh. So for me, I dont even know if there is a category...I program 14 hours a day 4 days a week, and so very little is even what I want to do. <g>
Oh well...at least its a paycheck right? <loopygrin>
01-31-2002, 04:06 PM
2 years ago, my school started a programming class with VB 6.0. I always wanted to program things, so i signed up for that. For the first half of the class, all it was was reading books, and copying things to learn the basics, and then the teachers gave projects out, and said do them however you want. Like our first project was a calculator, we could do anything we want, it just had to include a calculator in it somehow. That was pretty fun.
Then the next year, i went on to programming 2, which is easy. He gave us projects just like programing 1, and got to do what we want. Thats when i learned how to use DAO. I was able to make some interesting things with that.
After that class, the teacher for it left to pursue other, higher paying, jobs, and i wasn't able to go through another year because the current teacher for that class doesn't know much of any thing about it, he just copys stuff from the book.
I rarely get bored with a project unless i can't get a bug out,and i have been working on it non stop for a long while.
I want to program 3d games, but im not quite there yet.
Im focusing on more server/database stuff at the moment.
Right now, programing is just a hobby, but i plan on going to college to learn C++ and more VB to program games, and other useful programs.
01-31-2002, 04:08 PM
well.... let me say that (for me at least) studying computing got me nowhere.
I'm not exactly sure how many classes I was chucked out of, or courses I failed but when I eventually joined the dole que after an (academically) unsuccessful 2 years in university, I would have laughed out loud (then sobbed) at anyone who suggested that I would be getting large sums of money for programming data solutions for multinational financial institutions..
Finding your own way is entirely more intriguing than following a well trodden track with a worn map - especially if you're getting paid for it! :D
Another point which is worth mentioning about study: I've encountered a problem. With the current down-turn in IT employment opportunities, clients can afford to be very choosy. Increasingly I find that roles require a greater diversity of skills than I am able to match. Rather than have 2 contractors with separate skill-sets, they are demmanding 1 with both sets.
Be diverse with your skill electives as widely spaced as is reasonable - each one will eventually branch and hopefully leave you with a valuable skill-base... and be prepared to jump ship without warning!
01-31-2002, 04:55 PM
This was the time I was around 12 years of age (1996). My life began with Visual Basic in a strange way, but I can tell you it was the most enjoyable experience ever.
Everyday, I used to walk into my older brother’s room, and always see him running a few CBT (Computer Based Training) products on the subject of Networking. I was young at the time and didn’t have any motivation towards learning about Networking. I wanted to do something more, and something more interesting.
So one day, I went through some of our CDs which were stored within a box. Apparently, I found a CD that contained a professional version of Visual Basic 5.0. At this moment, I had absolutely no idea what the application did or what it was used for. However, I had some inner feeling that this application was going to be very interesting. I went ahead and installed Visual Basic 5.0, and opened up the application. Having no idea what to do, I opened a sample project which was also on the CD. Suddenly, as the project finished loading, all I saw was a large code window…“Erm…Visual Basic?”…this is where my life began…
I looked carefully at the keywords and lines of code not knowing what they meant or what they did. I didn’t have the intention of buying books for VB5 but it was very interesting indeed. A couple of online tutorials did the trick. I read a few tutorials on VB5 for beginners. Unbelievably, all these “scary” keywords such as “Select Case” and “End If” were all making sense so fast. In only a few minutes, I had the power to build windows applications in lightening speed, thanks to VB5.
The visually oriented application structure, the concept of dragging items onto the form window, and writing simple yet powerful code with ease is what makes the heart of Visual Basic and its tremendous success.
I hope that the Visual Basic line of products, have as much success in the future as they have had in the past, and working within this new year, I stand with great pleasure to bring my best wishes to VB’s 10th birthday.
Happy Birthday Visual Basic! - May God bless you and its developers!
I am 17 years of age, and I live within London, UK. I am currently attending college, and also working as a part-time visual basic programmer. I enjoy playing Cricket and various other sports.
I am currently using Visual Basic 6.0 to develop a large application code-named “CodeDev”, which is a complex Integrated Development Environment. If you would like to see some screenshots, please do so at the following URL: http://www.geocities.com/visual_basic_developer/.
01-31-2002, 05:32 PM
can't waste any opportunity for a shameless plug, eh?
01-31-2002, 05:37 PM
VB didn't come so easy for me. I started with VB2, I believe, in about 1992-93 (I was 6, I think). VB was relatively easy, but without Intellisense or anything, I didn't learn nearly as quickly. Oh well, that's all passed, VB6 rules. :D
01-31-2002, 08:19 PM
The turtle moving around, I remember that...GOOD OLD LOGO LOL
02-01-2002, 03:00 AM
The release of betas of Visual Basic.NET was very weird, because for the first time in a long time I didn't have a clue what to expect, or how difficult this new VB language was going to be.
If you already have good programming style with VB6 or below, the VB.NET language will come fairly easily, but there are so many different ways of doing things, it is still quite confusing and I guess I'm back to learning VB again.
02-01-2002, 11:40 PM
Here's my bio in a nutshell...
-It started in 1983 more or less a hobby.
-In 84, started writing/producing music (on PC) 'till 93.
-Early 90's taught myself C++.
-Went to University in 97 learned almost every language.
-Fell in love with VB in 98.
-First paying contract in 99.
02-02-2002, 09:29 AM
My short BIO:
1983: Started with an Atari 600XL
With no money left to buy software I started programming with the built in basic, I also did not have a data recorder so everything was gone when I turned the machine off
1988: Bought myself an Atari 520ST, followed by an Atari 1040ST with a 20MB harddrive.
1990: Started programming demos on the Atari ST, became addicted to realtime effects programming and learned a lot of how to optimize for speed, instead of just buying a faster CPU or graphix card ;)
1992: Finished my first and last mega demo for the Atari ST (1 year project)
1993: Started programming in Turbo C on a 286 and plain C on a Pr1me for the company I worked for.
1995: Became a offical programmer for the same company, now most of the time programming Prime Information Basic (later Universe Basic). Did learn something about using databases.
2000: started my own company, writing desktop apps/tools for small offices, now mostly using Visual Basic