February 19, 2012
My Name's Jason Gorman, And I'm A Computer ProgrammerMy name's Jason Gorman, and I'm a computer programmer.
Like many with my addiction, it all started innocently enough. Like most kids, I experimented with a bit of coding now and then, but never thought it would take over my life in the way that it has. It was just a bit of fun, y'know, to make the weekends go with a bit of a swing. I thought I could handle it. But then, doesn't everyone?
The trouble really started when I fell in with a bad crowd.
A bad crowd, yesterday
With their encouragement I quickly progressed from solving simple coding problems involving just a few hundred lines of code, to working on whole systems made up of hundreds of thousands of lines. By the time I was in my mid-twenties, to my shame, I was doing hundreds of lines every day. And not just in the office to be sociable. I would wake up every morning and do a few lines before even thinking about breakfast. I would do lines at home, by myself - the sure sign of an addict, I later learned.
I realised just how bad it had gotten when I started getting offered jobs that didn't involve any computer programming at all. Apparantly, some hardcore addicts progressed from programming on to even harder drugs with streetnames like "enterprise architecture" and "Scrum coaching". Thankfully, I never got that bad. But things were bad enough. Within a few days of starting these new non-programming jobs I found myself getting the cravings again, and would sneak off to a quiet spot somewhere to program in secret. Some bosses were very angry when they found out I hadn't kicked the habit, and that I was still coding behind their backs. They said they felt betrayed.
Doctors tell me that my addiction cannot be cured. But the condition can be managed. They recommended I start a self-help group, which I did 3 years ago. We meet regularly - about once a year - to share our experiences and learn from each other. We also write code, but it's proper medical-grade, quality code and not that crap you often see being peddled on the streets.
If, like me, you're addicted to programming, and will only settle for the best-quality code available, why not pop along to our next meeting? It's going to be on June 14th at Bletchley Park. We promise a relaxed, non-judgemental environment where you can talk openly and honestly with other programming addicts and you'll be able to feed your addiction in a safe and sustainable way.
There'll be sandwiches, too.
Posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago on February 19, 2012