What's bad about coding? You can work for hours with nothing to show for it
Last Saturday, I spent several hours working on my website’s code. I added some new meta tags to lazy load images, tried to remove JQuery dependencies from my scripts, added enhancements for accessibility and structured data, and even created a pull request for the theme that I am using (Beautiful Hugo).
Basically, five hours of my day were eaten up by completing those tasks. Although this was another example of getting too absorbed in your side projects, I was actually proud of myself.
I Can't Do Anything for Fun Anymore; Every Hobby Is an Attempt to Make Money
When I was a kid, it was easy to merrily invest myself in any activity that I found interesting. Building robots, learning to play guitar, and making short films were things that I would work on after school everyday. I did all those things simply because I enjoyed doing them.
Now, as a young adult, I feel like I completely lost that spontaneity and simple mindset. Every project which I take up has become an attempt to make money.
The other day I came across a neat drone called the DJI Tello. It is a relatively inexpensive quadcopter that offers a simple SDK which can be accessed over WiFI. Using the NodeJS dgram library, I can send commands via UDP to the drone to perform actions such as takeoff, left 20, and land.
Success from Things You Don't Care About
I had just finished a YouTube that I spent a week working on; a couple of days working on the graphics, a day of voice recording, and a few more hours coming up with a nice thumbnail. I uploaded it, and eagerly awaited the YouTube algorithm to award my quality work with a burst of views and watch time. I sat and waited in anticipation. Hour one went by, nothing. Okay, maybe it’s just a little slow today.
Getting Too Absorbed in Your Side Projects
When I start working on a side project, I fall into a really bad habit of getting too absorbed in it. The second I get home from work, I will start coding and testing for hours until I have to force myself to go to bed with only six hours of sleep at best. All the while, my laundry starts to pile up, my kitchen doesn’t get cleaned, and my social contacts get neglected from any meaningful conversation.