Programming is a weird hobby

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psycopathicteen
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Programming is a weird hobby

Post by psycopathicteen » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:11 am

Most hobbies are supposed to alleviate stress. However programming adds more stress to the table.

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Punch
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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by Punch » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:34 pm

Lots of hobbies can give you stress, but hobbyists actively avoid what causes it. You should too, if something goes from "fun challenge" to "annoying problem" you can always stop what you're doing to continue later with a fresh mind, which will not only remove the frustration factor from the problem but also reveal alternate ways to solve it that you wouldn't think of before.

That's what I usually do, at least.
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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by dougeff » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:35 pm

When people try to have conversations with me...while I'm debugging and staring at 1000 lines of ASM code...

It can be very frustrating. Yes.

But, coming up with ideas and sketching sprites is fun for me. I also like writing music.
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rainwarrior
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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by rainwarrior » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:53 pm

Hobbies are supposed to alleviate stress? I think some hobbies can do this, but it's not something I think is the primary goal of most hobbies.

Like, playing video games can sometimes be very relaxing, but is often extremely stressful. Obviously if I keep playing a stressful game, I'm using it for something else besides stress relief... Some of the best and most exciting games could not be that way without the stress they also bring.

But maybe that gets to a point: hobbies are things that you aren't otherwise compelled to do by economical forces (i.e. needing to earn a living), and as such you always have the option to stop doing it if it's a problem.

...and stress is something that is an inherent part of a lot of activities. It's something that has to be managed, generally by choosing how you spend your time away from the things that are causing you stress, or just learning ways of coping with those things better.

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Bregalad
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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by Bregalad » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:21 am

psycopathicteen wrote:Most hobbies are supposed to alleviate stress.
I don't think that's the case actually. Back when people had to work 6 working days a week, and probably 10+ hours per day, hobbies just didn't exist as people didn't have time for them. Hobbies are there to fill a gap, and also to vary our activities between some which are more pleasurable and others which are more profitable economically, which is more healthy for human mind I guess.

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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by FrankenGraphics » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:54 am

Oh, i think people have always had recreational activities in some form, but they were different in nature/scope. For example before music became industrialized, playing musical instruments and especially singing were much more common skills. People would sing to each other, to their family, to their animals, to themselves, in what little spare time there was, or at work. Imagine a workshop where people are singing instead of listening to the radio. Sometimes, singing would also set a common pace at the site of work. Also a lot of people knew a lot of little crafts that were less essential to their livelyhood. It sometimes had a utilitarian end, though they didn't make money on it. Carving spoons, embroidering shirts, drying immortelles for decoration, and whatnot.

(doesn't make it any less right that hobbies increased in span, seriousness and increased respectability among the concerned citizen types, along with the industrial development).

Interesting passage from wikipedia:
The origins pursuits that others thought somewhat childish or trivial. However, as early as 1676 Sir Matthew Hale, in Contemplations Moral and Divine, wrote "Almost every person hath some hobby horse or other wherein he prides himself."[7] He was acknowledging that a "hobby horse" produces a legitimate sense of pride. By the mid 18th century there was a flourishing of hobbies as working people had more regular hours of work and greater leisure time. They spent more time to pursue interests that brought them satisfaction.[8] However, there was concern that these working people might not use their leisure time in worthwhile pursuits. "The hope of weaning people away from bad habits by the provision of counter-attractions came to the fore in the 1830s, and has rarely waned since. Initially the bad habits were perceived to be of a sensual and physical nature, and the counter attractions, or perhaps more accurately alternatives, deliberately cultivated rationality and the intellect."[9] The flourishing book and magazine trade of the day encouraged worthwhile hobbies and pursuits. The burgeoning manufacturing trade made materials used in hobbies cheap and was responsive to the changing interests of hobbyists.

The English have been identified as enthusiastic hobbyists, as George Orwell observed. "[A]nother English characteristic which is so much a part of us that we barely notice it … is the addiction to hobbies and spare-time occupations, the privateness of English life. We are a nation of flower-lovers, but also a nation of stamp-collectors, pigeon-fanciers, amateur carpenters, coupon-snippers, darts-players, crossword-puzzle fans. All the culture that is most truly native centres round things which even when they are communal are not official—the pub, the football match, the back garden, the fireside and the ‘nice cup of tea’.
A hobby horse is a figurative expression, not a literal one, but stems from a hobbyhorse originally being a small ponyhorse (perhaps unfit for work).
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Fisher
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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by Fisher » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:29 am

The best part is when everything finally works, and you have time to play your game with your kids/friends! :D
That's the final reward!! :beer:

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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by Pokun » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:16 am

FrankenGraphics wrote:before music became industrialized, playing musical instruments and especially singing were much more common skills.
Now we commonly use singing to relieve stress along with having a few beers with friends and the like.

Programming is one of my many hobbies but I'm not sure it's something that relieves stress. I enjoy almost every part of making a game except really low level mechanical things that doesn't appear as beautiful results until after a lot of work. Like coding an animation engine or so. It feels like unpaid labour for a long time.

But I do play games to relieve stress. A calm and slow running RPG feels nice when the head is full of seemingly unsolvable problems (be it from work or a hobby). A frantic shooting game isn't very stress relieving though, you play that when you need a different kind of stimulation.

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GradualGames
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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by GradualGames » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:01 pm

I think how stress is managed is a very complex topic and has a lot to do with one's personal life and habits probably more than the hobby itself. That said though, it seems to me hobbies are as stressful as you want them to be versus what your goals are. I'd say stress related solely to programming comes from:

-Feelings of impatience when in the middle of a large project. It helps to have a routine and stick to it several times a week, this helps manage this feeling but it will never go away completely.

-Feelings of wanting to do way more than you can actually handle in terms of number of projects or scope of current project. This one's tough cause sometimes one really wants to just try something new, but I find if I continue to prioritize the current project during that routine so it is guaranteed to eventually be done this helps alleviate some of the neurosis.

I'd say retro coding in particular can be more stressful in general because the amount of time between the work you're doing and actual tangible results is larger than in other disciplines. I like to pursue Pico 8 on the side because I find it a lot easier to iterate quickly and see results. In fact I use it in the living room, using a raspberry pi and a wireless keyboard and mouse. Feels like I'm "playing" a game where you make games. Haha!

That said though it's kinda playing with words. Like...for a hobby to be really satisfying, one would WANT some level of challenge and tension. That's different from negative stress though. Negative stress for me would come from other external factors in life.

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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by tepples » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:44 pm

GradualGames wrote:-Feelings of wanting to do way more than you can actually handle in terms of number of projects or scope of current project.
Or sometimes outside pressure to take on a larger scope.

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tokumaru
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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by tokumaru » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:10 pm

I don't feel stressed when coding NES stuff, I feel stressed when actual work prevents me from doing NES stuff.

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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by tepples » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:59 pm

To me, the most stressful parts aren't about the task of programming itself as much as requirements elicitation and the work environment.
  1. Client giving me specifications that are incomplete and routinely being too busy with other duties to elaborate
  2. Client giving me specifications for behavior that I find inadvisable or which would greatly increase my maintenance workload later on
  3. Roommate, or occasionally client, interrupting my focus with trivial questions, thereby setting me back 15 minutes
  4. Roommate playing music while doing housework so loudly that I cannot focus

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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by gauauu » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:34 pm

tepples wrote:To me, the most stressful parts aren't about the task of programming itself as much as requirements elicitation and the work environment.
  1. Client giving me specifications that are incomplete and routinely being too busy with other duties to elaborate
  2. Client giving me specifications for behavior that I find inadvisable or which would greatly increase my maintenance workload later on
These are a bit different, though, because if it's a client, then it's work. I realize sometimes there's a funny overlap between hobby and paid work (like your arrangement with Retrotainment), but I think once it becomes a paid arrangement where you have to please someone else, it's just not the same mentally as a purely-for-fun hobby is. And yes, those things are absolutely stressful in a work environment.
[*]Roommate, or occasionally client, interrupting my focus with trivial questions, thereby setting me back 15 minutes
[*]Roommate playing music while doing housework so loudly that I cannot focus[/list]
Agreed, these are totally distracting.

The thing that tends to stress me out in hobby development is self-imposed deadlines and pressure to finish. When I've told somebody about my project and they're excited about it, so I feel the need to hurry. When I see other people completing cool projects and I'm afraid that I'll miss out if I don't finish soon enough. Maybe it's silly, but that stuff really is the most stressful part of my hobby game programming.

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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by tepples » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:00 pm

gauauu wrote:The thing that tends to stress me out in hobby development is self-imposed deadlines and pressure to finish. When I've told somebody about my project and they're excited about it, so I feel the need to hurry.
Over the years, I've found that my best workaround for this is to announce nothing until it reaches a usable feature set. Thus I might announce little or nothing about a game being made for a compo until it's at least a playable tech demo. I tried breaking that rule with a platformer engine I called President because of my urgency to leave the falling blocks genre behind me, and it fizzled.

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Re: Programming is a weird hobby

Post by Celius » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:24 am

I rarely find myself stressed when programming. The only time I find myself stressed is during some sort of systems crisis at work where something is broken, I don't know why, and I need to fix it so business can continue. Or if there is some sort of deadline and I'm encountering a ton of obstacles. If I'm just writing code with no deadlines, I have no reason to be stressed. The way I see it, all you really are doing is translating human ideas into something a computer can understand, and to do that, you must simply understand that idea clearly. The more you dissect and analyze ideas, the better you become at doing so. Programming helps me see the world more clearly, think more logically, and simplify my thought process, thus reducing my levels of stress.

But, if you're the kind of programmer that slaps together pasghetti code and is frustrated when it doesn't work, you probably won't have this same life-changing experience.

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