This year I changed a lot and I have noticed it. Like when I was a teen I learned to program because I wanted to be a hacker like from the movies. Well turns out a life of crime, it looking nothing like the movies, and also not having anything to do with hacking turned me away from criminal part. Although knowing how to program does not make someone a tinker either.

A lot of my friends tend to build useful things outside of work but I was what I call an aimless programmer. I could never get my self to work on projects mostly because I did not know where to start (this is still somewhat true). There is just so much tech and so many choices out there I get stuck. So I just learn programming languages and tools for fun but then when I try to use them for something I come up blank and just can’t find the will power. I most of time would work on projects I knew were silly and terrible just to have some kind of practise.

I can go into a company, they tell me what they want, and I can build it. Then it hit me a little over 2 years ago. There is no new ideas. Just the same ideas being rehashed and changed a little then shipped out the door with a new tag on it claiming to be new. It is all lies. At least with where tech is today, there is no such thing as a new idea. Well that is my opinion anyway. I find my self getting bored when I was asked to go work on a form, make a function that puts data in the database, have that trigger an email, the list goes on. I ended up applying and getting my current position at the company I work for. Now I am not bored at work again because I am working a new side but how long before I get good at it and start to see the patterns repeat again? Well until that happens things are fine there for now.

Well a pandemic happened

Now I was stuck at home with pretty much nothing to do but work, play video games, talk with my wife, and sit there. Well a few of those things got old real quick. Playing video games all the time is just not my style anymore (highschool, and college could not get enough). Sitting there with just thoughts, well you begin to pick apart your thoughts. So I began just trying to build something that improved my workflow at work in small increaments. At first it was just bash/zsh alias, then a couple functions, sharing the functions with coworkers, and seeing how they write scripts to automate workflow tasks. That is when it hit me. I was trying to build products because that is what I knew how to do but when my friends were building stuff it was to automate their workflows or they like how they or someone else solved a problem at work that they had as well. There is a bunch of reasons out there for why people build things.

I believe the term is a muse

That is why I built my pi cluster. I had a couple services I run and just did not want to get bothered by people of the household if that hardware or service failed for some reason. That is how those things got built. I never saw them as cool because I was the one who built them. They just exist to serve me and my house hold. So I was lacking a muse. By seeing pain points in my workflow I found another muse without thinking about it and started to try and solve it with the least amount of tools. Mostly with stuff built in. So I have begun to build “cool” things.

That got me thinking how am I able to point out to my self these things. Most of my memories are of people pointing out these things too me. Well my perspective on life and just where I am is changing. Its interesting that I am beginning to becoming aware that it is changing. I am not the same person I was 5+ years ago. Not sure if that is good or bad. I am beginning to have way more of an opinion that I did not use to have. So I find my self gravitating towards certain tools and style of computer science. Looking back at failed projects I see why they failed. I was aimless. Maybe I have just learned what I like, and what I want. Maybe I am just becoming wise? Okay that last one is a stretch but someday maybe. Now I find it easier to tell my self what it is I want to do and what my opinion is.

I still like my silly frankinstein projects. I doubt thoughs will ever go away. Maybe now that I am not paralyzed by choice I can build something really cool someday for now though I will just focus on making my workflow as smooth and over engineered as I can make it.