As the topic asks, has programming changed you life? Has it changed dramatically? How has it changed?

If you work as a professional programmer, do you ever consider changing to something different? Maybe become a truck driver?


It's my hobby and my income source. I'd say that's pretty dramatic to me personally.


I met a certain lady at my previous job, so as a result of programming I now have a wonderful wife and 2 wonderful children.

I'd count that changing my life.


Yes and no.

I'm doing the same thing now as I was doing when I was eight (lego) - it's just the vocabulary changed.

If it wasn't for programming I'd just be a failed astrophysicist with a lego fixation.


Yes. My wife has left me.


You tagged the question with "subjective" but that's an understatement. Even tripping over the curb can change your life if you consider the quantum-mechanical ramifications. This also begs the question of whether people with a certain intellectual and lifestyle inclination are naturally attracted to programming, or whether programming influences lifestyle.

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Programming has always been my favorite thing to do and I'm lucky enough to get paid to do it. I would not say that its changed my life, per say .. as its not as if one day I was a truck driver and discovered C after being struck by lightning ... but I can say that it has influenced my life.

  • I look at problems a little differently than most of my friends, any kind of problem.
  • I'm a little more patient than most of my friends .. especially when encountering one of life's 'blocking conditions', such as traffic or crowds.
  • I've grown extremely tolerant of others in the last 10 years.

On the flip side:

  • When I'm working on something, I tend to become very reclusive, even when not in front of a computer
  • I outgrow jobs quickly and become bored easily when not working on something that I feel is interesting.
  • I have a very hard time keeping friends who are not programmers, because its my main focus.
  • Disruptions while working cause me to get annoyed beyond what should be considered reasonable.

As other have said, a real love for the art can be quite disruptive in other areas of your life. But, I guess that can be said for any kind of art. There are many times when I wish my job was as simple as mopping the floor especially when the task at hand takes more time away from my family.

I also think that most programmers are more prone to 'existential angst' than most, which is not a fun place to be. I guess, in the end its a trade off, you get to do what you love .. which is the dream of many.


Bought me a house, car, toys, etc. More than that, it's taught me to be a more critical thinker and problem solver... a deconstructor of complicated problems into many, simpler ones. This is a technique that applies to all of life's problems.


Programming has changed my life and I'm happy doing it, however I frequently consider if I would be happier doing something else. I'm a problem solver, my job makes me feel smart and it pays the bills.

I see my friends with Masters degrees struggling in other fields; barely making ends meet. I feel like I went to school for the right thing. However, I don't absolutely love what I do and sometimes I question if there's something better out there.

I fantasize about other jobs, "should I have been an artist? a doctor? a personal trainer? open a doggy daycare?".

Last week I told my husband that owning a free-range chicken farm would be the coolest job and he thought I was crazy.

I'm sure I will always be a programmer though because I'm good at it and it's a great field to be in...like doctors, people will always need software.


I never felt that programming changed my life, because it has always (excluding early childhood) been part of my life.

But I think that we programmers see the world in a different way compared to "normal" people. For example, when I talk to people about how they do their work or other activities, I mentally build a kind of database model for that domain. Even if it's not business related.


Yes its my source of income, and its fun. Definitely don't want to be a truck driver. Its opened my mind to the possibilities the future holds.


Considering I grew up in a grotty council estate where nobody had any hopes for the future apart from manual work, single mother or prison, I would say that learning to program on that Amstrad CPC464 back in 1989 really did help me to escape that life! Although I was quite bright so I probably would have got out doing other disciplines anyway. However I always liked learning, and programming is a job where you're always learning so it's all good really.


Of course.

I can't think of many occupations where I can fulfill my interest in solving puzzles all day,


How has it not changed my life?! It's been all I think about in one way or another since I first started


Been doing it since I was too young to remember anything else. Started at age 6, still going strong at age 37. Can't say it has changed my life as it has always been there. It is a constant, and as someone with Asperger's Syndrome, it allowed me to work where other venues may not have been so fruitful.

I have considered giving it all up to become a tattoo artist, but not just yet.

My wife asked me what I would be doing now if computers hadn't been invented, as my usual day is get up, go to work (3 hour commute), program on the train on the way to work. Get to work, switch environments, program for work, come home (3 hour commute) program on train on way home, then once kids are in bed, usually write for another 2-3 hours. I prefer to write stuff rather than just veg infront of the TV. Absolutely no idea what I would be doing now if computers were not invented.


In my case, not exactly changed, but it has definitely determined a lot of things in my life. I started programming when I was 11 years old, on a Sinclair ZX81 (1K RAM, no storage). It was my hobby, and it had never ocurred to me that I could make money from it until I was offered a teaching position at a public library when I was 14, but they couldn't give me the job because I was too young. I hadn't even considered a career programming software because I thought it was something that everybody and anybody could do, but then my mom told me I could make some good money at it and it was something complicated and the thing of the future etc... and now I write software for a living, and I love it.


Programming is a job which I enjoy that enables a reasonable standard of living.

Being able to program has made my life better, but I do not let it take over my life as some do.


When I was in high school, I was interested in everything, and could do or learn to do anything. I loved math, history, computers, science.

Now all I can do is program. And everything I try to do in life, I want to write a program to manage it and collect metrics on it.

When the only tool you have is a hammer...


yea, i can't imagine what life will be like without computers or programmers. it definitely have put an interesting spin in how we view the worlds, object-oriented, hehe.

and also i think in some ways it teaches us how to reason better, like when we see something, we can think about how it works and what the process flow is like.

yea, and it pays pretty well too, so good that nerds are considered sexy these days. don't leave home without one.


Well, aside from the obvious and already oft-stated remarks about providing a pleasant way of making a living:

Programming teaches us (at least one) noble truth: Everyone makes mistakes. No one is infallible. This teaches humility. It also teaches forgiveness. Furthermore, it tells us that, while we can't avoid making mistakes, we can (and should) learn from our mistakes.

Tom Van Vleck (http://www.multicians.org/thvv/threeq.html) teaches us when we find a bug, we ought always ask three questions. One of them I paraphrase as "what systematic change can I make to prevent this bug, or any other like it, from arising again?."

I apply this to non-programming (e.g. committee) work all the time. People screw up. I try not to yell at them or allow others to yell at them. Everyone screws up sometimes. But I do try to get the committee to adopt procedures that will prevent similar errors next time.


No... I'm 22 but i started playing with legos and programming in LogoWriter since my very early days (I cant even remember). I really thank my Dad for it!


Programming is something I'm doing for fun. Surprisingly enough they even pay me for doing that)

Change: the trade provided with the opportunity to work on projects all over the world with interesting and bright people all other the world.

I don't consider changing the profession. There's yet a lot of interesting things to explore. And they just keep on coming.


At the end of 2000, on top of my own unemployment fund, I quit.

In 2001, I wrote for a living, earning one fifth of what I used to make.

In 2002, I went back to the industry.

From 2003 to 2004, I studied full time for (not in!) a hard-to-get-in graduate school in humanities.

In 2005, I went back to the industry. I'm still employed after two bankrupt start-ups.

Well. At least, programming added to my unemployment fund. ;)


So, we had that Commodore 6000 (I think) in our house, and I dabbled around with it. Come to think of it, nothing significant has changed since then.


As I programmer, only thing I'm doing besides programming is thinking about my own startup, especially in times when my current job doesn't give me enough satisfaction :)


It's given me something to do on Friday nights when I'm not getting laid anyway...


I guess not..

I do often wonder what I would have done when I was born, say 200 years ago... probably a math teacher.. boy would that suck... :)


no more than any other hobbby has


I don't know - This is the only life I have so I have nothing to compare it with. I've been programming since I was about 9 so there wasn't any pivotal moment when I suddenly decided I had to start programming, at which point everything changed.


programming sucks. working in an office full of unattractive men, who's only source of spice in life is debating cohearence vs db caching, or whether you know the latest lambda/curly bracket/linq syntax as if thats going to make the next project amazing better over the crappy UI they built for the last one. what the hell kind of profession is this?