Every once in a while, when someone finds out that I’m a writer who dabbles in programming, they’ll ask me: So, is programming hard? And I usually answer the same way. “‘Hard’ is the wrong word,” I’ll say. “It’s not so much that it’s hard. “It’s that it’s frustrating.”~ Clive Thompson from, https://levelup.gitconnected.com/programming-isnt-hard-but-it-s-frustrating-6cb740085243
This article is sublime.
Because Thompson isn’t a professional programmer, there are two more parts to programming which he hasn’t discovered: First, that your mistakes inevitably come back to bite you in the ass. Second, you will forever face the engineering dilemma of having to wrestle with balancing good execution (does the bridge carry the weight over the river, or do people die) with project parameters (the budget is $5, it has to be shiny, and we need it next week.)
The soul–sucking frustration which Thompson rightly identifies is very real. Also real: Shit catching fire (literally and/or figuratively) in the wee hours of the morning requiring one to fix one’s own mistakes made, or shortcuts taken, years earlier. After a decade of that, one grows tired of explaining one’s reasons and process (not that anyone would listen.) And after a few decades of all that, one will understand why I sometimes say, as I approach losing my temper: Please do not meddle in the ways of wizards, for we are quick to anger and you are tasty with ketchup. It’s nothing you did; It’s nothing personal. It’s simply that Programming is terrible and it has broken me.