Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm No Mark Zuckerberg But I've Been in the Zone

It's my first day back after a much needed Thanksgiving break and I am feeling reluctant to start my programming work. I have a small assignment to complete for Java working with an XML file and a program for my C# class. The thought ran through my mind today that maybe I don't like programming as much as I thought I did since I don't really feel like doing it. 

So, I slowly opened the chapter and read a few pages. After that, I watched a YouTube video on XML which was really good and tweeted about it. Then I started the coding process. It all started to come back to me. I wrote some lines of code; which not only compiled, but did something. Suddenly I started to think about using this code, writing my own programs, and designing small business software my husband can use for his business. I'm back. And by the way, why do I get such a charge from this?

I have analyzed this question before (to death really) like I do almost everything. Why do I love programming? Sure I can say I like to produce something. I also know I love to break information down into the smallest, most dissectible forms. I need to understand how things work down to the smallest detail no matter what it is. It all fits with programming.  But what I really think the hook is, is how I feel when I am totally immersed in a project. Time no longer exists. I need full concentration and quiet. I feel in "the zone" and no longer think about anything else. My shoulders slump, my mouth opens a bit, my head rests on my left hand, and I stare at the code while my mind searches for an answer. 

I have often thought about that scene from "The Social Network" where Sean Parker describes Mark Zuckerberg as in the zone. You then see Mark Zuckerberg sitting in front of the computer completely separated from the world that surrounds him. I think that is the feeling I truly love. Don't get me wrong. At this point, I am only writing the most basic of code. It's not even close to what Mark Zuckerberg was doing in that scene. I know the difference. However, I am know that I have been in the zone and feel lucky to have found it.