My Secret Life as a Spaghetti Coder
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This morning, Leila asked how I got my groove back:
I think you have a great concept going. I really would like to find out HOW you became passionate about programming? I just graduated with a BS in CIS and am looking for an entry level IT job, HOWEVER I am not a bit excited about computers anymore. Like you I was just planning on continuing my education -get my MBA. But I know an IT job is what I went to school for. HELP! How do I get excited about an IT job when I can't even figure out what title to put on a job search? just degree in CIS?!
I started to comment, but as it became longer, I decided it might benefit others as a standalone post.

I think you just have to make the decision to be passionate. Wake up in the morning and think about how lucky you are. Decide to enjoy the day, and to enjoy what you do. But you can do better.

Think about what drew you to the profession in the first place, and try to get a job doing that. If you can't get one in a timely fashion, try to get a job doing something similar and spend your free time working on side projects that interest you. That's a lot of what I'm doing.

For me, it is learning new things and gaming that I enjoy most. So, I spend a lot of time doing that. I still have to do grunt work, but I get equal doses of fun stuff too - all the while I am expanding my skill set and enjoying most of it.

As far as the job search goes, I'd recommend networking with people. Visit the local User Groups, get involved in forums and mailing lists. Learn things and share them, and people will eventually come to you with jobs. Even though I like the computers, I've found that I really enjoy the relationships with people who also like computers. Before, I stayed locked in a room thinking and working by myself. Now, I venture out from time to time, and in addition, I have the online relationships I enjoy immensely.

Since you probably can't afford to live that long without a job, perhaps in the mean time you can go to a career fair at a local university or just use the search term "programming" and browse jobs until you find one that interests you.

I'd also read many different weblogs about programming to stay up to date on trends in the industry, as well as to receive solid advice that stands the test of time.

Just as importantly, take a look back at your own situation. Can you identify anything that may be causing your malaise? If so, can you remove it? It may be as simple as that.

To the rest of you: how do you maintain and find passion in your work when you seem to have lost it?

Hey! Why don't you make your life easier and subscribe to the full post or short blurb RSS feed? I'm so confident you'll love my smelly pasta plate wisdom that I'm offering a no-strings-attached, lifetime money back guarantee!

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competition. it only takes one to compete... thus the game of golf. how do you compete against yourself? never be content. know that you can do it better. constantly learn something new. as the new method or concept solidifies in your mind, go learn something else. never be content with what you know. be diverse in your learning as well. learning doesn't just mean a language. learn about your tools (version control, testing suites, editors, etc). learn about all of the things that interact with your application (the business behind the user, the os, the hardware, the api's).

Posted by shag on Jan 21, 2008 at 02:34 PM UTC - 5 hrs

How did I miss competition, the greatest motivator of all?!

Nice catch shag.

Posted by Sammy Larbi on Jan 21, 2008 at 02:53 PM UTC - 5 hrs

Hi Sam,
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me.I truly appreciate the advise! I printed the page immediately! I like how you for break it down so it's not just a bunch of ideals and concepts. I now have a step-by-step guide to regaining my passion for computers :)I'll keep you updated on the job search.
PS. I was flattered that you would quote me on your blog! Its truly an honor.

Posted by Leila on Jan 22, 2008 at 04:53 AM UTC - 5 hrs

Leila - I'm glad it was well received, and thanks for the inspiration to write the post.

Please do keep me updated, I'd love to hear how that's going for you!

Posted by Sammy Larbi on Jan 22, 2008 at 05:47 AM UTC - 5 hrs

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