Ever since I got into doing actionscript development I have been profoundly altered as a human being. I have always enjoyed challenges, but I don’t think that I actively sought difficult and challenging tasks just for the sake of doing them. I never enjoyed brain teasers. I’d get pissed if someone asked me a riddle. I certainly didn’t enjoy math to the degree that I now do. I was never much of a “step forward past this line” guy who would actively volunteer to take on a task when others wouldn’t. I sure as shit wouldn’t have picked out a book on string theory and physics just for the sake of reading it 6 years ago. But now I find myself doing all of these.
Developers are a different breed of people. Its amazing how I view the world now. Rather than looking at something for what it is, I look at everything as thought its a class or some object in this physical construct we call reality. Its like I analyze everything in OOP. Hell, I find myself talking to non-developers about simple things in terms of OOP way too often. Its not a car, its an IVehicle implementor with various classes that make it go and steer. I have often found myself at a loss when the non-developer person I am talking to doesn’t have a clue as to what or more importantly, why I am talking to them in some techno-babble. Man I am messed up.
But back the point of being a better person. I certainly feel smarter after becoming a developer. I feel like more of a man too. Growing up around my Iron Worker father, who always had a project going, I was always in the garage tinkering with tools and helping him fix things. After moving to Boston, I lacked a garage or even the simple space to work on hands-on projects to satisfy those needs to work on something. I felt less of a man. Somehow emasculated by the lack of a garage or hands-on projects. Though I may still lack a physical garage or bench to work with tools and saws and drill presses, I have my computer that serves as my digital garage. Flex, ActionScript, PHP and other languages are now my digital tools. And it feels great. I feel like a man again. Maybe a flabby, pale, desk-ridden man, but a man nonetheless. And just look at my beefy finger muscles! You know, there are some days my head hurts from thinking too much. If thinking and challenging your brain is the cure for Alzheimer’s then everyone should do some sort of development.
The really cool thing about development for me is this: Actionscript was my gateway drug. Now I am looking for some bigger, heavier drugs like machine code, RFID, Make Controllers, C+, and the like. I wanna build something big. I am a developer junkie I suppose. The other cool thing is now I am super psyched to buy a house and get a garage of my own. So when I am done in my digital playground, I can go out to my garage and build a robot or some cool and useful thing for real.
Anyhow, I thought I’d share that with my fellow developers. I have been thinking about this for a long time, just never shared it. You gotta share the things you love (except your wives and girlfriends). I am so happy to find something that is not only fun, but educational and pays the bills.