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Struggles Every Programmer Knows

by Joseph D. N. Kendrick 3 years ago in pop culture

Whether you're a first-year programming student or a seasoned software developer, the number of struggles every programmer knows is seemingly endless. I don't have the answers to these problems, but at least we can suffer together.

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If you've spent any amount of time trying to learn to code, you've likely already experienced some of the struggles every programmer knows. It doesn't take long to figure out the biggest headaches in the world of computer programming and software development. High school programming students know just as well as professional coders because the problems never seem to go away, no matter how experienced you are. While I don't have the solutions for these issues, sometimes venting is enough to help you power through your struggles.

Coder's Block

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Anyone who writes for a living has to deal with writer's block from time to time. While there are resources and tools for writers struggling with writer's block, there are only so many cups of coffee you can drink before you actually have to sit down and write something. Coder's block is just as real and debilitating as any other form of writer's block, and there's next to nothing you can do about it. Getting coder's block is truly a nightmare, and sadly one of the worst struggles every programmer knows and deals with on a regular basis.

The Problem Fixes Itself

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When a code that was returning an error all of a sudden starts functioning as desired, there are a few phases your mind goes through. First, you feel relief, as in, "Oh good, my problem has now been solved!" But then, you start to get waves of panic and uncertainty because you have no recollection of what you did to actually fix the problem. At this point, you have just a couple of options. One option is to accept that the code works and live with the fact that you don't know how to fix it if it stops working again. Your only other option is to... give up and rewrite the code from scratch.

Hitting Just One Wrong Key

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If you're writing an article or a short story or just about any other work, a misplaced letter or two won't make a big difference. In fact, your written work could comntain a number of errorrs and still effecjtively get your message across. Not so with code. A single missing punctuation mark or a mistyped letter in a variable name can cause your whole program to crumble, guaranteeing you at least a few hours' worth of debugging.

Debugging for Days

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Fixing issues in your own code is one of those daily struggles every programmer knows all too well. Debugging is an unavoidable headache in the world of software development, but why does it have to be so boring? It's a necessary step if you want to have clean and functional code, but there is nothing more tedious than individually sorting through what feels like a billion lines of code trying to find that one line that's returning an error.

Juggling Literally Every Browser

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If you have the poor fortune of being a web developer, there are additional levels to your nightmare. Just because you know Firefox is the best web browser doesn't mean everyone else does, and that means your code has to be elegant—or at least functional—on every potential browser. You're not just coding for Firefox and Chrome users, you're also coding for Opera, Vivaldi, Tor, and whatever excuse of a browser Microsoft has released lately.


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Sometimes, it's hard enough just to get your own code to come out right. Heaven help you though if you've ever tried to code as part of a team. Every coder has his or her own idiosyncrasies and preferences, and the results of attempting to merge the code of multiple people can be disastrous. Hopefully you at least had enough foresight to make sure you're all using the same programming languages, because it'll be hard enough to sort through the millions of lines of code you'll collectively produce.

Backaches, Eye Aches, and Headaches

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Athletes and other people who spend a lot of time on their feet like to poke fun at programmers and other office workers for their sedentary lifestyle. The fact of the matter is that it is actually quite taxing on the body to sit in an uncomfortable chair staring at a monitor all day long. Modern technologies help a little bit, like how blue light glasses change the way some people work, but there's no substitute for getting up once every hour or so to take a lap and get your blood flowing.

The Uncertainty

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After we first learn to code, very few of us spend time coding just for ourselves. If you get a job in software development, computer programming, or another code-heavy industry, you're going to be coding on someone else's schedule. While this isn't inherently a bad thing, it can become endlessly frustrating trying to keep up with deadlines, as well as constant requests for updates. Sometimes, you just don't know if debugging will take a couple hours or a couple weeks.

Updating... Or a Lack Thereof

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We get it, it's important to stay relevant in the rapidly changing world of tech. Every time a new generation of smart phones is released or a new Apple or Microsoft update comes out, you're going to have to update your programs to match. And with every update comes a whole slew of new conflicts that mess up the beautiful code you've written! After a certain point, you'd almost rather start over from scratch rather than sort through who knows how many lines of code in order to find each and every little error.

Never Feeling Done

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No matter your level of experience, it is apparently impossible to be satisfied with the quality of your code. It doesn't matter if you wrote the code in high school or last week: There's always something you'll find that can be re-written. Learning when to walk away is just one of those struggles every programmer knows (or they should at least teach you that in a beginner's guide to getting started with programming) because you'll never be happy if you seek absolute perfection in your code.

pop culture

Joseph D. N. Kendrick

Writer of words. Haver of cats. joeykendrick.com

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