Having fun with code

I’ve been learning more about Android development so that I can build apps for my smartphone and tablet. I’m starting to get the hang of things, piecing code together from examples and StackOverflow answers. I began with figuring out how to populate a Fragment with some text and ListView using CursorLoader and a ContentProvider, drawing data from my web application using JSON. Now I’m working on the record view, and after that, authentication and synchronization.

There’s so much to learn, but it’s great feeling the pieces click together. I like this.

Is this flow unique to programming, or can I learn enough to translate this to other fields? I like pulling ideas and concepts together, tweaking and combining to make something I want. What would it look like to be able to do this with writing, while avoiding plagiarism? What would it look like to be able to do that with business, orchestrating people?

There are several kinds of businesses. On one end of the scale, there are individual businesses where people spend most of their time doing work and some time doing paperwork and business development. On the other end of the scale, people move away from doing the work themselves to coordinating other people. It’s like the way that in large companies, some people focus on being individual contributors and some people manage teams. Where do I want to be on this spectrum? If I want to scale up and outwards, will I necessarily have to give up the fun of hacking, can I bridge the gap and find the joy in hacking other things, or can I keep some of this and find a balance?

People have figured this out before. I think I’ll be able to do so too. =)

  • I think hacking skills are easily applied in non-programming areas. I think about my stack and my flow every day and I’m not even in technology. A path you might like to consider is as a skunk-works. A small team with a hacker culture loosely attached to a larger institution can drive order-of-magnitude productivity gains.
    The paper-pushing managerial days are almost over. You have to be in the social media flow to keep up now, whatever your seniority.

  • Are you using emacs for andriod development or eclipse one ?