More realizations

I’m finding it hard to concentrate on my project.

I need users. I need to know that what I am doing will make a
difference, no matter how small or for no matter how short a time. I’m
working on something I’ll personally never use. I know no one else is
going to use the software, either. It’s hard to resist the temptation
to cut corners, to use a somewhat hairy implementation because I don’t
want to think of a better one. After all, bugs aren’t going to cause
anyone any inconvenience, and good features won’t make anyone’s day a
little better.

What I’m doing isn’t needed, and that makes me feel absent from my
work.

How is this different from school? Why did I have so much fun doing my
school projects? Perhaps it was because my school projects still had a
sense of novelty. Now, although I’d never programmed in Delphi before,
I get the feeling that I’m just translating from some existing mental
model instead of breaking a paradigm. I haven’t delved into Delphi
deeply enough to fall in love or even to get a sense of the
Delphi-ness of Delphi.

Granted, I’m supposed to be doing this in order to learn how the
Japanese work. The diagrams are the same as the ones I took up in
CS123 but never put into practice in a real project. People work
individually, occasionally asking their project manager for
clarifications.

I need to figure out what to do in order to make the most of my work
time. I refuse to go home drained. I refuse to spend most of my waking
hours doing something I consider to be a waste. I must find out what
is wonderful about this.

I have a lot of fun doing Japanese translation, and will probably
focus on that aspect. I will work on advanced grammar and vocabulary
as I prepare design documents. Although my work is not relevant to
other people, at least I can benefit myself.

Open source is my lifeline. Even if I contribute a few lines of code
here, a message or two there, I feel that I’m connected. I _exist._
I’m doing something useful. That’s important to me. Teaching, too, is
something I do because I love doing it and because I feel that I can
make a difference that way.

Anyway, just some thoughts.