Thursday, November 8, 2012

Finding my motivation to code again

I have been wonding about what to do to re-invigorate my love of coding.  I figure other peole have the same problem from time to time.

I have just come of the back end of a hecktic year of many small projects.  Because they are "work", there is only so much personal investment that I have in them.  I do them, and I do them well... but it's mostly repetative and ... well work.  It's not fun. Very little is novel.  There is little creativity or problem solving.

I find that after a while, this really sucks me dry as far as motivation to pick up a project when the pressure is off.

So my question to myself was, how do I find my passion again?

The first solution I tried was playing some games.  Honestly, most of the games seem very much Me-too type things that remind me of games from a decade ago.  The thought of diving in a fixing broken game play or hacking on yet another creation kit for yet another half assed clone game... blah!  These are solved problems... they are not even very fresh problems.

Brain training games are even worse... (since I kinda work on them all year anyway... ) they are utilitarian but not ... inspiring.  

The next thing I tried was some little coding competitions.  These were nice.  They got me back to my roots of solving small bounded problems quickly.  It was a challenge to do it and it forced me to use some basic coding skills that have been getting rusty through disuse.

The best problem set I have looked at so far are from Google Code Jam.  They are quick and bite sized.  The data sets are well developed and the online judge does not give you any hints.

I have found a few more online but have not yet explored them...

The last thing I have tied is doing something old in a new way... I have started working my way through all the Kahn Academy videos... refreshing, renewing, re-finding ideas and concepts that I have not had to talk about or explain for ... well, a long time.  It's nice.  Kinda familiar, kinda half remembered.  A good refresher...

Maybe there is something there for you?

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