June 14th 2016
I’ve been trying to narrow down my reasons for enjoying coding as much as I do. There are a couple of different answers that I ended up with.
Programming affords the opportunity to stretch the limits of your understanding and ability. No matter how many years you have invested in the craft, there will always be new challenges, new tech, and new problems to solve. Web development, in particular, is evolving at a breakneck pace, as the web grows to include features and abilities once relegated to native environments.
Be honest. You love all things shiny, new, and tech. Coding allows, necessitates, the playing with all of the coolest gadgets. Laptops, smartphones, tablets, smart watches, the entire IoT, how can you not love the constant flood of new and exciting tech?
The challenges and the cool toys are great, but the most fulfilling aspect of programming is that I can help solve real problems for real people. Well-designed web sites provide valuable information for those who need it. Software has enabled communication that is only limited by the availability of an internet connection. Stop and think of the number of trees that have been saved by the adoption of digital statements and bill pay.
Two simple solutions that I have been able to provide myself are whendidiwork.com and pinewoodraceday.com. Whendidiwork is a simple time tracking web app that records project, work, or hours of any kind to a Google sheet and Calendar. I wanted a solution for third shift workers that allowed specifying the start and end date. I hate when my data is stored away from me and only accessible from one place. Whendidiwork stores everything on the Google products I am already using.
PinewoodRaceDay.com is a solution to a problem that I as a CubMaster have faced every year. We are blessed to have a nice four lane track with precision timers. The problem is that the software was problematic and eventually disappeared completely. So being the problem solver that I am, I built my own software solution. PinewoodRaceDay.com is a free, pinewood derby and raingutter regatta race program for BSA, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Awana, and Youth Groups. As a web app, there is nothing to install and after the initial page-load has offline capabilities.
I am just thankful that my passion for web development is able to help others who share in the same experiences as I. If our work doesn’t benefit our lives and the lives of others, then why do it?