I’ll classify programmers and web designers into four categories:
1. Born geeks
2. Geeks who code for fun
3. Those who are in it for the money and the tinsel glory
4. Those who need the job
The first two of these may also be hobby programmers.
One difference between born geeks and the fun coders is how they perceive their computer. To both it feels more like a space than a machine. Both find this space exhilerating. But after a while, the latter remember their family and friends, their favourite book, their favourite haunts. They need to come up for air.
Over time, the pressure at work increases. It’s still fun, but it’s much more intense. They feel the need to unwind, and they can’t do that by going home to more code. Soon, home is where they relax. They need to refill their energies to cope with the next day at work.
Reluctantly, they say good bye to coding for a hobby. They still code for fun, but in short, sharp bursts, and only now and then.
I’m seeing colleagues at work going through this phase. For a long time it had me puzzled, because they used to be intense hobby coders. But soon I was able to observe this phenomenon first hand when my own geekhood came under seige, and I stopped coding for fun. Now I use my comp to explore technologies, read informative articles, and write a bit.
I’m keeping a watch on the seige. Let’s see how it turns out.