Task: Remove a Programmatic Crutch
Phil DeVeau left a great comment about Podcast 72 on Becoming a Better Developer in Six Months. He said:
Remove a Programmatic Crutch. Everyone has programmatic crutches, maybe you can't code without coffee, or without music, or more likely you can't do anything without an IDE.
I love the way he phrased it. A while back (do forgive me the self-quoting, you know you're an idiot when you start quoting yourself but...) I said If you're going to develop a habit, why not make it a best-practice-habit?
That was a true and pithy statement, but I was thinking about new habits. I often forget about all the old ones. Here's my "crutches" and I resolve to do something about them...even if that something means deciding that they, in fact, work for me and I decided to keep on doing them. At least I'll be able to say that I haven't lived an unexamined programmer-life.
- Email Checking: I tend to roll directly out of bed and roll, roll, roll, down the hall, roll into my chair, and immediately check my email. This is insane. There's rarely something crucial that's happened between 2am and 7am that needs my attention.
- Crackberry: I'm getting better with this one, but still, the "urgency addiction" is strong in this one. I'll try to embrace the freedom of only checking email forty, er, um, I mean, four, times a day.
- Caffeine: I thought I kicked the junk, but I'm back on it. The Diet Coke is going to destroy me. In the words of Dennis Miller, do I need a soft drink with an undertow? I'll start reaching for water unless I really need a kick to get some code working. Actually, I think that Diet 7UP is probably an appropriate methadone for Diet Coke, no?
- XM 150-154: I love my XM Radio, especially the four twenty-four hour comedy channels...I listen to them while I code...wait...why is this a crutch? Screw that, I'm keeping this one.
What programmatic crutch are you going to remove during your quest to be a better developer in the coming months?