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johnsmcjohn
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12 Jun 2011, 3:04 pm

Here's my problem. All my life I've been consumed by interests that lead nowhere. For example, I spent the better part of 2005 to 2006 obsessed with a game called puyolin. I played it 10 hours a day. and my reward for all this hard work? A high score I was reasonably sure would never be beaten. And that's it. Today, I find myself torn between two interests that I feel will soon become my next passion. Computer programming, and doodle jump. Now, I can tell that one of these has the potential to grow into a promising career, and the other does not. After all, no one makes a 6 figure income from a video game except the people who created it. My question is if there are any tips or tricks that you've found to guide your interests, or if these passions can only grow organically. Thanks for any help.



AngelKnight
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12 Jun 2011, 5:22 pm

I've indirectly mentioned in another post that "computer programmer" basically means "problem solver." If solving problems is interesting, or makes you excited, or otherwise completes you, then it may be for you. This part of being a coder is organic; there are no diagnostic tools that will tell you "yes, I like to solve problems" or "no, wth, this is bs" other than yourself. So be sure to be honest with yourself about this.

I don't have any further useful thoughts on the subject without knowing a bit more about what you've been doing programming-wise. Feel free to PM or reply to this thread.



Stinkypuppy
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12 Jun 2011, 5:26 pm

I think that some people will find it easier than others to guide their interests, whereas others are probably better off letting their passions grow organically. I myself have discovered that I'm part of the latter. It's kind of hard for me to stick to an interest if I have to force myself to do it; I'll have a horrible time concentrating and I'll be very irritable. As I get older it gets a little easier to plan out what I'm going to do, but I think this ability has to do with understanding my own strengths and limitations better. At any rate, once you've dabbled in a few different and perhaps random things, sometimes a trend or some common element among them all will emerge that could help pinpoint a possible overall direction in life. Sorry if this seems vague, but in the end we all have our own paths of life to walk, and sometimes the next step forward on that path is doodle jump. Or computer programming.

All this being said, there's a fine line between pursuing an interest obsessively, and being extremely dependent on the interest. If you ever find yourself clinging onto an interest for dear life, it might indicate that something else going on in your life that you may need to take care of first.

Good luck!


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johnsmcjohn
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12 Jun 2011, 6:21 pm

AngelKnight wrote:
I've indirectly mentioned in another post that "computer programmer" basically means "problem solver." If solving problems is interesting, or makes you excited, or otherwise completes you, then it may be for you. This part of being a coder is organic; there are no diagnostic tools that will tell you "yes, I like to solve problems" or "no, wth, this is bs" other than yourself. So be sure to be honest with yourself about this.

I don't have any further useful thoughts on the subject without knowing a bit more about what you've been doing programming-wise. Feel free to PM or reply to this thread.


Currently I don't have much experience in programming, but I find it magical watching a computer do what I tell it to. I think that might be a reason why I haven't gone head first into coding, because I don't know enough about it to feel confident about my abilities. I don't know if it's a typical Aspie thing but in the past, if I can't be very successful at something, I have no desire to do it.



MollyTroubletail
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12 Jun 2011, 6:36 pm

If it feels like something may become your interest, but it hasn't gotten to that point yet, you might be able to nip it in the bud by refusing to do anything related to that interest. Just quit cold-turkey before it gets too tempting. I do this with interests that I am certain I don't want to have.

If I know I get obsessed with computer games, I force myself to take monthly or weekly breaks from it. If I'm starting to spend too much time on it, I get rid of it completely (can't play something I don't have installed anymore). Can't be obsessed with an interest you're not able to ever do at all.

It's not that difficult to stop something from becoming an interest, by removing it at the source. But I don't know of any way to force something to become an interest, just because it would happen to be useful. That would be similar to trying to force yourself to make broccoli your favorite food on purpose, just because it's healthy.



Meow1971
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12 Jun 2011, 8:43 pm

from a sheer economic point I would say push yourself to computer programming and hope that it is enough. But from countless hours of Civilization, Bard's Tale, World of Warcraft and other games I know the lure of the game Siren.

Would you be able to pursue programming but scratch the Doodle Jumper itch by blogging and writing about it?



AngelKnight
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14 Jun 2011, 10:39 pm

johnsmcjohn wrote:
Currently I don't have much experience in programming, but I find it magical watching a computer do what I tell it to. I think that might be a reason why I haven't gone head first into coding, because I don't know enough about it to feel confident about my abilities. I don't know if it's a typical Aspie thing but in the past, if I can't be very successful at something, I have no desire to do it.


Then the questions you might ask yourself at this point: Does it really seem interesting to know *how* the computer did what I told it to? That is, does it seem interesting to get into the computer's head (as it were) and figure out what sequence of events caused it to do what it did?

You might try fooling around with a scripting language or two that have relatively good documentation. Python or Ruby may be reasonable starts; python includes a fairly comprensive tutorial [1]. Just keep in mind that you're exploring; if those two don't work out that doesn't necessarily mean programming is for yourself.

[1] http://docs.python.org/tutorial/index.html