Is it sad that I actually enjoyed debugging code tonight?
I suppose it’s not so much the act of debugging, but the success you have once you’ve figured it out. I call it a ding and refer to the way it works the Ding Effect. It’s the same reason why a gamer will sit for hours and hours performing the same action over and over again for what seems little gain. The ding is the reward in the end – be it a PHP form actually submitting (as was the case tonight), finishing a paper on time (which I hope will be the case tomorrow), getting an A (which is always my goal), leveling up a character (just one more bubble), or acquiring rewards in game (yay shiny!) – the sense of accomplishment is all the same.
I was hired for my first computer programming job because I was a gamer. My boss’s understanding was that if I could sit in front of a computer/console for hours figuring out a game, I’d do the same figuring out code – and you know what? He was right.
This is why I enjoy listening to my 6 year old gain that same sense of achievement experience when she finishes a book, or figures out a new recipe on Cooking Mama for the DS. If you can build your own sense of accomplishment into every day tasks, then that’s all the motivation required to get them done and actually enjoy doing them.