First of all, thanks for all the positive feedback I’ve gotten so far for this little project of mine! I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one dealing with similar experiences. It definitely motivates me to continue with this project.
I’ve been thinking about this programmer lifestyle project the past few days and I came up with a problem specification (I’m an engineer after all!) to help organize my thoughts on the subject. They are in no specific order: reality disconnection, nature disconnection, immobility, and monotony.
Programming very often brings a programmer to a state which the popular movie Social Network liked to refer to as being “wired in”. It is that state of mind where one’s mind is so preoccupied that one becomes disconnected with everything else happening. I want to avoid this and live in the here and now, not stuck in a virtual world of moving bits and bytes.
I believe the farther in proximity one is from nature the less healthy/happy one is. That makes me in my cubicle with no window in sight one unhappy camper. On the occasion I do go outside during work, I feel the sun and the grass (the forbidden sidewalk grass *gasp*) and I automatically feel so much better. I need more nature!
We humans were designed to move, not sit still. But us programmers are given nice looking chairs and a desk to sit in front of all day. It doesn’t help when the scientific discipline of ergonomics focuses on immobile, awkward positions. I want to move and get up more than their ridiculous recommended once per hour. It’s sad when our incredibly complex and beautiful human movement skills are relegated to bathroom breaks.
There is so little difference in my day to day life in the workplace that it is mind-numbing. It’s the same cubicle, same desk, same monitor, same schedule, every day. I feel imprisoned in this routine and I want so badly to just break free from it.
So those are the main problems I could think of regarding the programmer lifestyle (Did I miss anything?). It’s not based on any kind of scientific rigor of any sort but is based solely on what I feel by instinct, that thing which nature has so kindly given us to guide and motivate us to a healthy and happy life.
So any new thing I try will have the goal of minimizing one or more of these four problems as much as possible without compromising my effectiveness as a programmer. Now that the problem specification has been laid out the rest should be easy right?