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This is just something I have been thinking and want to vent about. Comment on it if you want, or not, whatever you fancy.

I have now been in my field of work as a software developer for about one year. I stumbled into it entirely through the excruciatingly urgent need to get a job. So among other things I tried some coding, found it to be enjoyable, got the minimal certificates and for it and off I went. Feeling like someone who just swallowed a red pill, ready to go meet Alice. Fast forward to last month and I got my contract renewed with six months which, incidentally, made the holidays quite enjoyable. So it is official... I don't suck at the job. However, that does not bar one person from constantly chastising me in the most brutal fashion. And that person is myself.

I know of all the cliches regarding INTP's and their thinking patterns from the books, articles and comments from you guys. But lately, I actually caught myself doing this: wanting to make perfect code (systems). And actively wasting hours and hours (even free time) trying to achieve this in the process. Which usually results in me getting angry with myself. Because it isn't working, well... duh! To the bemusement, and sometimes irritation, of my colleagues. Which in turn makes me even more angry of course. For a while I could not understand why they sort of mocked me over this. But this week I have come to understand that they are just laughing at Cletus (Simpsons movie), trying to dump a rat into the lake, constantly walking into a concrete wall.

I could go into the intricacies of coding, data-modeling, human psychology, fashion in the IT-world and how it all realtes to the quest of delivering perfect work. But I wont. Firstly because it would make for a long winded read. And secondly, because I only really have my own musings and extremely limited experience with coding to justify writing about it.

So let me just close by saying that recognizing or acknowledging you're doing something wrong, is the first step to improvement. But it feels utterly wrong to deliver sub-optimal work. So I will have to amend my definition of 'optimal work' I suppose. On the other hand, it would make me more efficient in relation to the work that has to be done by my team, which is always good. It is my boss who pays me afterall. And who knows, that bully might even stop chastising me....

if only ;)
 

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Blame the logic.

You'll need to switch things up, strive for mediocrity. Call in sick tomorrow, spend the day in bed with a delivery pizza and binge watch something.
 

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But it feels utterly wrong to deliver sub-optimal work. So I will have to amend my definition of 'optimal work' I suppose.
Yes, you get to define it.

When I was a copy editor, the goal was to get the thing accepted for publication. Letting a few mistakes slip through was okay, because I still achieved the goal. If I'd been able to charge more, I could have been more perfect. But I wasn't willing to do what it would take in order to charge more, e.g., hire people, use different technology.

When I was a cleaner, the goal was to have things look clean and smell clean and operate efficiently. So it was good when I had people compliment me on everything being "extremely clean" even when I knew where the dirt was hiding.

There's perfect and there's perfect. Today I was talking to a friend who works for a big company. She and some of her co-workers have come to realize that it doesn't matter how good a job you do. What they really want is for workers to kiss ass and be scared and turn a blind eye to infractions, etc. This would drive me crazy. Most of my life I've had joe jobs, but at least when I was a waitress or whatever I knew my employers wanted good work and it wasn't all about "politics" and hidden agendas. Sometimes I'd have a psycho co-worker or something, but the bottom line was always doing a decent job.

However, when I was a teacher, it wasn't about imparting knowledge; rather, it was about being entertaining and popular. Ugh.

You can figure out what your boss wants and how to survive in your work environment. Perfection might or might not be part of it.
 

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This is just something I have been thinking and want to vent about. Comment on it if you want, or not, whatever you fancy.

I have now been in my field of work as a software developer for about one year. I stumbled into it entirely through the excruciatingly urgent need to get a job. So among other things I tried some coding, found it to be enjoyable, got the minimal certificates and for it and off I went. Feeling like someone who just swallowed a red pill, ready to go meet Alice. Fast forward to last month and I got my contract renewed with six months which, incidentally, made the holidays quite enjoyable. So it is official... I don't suck at the job. However, that does not bar one person from constantly chastising me in the most brutal fashion. And that person is myself.

I know of all the cliches regarding INTP's and their thinking patterns from the books, articles and comments from you guys. But lately, I actually caught myself doing this: wanting to make perfect code (systems). And actively wasting hours and hours (even free time) trying to achieve this in the process. Which usually results in me getting angry with myself. Because it isn't working, well... duh! To the bemusement, and sometimes irritation, of my colleagues. Which in turn makes me even more angry of course. For a while I could not understand why they sort of mocked me over this. But this week I have come to understand that they are just laughing at Cletus (Simpsons movie), trying to dump a rat into the lake, constantly walking into a concrete wall.

I could go into the intricacies of coding, data-modeling, human psychology, fashion in the IT-world and how it all realtes to the quest of delivering perfect work. But I wont. Firstly because it would make for a long winded read. And secondly, because I only really have my own musings and extremely limited experience with coding to justify writing about it.

So let me just close by saying that recognizing or acknowledging you're doing something wrong, is the first step to improvement. But it feels utterly wrong to deliver sub-optimal work. So I will have to amend my definition of 'optimal work' I suppose. On the other hand, it would make me more efficient in relation to the work that has to be done by my team, which is always good. It is my boss who pays me afterall. And who knows, that bully might even stop chastising me....

if only ;)
It sounds like you're being pushed into a harmful state of mind by a bully. Specifically, it looks like you've embarked upon the quixotic task of designing perfect code in order to meet someone else's absurd expectations. Needless to say, since the bully isn't justified in saying what he/she is saying, you should not feel stressed in the way you do. It most likely follows from this that you shouldn't beat yourself up over not designing perfect code either. Equally obviously, this realisation alone will not be sufficient to bring you out of your bad state of mind. However, it may be a start.

Anecdotally, the question of what it takes for code to be perfect is very interesting. One of the most fascinating questions of theoretical linguistics (which, of course, logically precedes all coding) concerns why some ways of expressing a grammatically correct sentence have the property of being more elegant or succinct than other ways of expressing that same thing. As far as I know, nobody has even begun to address that question.
 

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I've given up on writing beautiful code for quite a while now. Besides the fact that there isn't always a pretty solution for every problem, caring too much about pretty code just doesn't work when you're working with multiple people on a project with strict deadlines.

However, I still get frustrated having to work on a project that has a bunch of old code, some of which is duplicated in other places and some of which doesn't work as expected or isn't used at all anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It sounds like you're being pushed into a harmful state of mind by a bully. Specifically, it looks like you've embarked upon the quixotic task of designing perfect code in order to meet someone else's absurd expectations. Needless to say, since the bully isn't justified in saying what he/she is saying, you should not feel stressed in the way you do. It most likely follows from this that you shouldn't beat yourself up over not designing perfect code either. Equally obviously, this realisation alone will not be sufficient to bring you out of your bad state of mind. However, it may be a start.

Anecdotally, the question of what it takes for code to be perfect is very interesting. One of the most fascinating questions of theoretical linguistics (which, of course, logically precedes all coding) concerns why some ways of expressing a grammatically correct sentence have the property of being more elegant or succinct than other ways of expressing that same thing. As far as I know, nobody has even begun to address that question.
I have begun to beat the bully back a bit now. People only really learn the hard way in my estamation, and so do I. And that second pragraph is utterly interresting to me, but I know that once I embark down that road... there's not enoug time in the history of time for that.
@DarkBarlow
I applaud such wisdom and I'll add some: 'perfection is vastly overrated'. The pizza is delicious.
@islandlight
I like experimenting to see what set of particulars I have to check off (or not) to satisfy people, or piss them off. In my case, my boss has no understanding of IT. He only cares about the standard 'Human Resources' crap. So that comes down to talking a big game and delegating the work to others, if one was inclined to climb the ladder of 'success'. As for survival, I have never worked in a place I liked this much, so apart from my own idiosyncracies, which is the main atagonist in this case, surviving should not be that hard :).
@Pifanjr
I might have mentioned it in another post, but 60% of our code base is in COBOL and decades old. I mostly work in and around the Java wrapper surrounding that COBOL core. I thought being able to program in a language was all I had to be able to do, but the sheer complexity of keeping our applications up and running... one could dedicate an entire faculty worth of studies on that alone and still never reach the full depth of it. It boggles the mind.
 

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@Pifanjr
I might have mentioned it in another post, but 60% of our code base is in COBOL and decades old. I mostly work in and around the Java wrapper surrounding that COBOL core. I thought being able to program in a language was all I had to be able to do, but the sheer complexity of keeping our applications up and running... one could dedicate an entire faculty worth of studies on that alone and still never reach the full depth of it. It boggles the mind.
I do not envy you. Good luck.
 

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Nothing wrong with striving for perfection, but when it falls short you just have to forgive yourself for being human.
 
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