7 frustrating things about being a programmer

Like any other job, programming has its frustrating aspects. Here are seven things that drove me nuts

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Doesn't anybody read my documentation?

Image credit: flickr/Peter Alfred Hess

No doubt that most of you people who aren’t programmers, or have never been programmers, look at those of us who are or were programmers and think, “Boy, that’s gotta be a great job. Exciting, fast paced, highly compensated, well respected and, above all, extremely sexy. What’s not to love about being a programmer? I wish I was one.” Those are understandable assumptions. But, really, it’s not always all wine, roses and hanging out with George Clooney at his Italian villa.

[Developer divide: 19 generations of computer programmers and Moving from programming to something else, anything else]

Oh no. This may be surprising, but it can often be headache inducing. As a matter of fact, after 13 years of raising my kids, I’d blame the 15 or so years as a developer as the second biggest cause for my gray hairs and bald spot. Just like any other job, it’s filled with its frustrating, hair-pulling, banging-your-head-against-the-wall moments.

Based on my own experiences, here now, in no particular order, are seven of the most frustrating things I found about being a programmer:

People assuming you can fix any computer-related problem - Yes, I write code for a living; no, I can’t help you with your printing problem or that attachment you can’t open or that laptop that won’t boot up. Unless you want to buy me lunch or a beer, then maybe I can help.

End users not providing enough information about bugs - Thanks for the bug report, but writing simply “It doesn’t work” isn’t all that helpful. How about telling me things like what screen you were on, what action you took, what you expected to happen and what actually happened, and what (if any) error message you got. It never hurts to include browser and OS or platform, either. Basically, by providing more information upfront you will save us both the time of me having to come back to you with “Now what exactly were you doing?” and will help get your problem solved faster.

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