Saturday, July 25, 2009

Small, shiny focus.

Recently, I was reading Chad Fowler's excellent book, "The Passionate Programmer" and I'd gotten to Part III: Executing. Chapter 23, "Be Where You're At" struck a chord with me. The hypothetical person in that chapter was always looking for the next thing that will advance their career instead of paying attention their job, so they tended to do mediocre work. I'm not quite like that guy, but I have noticed that my procrastination manifests itself as an inability to focus on whatever it is that I should be working on because there's always another, more interesting problem to solve. In short, I'm easily distracted by small shiny objects :)

Then I was reading PerlMonks where kiz asked a question about Perl's auto-incrementing of strings. moritz replied with a brief
of how it works in Perl 6.

That post reminded me of one of the small contributions I made to Perl 6. I wrote some code to implement the Perl 6 semantics of string increment for Rakudo. That code has long since been replaced but the important thing was that at some point in the past, I was able to identify a small problem space in a language that I enjoy and did something about it. I was able to push through to a solution without being distracted by small shiny objects. (Although, I imagine that it was the shiny, distracting object for some other task that I should have been working on)

Thinking of that past contribution ignited some small desire to do that again despite the distractions in my life. Ergo, I intend on finding small perl-related things to focus on for as long as possible and then a little longer if necessary until I get to a stopping point and then I'll blog about it. Hopefully, as I exercise those neurons dealing with focus, they'll get stronger and the distractions will impinge upon my brain less.

No comments:

Post a Comment