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How do you all motivate yourself?

 
Greenhorn
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So I'm a 19 year old programmer, when I was younger I had a lot of motivation to work in languages such as C# and C++, now I've moved onto Java as there's an area I'd love to work in. However I can't find any ways to motivate myself, I suffer from depression and such, I try not to let it affect me, but I can't find anything to motivate me, I've tried focusing on my goal, music, inspiration from other projects and such, just nothing works. When you were learning what kept you motivated?
 
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Nowadays, I keep motivated with the idea that my daughter needs money to go through college. That probably does not help you much at 19. When I was 19 I was motivated by curiosity, and by the fact that girls do like the smart boys. Caveat here is that at that age I did nothing with computers (the 1980's, not everybody had one) and I was more interested in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.
 
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George,
Do you like programming? If not, maybe you want to study something you are more interested in?  When I was in college, I loved to program (and still do). For my less interesting classes, I motivated myself with the desire to have a high GPA to facilitate finding a job when I graduated.

To motivated myself to do things I don't want to do, I use a to do list, block off time or making it a dependency for something I do want to.
 
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To add to this, in my opinion, the age of 19 isn't old enough to know what you actually want. Heck, when I was in college, I was still targeting to do Chemical Engineering, as Chemistry is what I wanted.

IMHO, you should also keep looking, to see what else motivates you, instead of just forcing something that bores you at the young age of 19.

And BTW, I am not saying that programming is not for you, but instead perhaps, there are other fields that may be better.... and college is likely the final point in your life where you have to choose your vocation -- well, until the mid-life crisis, that is ... -- so, enjoy trying out different things too.

Henry
 
Jan de Boer
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Henry Wong wrote:I was still targeting to do Chemical Engineering, as Chemistry is what I wanted.



Ah, we still share a common interest then?

By the way, there are fields where you can combine the two, scientific calculation et cetera.

Back on topic, I would not worry that much. At 17, 18, 19 I did very bad things, and got expelled from school in contact with the police even and I still got back on track when I was a little wiser in my twenties.
 
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George Marts wrote: I'm a 19 year old programmer, ... However I can't find any ways to motivate myself, I suffer from depression and such, I try not to let it affect me, but I can't find anything to motivate me, I've tried focusing ... just nothing works.


Not to seem overly dramatic but depression is actually an affective disorder and it can have serious consequences on both your mental and physical health. If you think you might be suffering from clinical depression, go seek help from a qualified professional. If you're just using that word as an expression, then try taking an extended break and do other non-programming related activities. I wash dishes or work in the yard or just watch Jeopardy. Sometimes just giving your mind a chance to breath, relax, and recover from the rigors of programming can go a long way in revitalizing your interest and drive.
 
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George Marts wrote:So I'm a 19 year old programmer, when I was younger I had a lot of motivation to work in languages such as C# and C++, now I've moved onto Java as there's an area I'd love to work in. However I can't find any ways to motivate myself, I suffer from depression and such, I try not to let it affect me, but I can't find anything to motivate me, I've tried focusing on my goal, music, inspiration from other projects and such, just nothing works. When you were learning what kept you motivated?


go tu run, seriously

smart people get depressed, running is the remedy, positive thought another. try to find what you like in coding.
Coding is something you can do ONLY IF YOU LOVE IT.

Are you still not motivated? Please  Llsten to my story.
I work really hard I have a job and is not a coding job. I am 43. Recruiters ignore me because I do not have an engineer degree, I do not have experience, still developers ask me a lot of recommendations because I learned a lot in the latest 4 years.
At my present no code work, a C# .net project is causing every day damage to the business because our developers  did a big ball of mud of code, and they do not test nothing, every new feature brings bugs from other parts.
The devs even do not put Log messages or throw custom exception. As fake developer I have to deal every day with that, if I ask to my manager to implement Nunit( the junit C# platform) I get almost a formal warning...
STILL every night when at 10 o clock I am home, I start to code( ok I see also some video), I just play with the code, try small chunk of new tutorials, and I am on top of the latest development tools, and this RELAX me because coding is beautiful.
George, you are 19 years old, if I were 19 years old......if only I were 19 years old, I would burn the world man!
Learning is fantastic, I am doing now ReactJS, three weeks ago I could not understand nothing, I PLAYED, and now I laugh myself seeing what I could not understand how is easy... do you see that coding is like a videogame? You do not need to play sudoku if you are a coder! If you remain an evening at home, you can have a challenging adventure into your classes.
George, think over people that do 20 years of data entry jobs as million of people do, they would kill their mothers to learn a new task.... still not motivated?
you 19 years old and have the most beautiful job that exist in the world. If you get depressed, ( if you do not have bipolar disorders) just find a religion that gives sense to your life,or a philosophical reading if you do not believe, go out and see the positive side of the stupid people that are abundant in the world, they are nice even if have a low IQ. And do running, you cannot be a runner and have depression is a boolean magic

 
Giovanni Montano
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still not motivated? meditate, especially on the Junilu Lacar signature:
Practice only makes habit, only ..PERFECT.. practice makes perfect.
So, ...PRACTICE MINDFULLY..., ....practice doing the right things... and doing things right....


do you see the beauty, enjoy learning, sloowly, mindfully, small chunks, but perfect, do you see the beauty of the perfection?
 
Junilu Lacar
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Despite what I have in my signature, I have also learned to accept that perfection is the enemy of good enough. In your practice, strive for perfection but in your daily work, it's best to stop at "good enough."
 
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Junilu Lacar wrote:. . . it's best to stop at "good enough."

Once you reach the standard of “good” or “good enough”, you are going to become a liability if you expend lots of effort to achieve unnecessary excellence.
 
Giovanni Montano
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Junilu Lacar wrote:. . . it's best to stop at "good enough."

Once you reach the standard of “good” or “good enough”, you are going to become a liability if you expend lots of effort to achieve unnecessary excellence.


Beautiful point Ritchie.  There is a nice article that says why good coders have to be lazy and stupid https://www.techwell.com/techwell-insights/2013/12/why-best-programmers-are-lazy-and-act-dumb
 
Greenhorn
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I go through the same problem.

One thing that has proved to be very fruitful is to learn as much as you can completely unrelated to programming, getting out into the world, talking to people, watching great movies and reading great books. My new favorite is Ted Chiang, he writes some really good sci-fi. These things tend to give me a new perspective on life, and in a way what problems exist out there. Programming is my way of creating solutions to improve those problems.

Then you can always find new sources of learning materials, one Java book might be a drag, but the next one might have the insight's that reflect your interest. Find specializations. Options abound.


Good luck, let us know how you progress!
 
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#1: Nitty-gritty reasons like insult, failure, professional embarrassment, and lack of respect. For example,  not getting the job you badly wanted,  being unemployed for a while, leaving a job in unpleasant circumstances, etc. There is no better way to get even with those caused this to you than proving yourself with a success. There is an old saying — “Massive success is the sweetest revenge”.

One can learn more from his/her failures than successes.  If you are not failing, you are not pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I have failed in many ways like being unemployed for 1.5 years even with a masters degree and left my first IT job within first 5 months due to a personality clash. If I didn’t get pushed to quit my first IT job, I may not have got out of my comfort zone to become a freelancer.

So, don’t be afraid of failing. Use it to motivate yourself. Any failures along with other smaller insults and embarrassments can motivate you to open more doors.

#2: Fear of being fired, becoming obsolete, being outperformed by your competition, etc. More and more companies are conducting pre-interview online tests & written code assignments to interview candidates. Fear of failing the more stringent recruitment process can motivate you to not only prepare, but also to constantly up-skill. Embracing fear means embracing growth. Even if you “fail”, you will be happy that you tried, and acquired new skills & insights in the process. Nothing makes you more uncomfortable than fear. It can motivate you to take the road less traveled.

#3: Recognition is the validation of your worthiness. If you want to get recognized, you need to proactively get things done like adding value to the organization you work in, getting a good handle in the technical key areas to solve challenging problems both proactively and retroactively,  and use your soft skills to bring out the maximum from other people to accomplish things for your organization. For example,

   -- Initiate a quick win project to fix an issue or  enhance a process.
   -- Become a facilitator to drive changes.
   -- Identify potential issues, and take initiatives to fix them.

Sometimes you don’t get the recognition you deserve for various reasons. At times, people working for large organizations move to smaller organizations to get recognized as architects from being senior developers or as CIOs (Chief Information Officer) from being a development or delivery managers. When you leave with a good rapport, you can always move back to a larger corporation in the future with a different title, job role, and responsibilities. You need to embrace change to make things happen.

Sharing your knowledge and experience via creative and unique blogging and self-published books can give you recognition in the form of positive comments, job openings, more subscriptions, speaking opportunities, and invites for new collaborative ventures.

Certification is a recognition of your academic accomplishments. It is a personal recognition, and prospective employers recognize hands-on experience/accomplishments more than the academic accomplishments.

#4: Joy of winning. Some people are addicted to winning. This is what drive sports people. In IT world it means accomplishing your objectives. For example, designing and building an application that meets both functional and nonfunctional requirements within the stipulated time frame. Proactively identifying a security loophole or a an obscure thread-safety issue, and then seeking the approval from the management to fix them. You need to have management visibility when you fix things to get the recognition you deserve and to get the feeling of winning due to your  “know hows” and contributions.

When you have an application that is falling over every second day, fixing it will be the top priority of your middle and senior management. You can seize this opportunity to show off your analytical skills, problem solving skills, passion for the work you do, and the technical skills in the so called “16 key areas” by identifying the root cause of the issue and fixing it. Especially, before your other team mates identify and fix the issue to feel the joy of winning, in a professional manner.

Your scoreboard is all about

   -- improving the application performance by 30%, reducing the response times by 60%, etc.
   -- being in a position to attend many interviews and choose from multiple job offers.
   -- increasing your book sales and number of blog followers.
   -- improving the Google page ranking of your website or blog due to your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts.
   -- being proud of having 90% unit test coverage
   -- earning a reputation as a go to person
   -- designing and developing systems where all the 16 technical key areas fall into place as a jigsaw puzzle.

#5: Money for yourself and your family. People often change jobs and careers to earn more.
Money is certainly a motivating factor to do well in your career. Some fear changes, and feel stagnated in their careers without any proper pay rises other than smaller rises to keep it in line with the inflation.
 
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If you lack motivation because you’re not sure what you want to do with your life and you’re seeking direction, then that can be rectified and you’ll benefit from the useful advice given in the previous posts.

If you lack motivation due to depression, then hopefully, that can be rectified by seeking professional help.

If you lack motivation because lack of motivation is part of your personality, then there’s not much you can do change your personality. Some people are naturally driven and some aren’t. There are driven 14 year old kids who run multi-million pound companies (for example, Sean Belnick was 14 when he founded BizChair.com), and there are 40 year old men who would rather hang out at the pub and chase girls all day.
 
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Greed is what keeps me motivated(Kidding..)
Curiosity is the answer, if you are not curious about it. Try to find the things that make you curious, that make you question things(Constructively that is)
If you are not motivated yet, keep going for a few more time, you are still young(I am 21 and I just figured out about 1 month earlier that JAVA is my calling).
Keep doing other things that you may think may be of your interest.
 
Greenhorn
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Perhaps using your skills and knowledge to put something helpful out in the world.  Ask people how you can help them.  Perhaps teaching, tutoring, volunteering, etc.  Maybe finding someone to learn with.  Jobs had the Woz, there were two Google guys, etc.  Not sure about your situation but I don't think sitting somewhere by yourself usually helps.
 
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