The summer holidays are here. The high schoolers that make up a large portion of my friend group are rejoicing. For the first couple of weeks or so, everyone relishes just doing nothing. Then, everyone starts complaining again.
You see, listlessness overcomes most of these students eventually. During the school year, everything is so boring and stressful that everyone is sick of it almost all the time and feel restless as a result. But as soon as the holidays roll in and they think things will start to look up, they get bored quickly. I call the phenomenon “Having No Intrinsic Purpose”.
My sister’s descent into a hollow existence is a classic example of this phenomenon. After a few fruitless projects, she hit a rock bottom: a week-long period filled with makeup tutorials on YouTube, mobile gaming, and social media. At the end of this period, she became more vocal about her suffering, and I was obliged to help. And that’s where this piece gets technical.
She wanted something mechanical to do that didn’t require consistent creative input. Her previous intellectual avenue, fiction writing, needed conscious mental exertion most of the time, hence her regular burnout. After a quick search for ‘valuable skills to learn in 2018’, I suggested she do some programming. I suggested it because it’s quite safe to say that it’s a valuable skill going forward, and I do it too, and could help her if things got hard. On day one of her coding streak (at the time of writing), things are looking good. Engagement is high and general fulfillment in life seems better.
So you might be wondering: what’s with the title?
The truth is, I don’t write much code.
I’m building a software business out of an