There was a time when I viewed coding as something that I did for a living…that was about all. Yes, I enjoyed it. Actually, I enjoyed it a lot, but when I got home, coding wasn’t very high on my to-do list.
That all changed one day when I noticed my wife with a piece of notebook paper full of math. You see, she’s a quilter, and not just a quilter, but an avid classic video game quilter. My wife hates math, but she would spend two to three hours per quilt just doing the math to calculate the length of each strip of fabric (adding in seam allowances) that she would need, how many of each size strip of fabric she would need, and add up all of those individual strips to determine how many yards of each color of fabric she would have to buy.
When I saw her with that page full of math, I commented that I could write a program for her that would do all of that work in seconds. I think that I spent about six hours that weekend writing a program that would end up saving her countless hours of mundane, monotonous math and give her more time to focus on what she loves doing, quilting. As an added benefit, she now has the freedom to change and try variations on her designs without having to worry about manually recalculating the measurements for an entire quilt all over again.
When I wrote that quilting program for my wife, I wasn’t writing something that I wanted to be a commercial product; I was writing something to make my wife’s life a little easier. Now she can drop a sprite into the program and print out a shopping list detailing how many yards of each color of fabric she’s going to need, and a list of how many of every size strip that she’ll have to cut.
That fateful day, when I saw my wife’s page full of math, it changed my whole outlook on programming. Now, instead of just something that I do for a paycheck, it’s something that I see as a way to make life simpler for those I care about.