It Doesn't Go Away

27 Aug 2014

I’m not a big TV-watcher, but I love the West Wing. (I was a politics major in college, and even though I’m not working in the field, I guess old habits die hard.) One of my favorite scenes is from the pilot episode: it’s been a tough day at the White House, everyone is frazzled, and the president is about to give a speech on national television. As the speech starts, a new hire is visibly awed by the gravity of the moment and whispers “I’ve never felt like this before.” A more experienced staffer responds “It doesn’t go away.”

The first time I watched that scene, I thought I wanted to work at the White House. Now, I know what those characters were talking about, and it’s the feeling I get from coding. I still remember the first time I got it. I was working through a set of introductory Ruby tutorials, and I had been banging my head against one of the harder challenges for a few days. I would write out pencil and paper solutions at work, try them out on my computer when I got home, and fall asleep to dreams of green RSpec. When I finally got the entire test suite to pass, I had never felt anything so satisfying. And the West Wing was right - it doesn’t go away. Solving a hard problem efficiently and beings sure that I’ve done it well is still one of the best feelings I know. I can’t wait to do this all the time again.

Molly Huerster

Published on 27 Aug 2014 Find me on Twitter!

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