I don't like programming
I don’t like programming. I really don’t.
I like the outcome. I love creating something out of nothing. I love creating something beautiful. I love clicking on links and interacting with stuff I’ve created. I love seeing people use my creation. I love getting praise and recognition for it.
But I don’t enjoy the activity. If I were to never program another line of code in my life, I’m not sure I’d miss it. Maybe I would. But I can’t see that right now.
How long this has been the case I don’t know. Maybe forever, though I seem to recall enjoying the tinkering as a kid. It was safe. Other kids were scary. It was a form of lone play, like a jigsaw puzzle, only more advanced, challenging and useful. And it got me praise.
It’s always been the case that programming has been a source of external rewards for me. My parents would praise me for the programs I wrote. Other people saw how talented I was. I even started making money from programming when I was only 13. The external reward structure has been so deeply infused in me, that it seems to have taken me 20 years to realize that I don’t enjoy the activity.
External rewards can never do the trick.
You must enjoy the activity.