Tale Tuesday #23 – The struggles behind coding

Hey everyone! It’s part two of Michael’s Tale Tuesday about coding. Next time, we’ll discuss something we didn’t mention in details yet – art. Stay tuned and for now, read the last article about coding!

Time and energy are the two biggest challenges I face when coding. After a long day of work, coming home in the freezing cold, spending time to eat dinner, and prepare my meal for tomorrow, I have maybe 1 – 2 hours max of free time left before I need to sleep. Could I work on some programming in this time? Sure, I definitely could but it often takes a while to get into the “zone” of coding and stopping just as I’m getting used to working because I have to go to bed breaks the flow I’m in. Coming back the next day to continue where I left off often takes up a not insignificant portion of time because I have to remember what I was working on. This is all assuming I have the energy, too! Often, after a long day of work, coming home to program more is unappealing. I just don’t have the energy for it and will stare at the computer screen brain-dead, like some zombie, kek. I know some people live to code and code even in their free time, but I’m not like that. Maybe those people don’t live so far away from work so they have a bit more time to code? Lucky for me, though, I have time on the weekend to work; though, that should go without saying.
The other struggles are more related to things such as: “how do I do this?”. Sometimes there are limitations due to hardware, such as memory size, or the game engine itself not having the function you’re looking for. There are always workarounds or alternatives but they’re not as convenient as using the function you had imagined.
Here’s a recent problem I encountered in my job: say you’re dealing with an application that can take a copy of a database to work with offline in Excel. The user makes changes to the data that he needs to and, when he is finished, uploads the data back to the database. Now, how do you know that the data you first extract from the database and converted to an Excel spreadsheet is going to be in the same format? Maybe a column header is missing or a new column header is added. What do you do if while one user is working with the database offline another user takes the same data and does his own changes and uploads that data before the first user was able to upload his? There needs to be a check at some point prior to uploading that does a comparison of what user one has changed and what the database currently has to see if the two versions are the same. It could be that the data that user one is working with won’t be the most up to date and now there are inconsistencies. If user one tries to upload his data it will overwrite the data that was changed by user two. So you would need to present to the user that their copy is not the most up to date.
It sounds a bit like Git but it does have some differences. I have a solution for this problem that I’m currently implementing which I won’t go into because I’d like to leave it here for you, the reader, to ponder over.

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