Diary of a Code Monkey: A Coding Diary

There is a tradition that dates back to the Calvinist of New England. You might know them as Pilgrims even if that description is not quite right . Part of their tradition is that God know everything already. As a result, he knows who is going to Heaven and Hell before we are even born. It means there is nothing you can do about it because your fate is predetermined. As a result of this fact, they spent a bunch of time trying to figure out if they were among the elect who get to go to Heaven. They thought good fortune equals elect status. From this the tradition of keeping a diary formed in America. They used it to remember all the details so they could try to logic out their elect status through their thoughts and actions. While this story might not be true, this is important to you because you should be keeping a coding diary.

Why keeping a coding diary is helpful

One thing we can learn from this story is that keeping a diary is weird. It is also something you should consider if you are a programmer. By keeping a diary, you can help prevent forgetting things. By writing you build new pathways in the brain.

It will help you remember when you figured out a solution to a problem. Recreating the solution becomes easy when that solution is written down. It can help you write down coding techniques you want to apply today. It can help focus you for the day and realize weird connections.

Maybe your code quality falls on days your office 82 degrees. Possible hunger sets in at 11:15 am and your code suffers. Maybe days where the cute girl is in the office, you time coding suffers. There are a surprising number of things that can make your coding suffer that can be found out because you are paying attention.

When you realize how useful it is, it kind of encourages you to keep going.

How to keep one

This is stupid simple. Open up a document in your favorite text editor or word processor and start typing. You can organize it however you want. I go from using scrapes of paper to appending entries into random notepad files. My organization system has something to be desired but it works for me. Just put your mood, your goals for the day and what you accomplished. If you run into am issue, note it and the solution you found. Keep it simple. If you humanized a relationship than note it. Along with that what you learned.

Take it or leave it, but think about adopting this tradition for your coding improvement.

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