I have a firmly held personal belief, grown from decades of programming: in a very real sense, programming is a game. At least, it can be like playing a game with the right mindset.
For me, spending a few hours programming—crafting code that bends these amazing computational devices to my will and creating worlds of living software—is entertaining and rewarding. It competes with delving into the Nether in Minecraft, snatching the last Province card in Dominion, or taking down a reaper in Mass Effect.
I don’t mean that programming is mindless entertainment. It is rarely that. Most of your time is spent puzzling out the right next step or figuring out why things aren’t working as you expected. But part of what makes games engaging is that they are challenging. You have to work for it. You apply creativity and explore possibilities. You practice and gain abilities that help you win.
You'll be in good shape if you approach programming with this same mindset because programming requires this same set of skills. Some days, it will feel like you are playing Flappy Bird, Super Meat Boy, or Dark Souls—all notoriously difficult games—but creating software is challenging in all the right ways.
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