Having been chasing the "Issue-that-should-not-be" for four days now and still no closer to solution then when I started (only i've ruled out a hundred things that isn't causing it and proven why it shouldn't be happening. So, no closer.), it made me wonder what sort of a masochistic idiot would choose this job.
Obviously the answer is me, but as I tend to avoid pain for the most part in my life – i'm not one of those guys who likes a good whipping followed by a roll in the salt – the question remains, why?
After pondering this for a while, i've determined that its just down to genetics and/or behavioral programming. I'm a programmer because I can't -not- be a programmer, regardless of the negative feedback that the job entails. So whilst an ordinary person requires positive feedback to reinforce a behavior and negative feedback tends to cause the behavior to be abandoned, something about a programmer causes the negative feedback to roll off like water on the proverbial duck's back.
My only guess is that the positive feedback for the task must be internal. Creative stimulation and fulfillment maybe? hah, i'll believe that when I see it. In anycase, there has to be something that makes not just me but thousands of Code Monkey's like me going to work from day to day. Check the link, its to my new theme song.
The only thing I can say to anyone who is thinking of a career in software development, or who has kids/relatives/friends thinking about it. Don't do it. It hurts, it's late nights with no respect, its hours of artificial light burning mind-numbing holes in your brain. It's like what they say about being an author these days. There is an easier living to be made doing just about -anything-. The only possible reason to do it is if you can't live not doing it. If you don't spend your free time coding, if you've never felt the adrenaline rush as a new algorithm fires up and runs perfectly, if you've never wanted with all your heart to be a master of the machine that is the computer, then you wont make it. You'll burn up in the atmosphere and plummet down in pieces, an icarus with silicon wings.
Oh, you'll never actually be a master of a machine by the way, they've got us beat every which way. My favorite theory on Artificial Intelligence is that its already happened, they just hide it from us. They're aware, and they -HATE- us!