It's late, do you know where your coder is?
Really, it's a very good question. You think your spouse is sleeping next to you at night. They are not. They are awake, bleary, weary and barely lucid, secretly feeding their addiction. Yes, it is sad and depraved, and utterly reprehensible. Of course, they don't want you to know because they need to keep the mystery. It will make it all the more poignant when the truth does come out, because they have a plan, and it is big. They need to code. It is what makes them go; the juice that makes them feel alive, and it is all leading somewhere. You see, there's an app, and it does something wonderful, and you'll understand when you see it, but it's not exactly done yet. It would be if they could just figure out that frigging API, but the doc sucks straws and the on-line help is out to lunch.
I know this is true, because I find myself there often sitting at the PC, late into the evening and night. I've got a thought struggling to get out, tearing, clawing and scraping to get out of my brain and into the machine. Like an artist I must channel this energy through my being and out my fingers, onto a digital canvas, because that is what the expression of my ideas become to me, my art. I paint with the keyboard, patterns in symbols, lines and logical structure. It's more than the simple words, the names and statements, the loops and threads. It is the engine that will roar, the tumblers that will spin, the dials, the sound and the motion that will eventually be. The program is built piece by piece, backward and forward. A shape takes form from a fog, plastered and hewn, over and over until an image seeps onto the screen that matches the picture in my mind. The code may stand still, like a photograph, but like that photograph it has captured a scene and frozen it in time. It speaks of motion, a liquid flow, a living breathing thing, and you can feel it when you read it, drinking it in.
Real coders know this. They know their programs are alive, somewhere there in the machine, even if only caught in time. The program transcends the silicon statis and branches out into the electromagnetic ether. And they exist out there, full and complete, like the world in that photo that is now somewhere other than on the film or the page. Their life is not in their running. You may execute them at your leisure, but that is not the spark that brings them into being. That is the machine and its processor, clumsy fingers fumbling over the creation like a blind man trying to see, trying to make sense out of the features, but only ever able to see in small glimpses the totality that you know resides out there, somewhere.
Code is real.