A pixel art image of a mushroom

Ego in Programming

I have a tendency to search for novel solutions to my problems instead of investigating what already exists. I think this has two main roots

  • Difficulty of searching for a particular problem
  • NIH syndrome. If I come to a conclusion it will be more satisfying/impressive.

And while I think that there is fun in reinventing the wheel and in NIH syndrome, I think it’s overall counterproductive if we are trying to solve a problem.

I’m unsure if other fields have this amount of wheel reinventing, but I don’t think so (Maybe mathematics somewhat?). So what makes us prone to this?

  • Easiness of getting into new problems and finding scrappy solutions to them? Maybe other fields have a harder time doing that.
  • Things happen a lot more in public, so there is maybe a street-cred component to building a novel hand-crafted solutions to problems.
  • CS in itself for most programmers is pretty shallow without having to solve problems in other fields (CS as a tool) so we reinvent the wheel to stay busy.

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