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Tanmay Naik
Tanmay Naik

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Why learning to program is like owning a dog (in some ways)

So I just recently got a White German Shepherd pup, and within a few days of being with him, I've come to realize that owning a dog is not an easy thing. But then, neither is programming. So here are some parallels I drew from that. Just a fun post :)

You don't know whether you can do it

My first language was JavaScript, and when I started to learn, I had no idea whether I could make a website. My motivation didn't matter because.. motivation only gets you started. It's the same with owning a dog, you don't know if you can own and care for one, but you want one, so you get a dog. And then you are clueless about what to do next.

You have to take it one day at a time

Owning a dog is a lot of responsibility. And if you think of the big picture, you can end up scaring yourself shitless. There's a lot to learn on how to discipline your dog, what to buy, when to vaccinate, vet schedules, and so on. It's the same with programming, there is a whole lot to learn with no end in sight. So, it's important to know that at this point, you don't need to learn everything on day one.

You can't ignore the ugly parts

Programming is a mentally stimulating activity where you get to learn new things all the time. And we all have a preference for a particular part of it, frontend, backend, fullstack, database, application development, these are just the broader parts of it. And you can go even deeper than that in terms of job titles. But even then, sometimes a part of your job will require you to have some idea of the others too, even if you don't like to do them. Owning a dog means you get to play with it, pet it, go out on walks, have a furry companion who would trust you with their eyes closed, but it also means having to clean up after them, regular vet visits, partly chewed furniture, and so on.

You can't slack off

That said, programming is a very demanding field where you have to always keep abreast of the happenings. I remember not coding for about half a year and feeling like a complete newbie because Angular was replaced by React and you could suddenly make apps with web technologies. Your dog is also very demanding by nature, you have to be alert at all times so he doesn't do something you wouldn't want him to, like poop on the carpet.

Inspite of everything, it's fun and you love it

At the end of the day though, it's still a lot of fun to make things and to have a furball to play with after an eventful day, and you wouldn't want it any other way.

That's all folks!

Top comments (5)

vickilanger profile image
Vicki Langer • Edited

Fantastic parallel. Now, there is a mandatory dog tax. You mentioned puppies, please share your favorite puppy pics. 😁

Here’s my Fox. beautiful white shepherd laying on floor looking goofy with their mouth open and tongue hanging down

blazephoenix profile image
Tanmay Naik • Edited

Haha. Here he is. The goodest boy.

vickilanger profile image
Vicki Langer

He looks like the goodest of all boys. I think he made my heart melt 😍

skyandsand profile image
Chris C • Edited

Dogs are great but it's true that they are a lot of time and responsibility. 10x more so if you live alone!

fly profile image

Not an analogy I would have attempted personally, but yet I believe it was put in a very convincing way. Lovely read :)