There are times that I become immersed in a project and it feels as if it swallows me whole.
It can be awful. I remember one of those times working on a project, part of a large team at a fairly large company. They took the whole team to see the movie “Groundhog Day.” It was eerie because that’s what it seemed like to work there. Every week you would be a week away from the deadline. You would work super hard and do different things every day, but seemed destined to repeat the same events over and over again. In the movie, this guy would keep waking up on groundhog day and kept repeating that one day until he got it right. Software projects are like that sometimes.
It can be wonderful. You wake up in the morning with visions of new and interesting ways to appoach the problem. You can feel it all coming together. It is a frentic race to make real as many possibilites as you can within the constraints before the deadline. If only you had one more week, one more day, one more hour, you could add that feature or fix that tricky bug. There’s more you want to do, but real software ships. It wouldn’t be fun as a research project. The whole point is to get it into the hands of real people for whom it will make a difference, as you imagine it will. In fact, you have this insane belief that just once more line of code, one more bug fix, and two extra pixels will make all the difference.