Years ago, I was an employee at the Veterinary School of my university. Sometime around the end of 2003 I decided that was not what I wanted to do for a living; what I really wanted was to do research, to find new things.
I got that job because, in my first undergrad years, I loved computers; I actually spent more time programming than I spent studying physics. That changed with time, as I grew more and more tired of the everyday routine of solving trivial problems and not having the support from the people I worked for to grow up in terms of knowledge. Before that, I used to program for fun, and after that, it made me sick.
That was true until recently. For some reason, the “sickness” that programming gave me went away, and for some time now I’ve been wanting to do some programming. That would be cool. But the really cool part of this is that I want to program to help my life in the lab – I’m applying something I liked doing to something I also like doing.
So for a few days now I’ve been learning a new language, and I’m reviewing some programming concepts so I can take on the task. I will write this program, and the best part is that other people who usually perform experiments similar to mine want to use it as well. In other words, not only will I be doing something I really like, but I’ll be applying it to my work and it is going to make other people’s lives easier, too. I’m loving it.
Briefly, it’s a program to help data treatment for small-angle x-ray scattering/diffraction. It will perform the necessary corrections for data interpretation and a limited data treatment as well.
I haven’t felt this excited about writing code in a very long time.