I wonder how many programmers practice this time-wasting trick at work…
I once got fired from a job when the owner walked behind my cube. I had a screenful of code I was ACTUALLY working on, but had paused for a moment to REALLY think about the solution. I had a pad of paper on the desk with a flowchart I was drawing, too, but had stopped and was looking up at the ceiling, thinking.
I got called into my supervisor’s office, and she said she had to let me go because the boss had walked by and saw that “you weren’t typing anything”. I said “but I’m not a secretary, I don’t type every moment of the day, I actually have to think about solutions and at those moments I’m likely not typing anything — you know this, YOU ARE A PROGRAMMER TOO,” and she said she agreed with me but couldn’t do anything about it.
So I went home, updated my resume, and got a job where a programmer could actually stop and think about the code they were writing, rather than having to “keep typing” so some clueless schmuck who didn’t understand my job didn’t feel all insecure.
Ouch! Art imitates life… Sorry to hear that, Jenny – but glad you landed at a place that values thinking. :)
Oh, I did a couple of times, no worries. Wound up after a mort of years at one of the finest helpdesk companies in the country. They were really good to me, until I had a bit of an accident with my car trunk lid in a high wind, and wound up with my fool neck broken.
Now I have a little webcomic of my own, not that my updates have been anything like regular the past six months. Check out http://quarktime.net sometime.
At my first job whenever I’d stop to think about what I was programming the boss would call in from the other room, “I don’t hear you programming in there!”
And it might get me fired for saying it, but I’d likely reply “I didn’t know you were a telepath, Sir! Perhaps I shouldn’t be thinking what I am right now, if you are…”
I would do that now, but not when I was fresh out of college at my first job, feeling weird, wearing a shirt & tie for the first time in my life (the boss said “you can’t write accounting software unless you dress like an accountant”). I didn’t last long there… (and at the next place I worked, the accounting department frequently wore tie-dye shirts and Birkenstocks… Go figure…)