I just reached code-completion on the side-project I was doing for my employer. I wouldn’t say it was like getting a monkey off of my back, but DAMN did it feel good handing over responsibility. I just hope that the work I did was acceptable so that nothing more is required for it!
That really kinda ties into one of the things that can occasionally get me really down about programming: so much of what we do is all the machinery that runs in the background, and sometimes it’s months or even years before the fruits of our labor is realized. When it’s something that you get to stamp your name on and send it out the door, it feels good. In some ways it makes up for the endless grinding against the never-ending backlog.
For me, the trick is finding something interesting in every task in the backlog. If I can convince my brain that “no really, there’s something incredibly interesting in that task list,” then I’ll manage to get in and get it done. When allowed to think of something as monotonous drudgery, I’ll catch myself trying to do anything to avoid doing that task. I seem to forget time and again that, with this being programming, there will always be something interesting brought up by the actual implementation.
After all, design without implementation is really just mindless masturbation.