One of the exercises in How to Make Feeling Good a Priority by (my running coach) Holly Johnson is to list out the things that gave you the most joy at different stages of your life. For my teen years, I listed programming. I also listed it for later stages, but thinking about it, it was a different activity.
Programming as a teenager had no real point except to do it. At fifty, I still program nearly every day, but mostly as a job. I love it, but it’s different.
Most of my teen programs were unfinished—many times I just wanted to accomplish one effect and then moved on. Many of them were assignments in programming classes, but outside of that, they were unshipped.
I ship way more of my work now, but I wonder what I would make if I had no intention to ship.