When do you do your best programming?

PLCGurus.NET Live & Interactive Forum The Water Cooler When do you do your best programming?

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      Out of shear curiosity, when do you do your best programming? I thought this might be an interesting question to throw out there get some community engagement at the Water Cooler.

      Do you do your best work during the day? Or (and if you’re like me) keep yourself awake at night thinking about how best to go about that problem? Some of my best work has come in those few waking moments before I drift off to sleep or via a vivid dream itself…that is if I actually get there!

      So I guess I’m curious, is this normal??? Or am I some kind of strange aberration?

      – Fred


        Karma: 16
        Rank: Padawan

        Best programming:

        Depends – between ~10:00am to ~2:00pm is when I’m most efficient. I’d call this best programming because I can layout mistake free code very quickly – become the machine making the most profit.

        Best ideas for problems that have been stumping me all day or best genius moments typically late at night.

        Even on customer sites – tryin to workout a complicated problem all day get it at night. Worst when back at the hotel or something and you get the Eureka moment – such is the business I guess – to drive back to site or to save it till morning lol.

          Karma: 171
          Rank: Jedi

          Programming for me comes sort of like inspiration. So when I’m in the office, it’s usually writing something that’s either a lot of cut and paste, or I’m doing a new project and continuously going over it or I have it on my test PLC and I’m just messing with it.

          My last supervisor told all us programmers to use the hot keys as much as possible (“Too many mouse clicks waste time!!” , he said). I used to watch him do a rung edit and change a bunch of addresses (tags) and descriptors with his hot keys and I had to take notes, he went so fast. Well, I’m pretty quick now on them myself. My new boss doesn’t use them, and he is amazed at how much I can do with the keys. Anyway, I get bored in the office hammering out logic, so it goes pretty slow. I mostly do Allen-Bradley ladder, and when I really get inspired is when I’m on a de-bug or a start-up. I can seemingly work miracles, but mostly I just accommodate the customer. “Can  you move the AO from the supply fans to EF-2? I already moved the wiring, that’s why the supply fans won’t run” Sure, click, paste, keys, ctrl+shift+F, done!! The more pressure, the easier it seems. “How come Auto stopped working on the HMI?”, click, keys, paste, cross reference–“Ooops, bad tag, my bad! There, done!!”

          And much like Richard above, many times I go home or I’m looking at the forums, Fox news, whatever, and Bingo!!. That won’t work, I’ll think, and I’ll email myself to look at rung so and so tomorrow, and it usually is something that needs changed. Many times I’ve had “inspiration” that I know doesn’t come from my little brain, so it must be answer to prayer. I pray every day for help in my job. Some of my best work has come when a plant is down, or in a remote area where I’ve been sent (did a lot of food processing controls/PLC in Alaska). Maybe it’s the adrenaline or the extra desire to succeed. I always want a happy customer. Thanks for reading, folks!!

            Karma: 19
            Rank: Padawan

            When I encounter a problem that I am having a tough time solving (programming wise) I leave work and get away. I do my best programming and problem solving just driving down the road thinking about it. Happens all the time.

              Karma: 187
              Rank: Jedi

              Late night.. No idea why. But after 22:00 I turn my brain off, put on something interesting on youTube and just produce, Between 22:00 and 01:00 I can accomplish more production code and complete more chewing through just pumped out logic than any other time.

              During the day I come back fix all my minor errors, flip bits that need to be XIC’s or add debounce timers and such.. But seriously, half asleep I just crank through a huge bulk of production

                Karma: 171
                Rank: Jedi

                With the electrical schematics completed and approved and most of the time the hardware already assembled, programming begins for me.  Also a complete understanding of the mechanical systems that will be involved.

                A spiral notebook is purchased just for this project with at least enough sections for the main program block and all the subroutines that will go with the program (notes).

                I have to be in my office with the door locked, a wet board, my new notebook and MS Excel running on my PC. Ideas come from in different ways such as when I’m in the shower, social events, TV, and when I first wake up. My wife has told me many times I talk about my project in my sleep.  All of this comes from an inspiration for creating something that functions correctly and is easily understandable by all (especially the maintenance department).

                John C. Jones

                  Karma: 123
                  Rank: Jedi

                  I certainly prefer to work in the quiet hours of the evening but my previous job rarely afforded me the chance to take my work home with me as 80% of the programming needed to be done … well … yesterday, as they say. Probably did my best work under the pressure of a timetable or in a “line down” situation.


                    Karma: 171
                    Rank: Jedi

                    I feel your pain. Did a lot of pressure programming myself, on the factory floor with “line down” scenarios.

                    Standing behind me would be the operators, manufacturing engineer, Operations Manager, and maintenance personnel.



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