I used to dream in code. Twenty years ago, when I was a programmer at Ticketmaster, there were nights when my dream was in code – like that scene in The Matrix.

Programming is a practice that you can get absorbed into. You can enter flow state where hours go by without realizing it.

Dopamine floods your brain as you solve problems and create.

It’s also an exercise in patience as it can be frustrating, tedious, and downright difficult.

Last week I was listening to the Indie Hackers podcast where they interviewed Lane Wagner, the founder of – an online bootcamp to learn programming.

His approach is to gamify learning with a narrative that you work through as you gain experience points, complete levels, and earn virtual rewards. And there’s a leaderboard, so you can see yourself rising in the ranks against other learners.

I signed up for three reasons:

Fun. A few weeks ago, my therapist asked me what I’m doing for fun and I didn’t have much of an answer. Golf, sometimes? This is like playing a game – it’s fun.

Jealousy. Anytime someone mentions how they wrote a little program to solve a problem they had or automate some process, I’m jealous. I want to be able to do that.

Opportunity. One of my strengths in business has been identifying inefficiencies and creating solutions. Perhaps my next company will offer this service to businesses and building bots to automate processes could be part of that. I’d hire programmers better than me, but it would be helpful to dabble in that field and be better at speaking the language.

I haven’t started dreaming in code yet, but it’s been fun getting absorbed in the process of programming.

- Matt

This week’s image created by MidJourney with the prompt: pixar-style image of a programming boot camp.

Get next week’s Sunday Shrooms delivered to your inbox.