Dammit Jim, I'm a physicist, not a programmer!

Somewhere in the back of my head, I've been pondering the idea of learning how to write some image processing routines. It's one of those things that I think about every now and then. I've always wanted to write some image reconstruction routines to do some filtered backprojection. Sure, I could probably find some library routines out there that do it already, but you always learn more about a subject when you do it yourself. I'm already familiar with the concept, and it's not all that difficult. I can use my FORTRAN again! Or maybe I could do something cool on the web! Then I also think about learning how to do other image processing algorithms, like filtering, warping, mapping, transforms. I could do all sorts of cool things to images that I acquire for some of my research.

Other projects come to mind, then I remember all the half finished projects that I've got sitting on the backburner waiting for me to get back to them. I'm still trying to learn enough about Visual Basic and using ADO to get my spreadsheets and databases interacting with each other. And then there are the web pages for work I'm maintaining, the web interfaces for my databases that I want to rework, the research projects to do, etc etc.

When I have some spare moments, I'll sit down and work on some of the programming related projects on my list. Then after working on them for a few days, I remember just how much I hate programming. I really do. I mean, it's something I can do, and I've had plenty of exposure to different programming languages: Applesoft BASIC, Fortran, C, Objective C, a touch of Pascal, and more recently PHP. Maybe it's just because I'm not proficient enough at programming. I haven't had much in the way of formal programming courses other than two Fortran courses during my undergrad. Most of my programming knowledge I've acquired as I needed it. Most of the programs I end up writing are usually functional, but hardly pretty or elegant. So after a while of pondering how to write something, I'll get tired and put it away again. Occasionally I'll get a flash of insight on how to accomplish some task. That's always a good feeling.

But, I've decided I just don't like programming, and any programming I have to do is just a necessary evil. As long as my programs spit out the right results, I'm happy.