Oh man, there’s so many awesome things you can do!
Sure you may hear me bitching about things not doing what I want them to do, terribly vague error messages, or just being stuck on the same bug for days, but there’s a lot of joy to find in this field of work, too. I really enjoy learning about new things, be it something entirely foreign to me, or a concept I know applied differently. And I encounter those kinds of things on an almost daily basis, it’s great! Just when you think “yeah I know a shitton about this”, there’s even more to know!
And it may be just the simple things. You know PHP? It’s used to built a huge part of the web. And there’s a function in it you can use to send commands to the computer it’s running on. I knew that, but what I didn’t realize is that you can enter a command to execute another PHP script, and have it not wait for a response from it, a la running it in the background. This way you can, for example, have an email be sent to all members when an admin posts a message, without the admin having to wait for the emails to be sent after pressing “submit”. It can just smoothly flow by in the background. As it’s something I can directly apply to a current project, it’s really cool to learn about that!
Or this one, it’s mighty cool. Coding Golf is a StackExchange subsite where programmers can pose challenges to each other. Little puzzles of sorts. There was one challenging users to put every single RGB color in an image, with every color only appearing on one pixel. The guy I linked to came up with some super sweet algorithms of which both the generation and end result looks absolutely stunning. Just check out the link, words cannot describe it.
I’d whip all kinds of other cool examples, most of which would mostly involve a bunch of code and cool trickery a layman wouldn’t understand, but I need my sleep now.