Insanity - or rather, desperately trying to stay (relatively) sane.
Seriously though, music is an escape for me, in multiple respects;
- Something sufficiently challenging and engaging to focus on, that is not software development.
- Fighting burnout without descending into long term depression.
- Possibly opening up career options outside software development eventually.
Basically, I’ve been in software development for way too long, and I’m burned out and have pretty much lost all interest in it. Adding to the frustration, that means my personal projects (games, engines and whatnot) have been stalled for years, and I might not touch them again until I’ve switched to a main career/job that doesn’t involve programming.
Why music? Well, there are a lot of reasons I keep returning to music, but I think a major part of it is that it’s a rather abstract from of expression, that can still result in a very physical and direct experience. Possibly brain damaged from all the coding, I want things to be structured, sensible, and “useful,” which doesn’t blend well with creative expression in general - but in music, I can quite literally enforce structure upon chaos, and come up with something that actually works.
And then of course, there is the playing of real acoustic instruments. The cello is probably the single most expensive “device” in my studio, and it will take years to master it in any remotely professional manner, but it’s probably the best investment I’ve ever made. DAWs these days are amazing and all, but the cello is magical, and when I pick it up, I can’t stop playing.