I was talking recently with few (more senior) friends and they all told me that even though they cannot spent as much time programming as they used to do few year back, in their early days of academic career, they immensely enjoy the activity and try to find time to continue doing it.
There is something incredibly fulfilling, something very satisfying in the activity of creating something from nothing. Programming comes as close to the ideal as one can imagine. There is nothing to start with, and all that is needed is an idea. Just a thought. Then you need to think more about it. And more. And then you start to express your thoughts in a structured way. In a program. And a bit more, and then, suddenly, there it is. Something real. Made up almost exclusively in its entirety out of our creative thoughts.
Something concrete has been created. Out of your thoughts. People can interact with it. Can use it. It can change people’s life.
Programming is fun, and as close to the pure joy of creation as one can get. It can all be done almost entirely in your own head. Does not require lots of resources. You can always do it. In your spare time. Hey, you can make a decent living just doing it for a job.