Developing A Healthy Relationship:

Valarie Regas

An Ode to My Laptop

I love being a developer. One of my favorite things about this path is my new relationship with my laptop. It is, arguably, the healthiest relationship I have ever had. Seriously. The choices and behaviors which have ruined so many of my relationships aren’t allowed by the laptop; it’s amazing.

Think over your failed relationships — what ruined them? Many of mine have died due to miscommunication. I would ask my partner, after explaining my opinion on something, “Do you know what I’m trying to say?” Sometimes the person would sort of get what I meant, sometimes the divide was shocking. And that was only when they were honest in their response. Once dishonesty entered the equation, communication completely broke down.

But my dear, precious Asus can’t lie to me. When I ask via console.log() what my machine believes the value of a given variable to be, it has to tell me the truth. If the value I intended to express is other than what the machine logs? It’s my fault, and I know it. I have to work on our relationship, so I go back to my code happily, to focus on properly communicating.

I’ve also had partners who wouldn’t communicate at all. I could sense they were troubled by something as I observed the pensive look on their face, their agitated body language. Yet when asked, “What’s wrong?” they replied with a dishonest “Nothing.” I call shenanigans on that answer! Something was clearly amiss. The correct answer would have been “I’m not ready to talk about it right now.”

My laptop doesn’t do this to me. When I check my console, the errors are there. If line 56 of a particular JavaScript file has upset my love, it tells me so. And more than that, it tells me as best it can exactly what has irked it, and potentially even how to correct my misstep. It will then help me research my mistake, via our counselor: Google.

My laptop is there for me when I need it. The only reason it ever says “I’m too tired, honey” is when I have dropped the ball and forgotten to charge it. My screw-ups not withstanding, it is alert and attentive, up for whatever activity I’m in the mood for at the moment. It never whines or complains of boredom when I fall down a Rabbit Hole and spend hours researching some random topic. Its stamina is impressive. It does this for me without complaint, and I do my best to show gratitude by keeping it cool and charged.

My laptop doesn’t sneak out to be with other developers. If it needs more than I can offer, I’m more than happy to pair program until its needs are met. It doesn’t bat an eyelash when I use my desktop; there is no jealousy. It doesn’t drink too much and refuse to code with me. It isn’t paying out child support to an ex-user, nor do I ever have to fear an angry ex showing up on my lawn to cause a scene. There is no drama with my laptop.

I’ve dated a lot in my short time on this planet. I know what a bad relationship feels like, and this is not it. I will be eternally thankful to have gotten to know my laptop in this new and rewarding way. It was my material belonging for some time. Once I became a developer? It became my confederate. My partner. My co-creator. Laptop: I love you.

Here we are at work. We’re so happy together!

Valarie Regas

Written by

Youngling developer. Relationship builder. Tech event speaker. Jr. Devops Engineer. Queen of the YAMLs. Total nerd.

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