Do You Dream in Code?




I do.  It mostly happens when I’m trying to problem-solve in my sleep. Typical nerd thing, I’m trying to change a situation or someone’s behavior by coding a solution.  Of course there’s no solution and the dream-coding doesn’t resolve anything, but I do find it interesting that I dream (and think) in code when it comes to problem-solving.

I’m not sure if it’s how our brains are wired, but each of us has abilities that express themselves when we dream.

An example.  I cannot remember the lyrics to any song I’ve heard over the years.  I know people who hear a song once and then can sing it back.  I hear a song and do not hear words but I can instantly play it back, including all separate parts, on a keyboard.  Weird.  It’s just how I’m wired.  When I stress out I reach for exit-routines, methods and code-fragments that will clue me in to a solution.  I use my coding techniques of taking a walk so that my subconscious can deal with the issue and usually some kind of solution unfolds.  We’ve all been there, but are dreams different?


We’ve all had STRANGE dreams.  Dreams of running away from something, flying, falling, etc.  My dreams usually come after five-hours of sleep, and they wake me up.  Very vivid, in color, many times about tornadoes, which mean (never mind, don’t go to your dream book)…

My dreams about coding are the same type of dream I have about playing the piano.  Problem solving, only the problem never really gets solved.


So, let’s turn it around to the art of programming.  EVERY time coding happens, a problem should be solved.  If not, valuable time is being lost and talent is being wasted.  If you approach your development efforts this way during your sprint planning activities, you will make sure that your are prioritizing tasks properly and will be able to deliver demonstrable value at the end of the sprint.

Another thing I found; if programmers are working on tasks that THEY understand provide value, their brain will be engaged much more than the hours they put in at the keyboard.  Hopefully, they will problem-solve in their sleep, be more productive, write better performing code, and have less defects.

As the Onion Magazine once famously headlined; “I Had a Really Weird Dream Last Night”.