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Stoked: Not Just for Surfers Anymore

Posted by eitan on May 1, 2006 at 1:18 PM PDT

I sometimes enjoy describing feelings a software developer might experience, at certain moments during development. For example, a while back I blogged about "Grazie Signore" moments.

This past weekend I attended the Northern Virginia Software Symposium and was fortunate to have a little time to spend with my NFJS comrades. A most vivid comment that Justin Gehtland made during one discussion was how stoked he was about this software we were discussing.

It occurred to me on the plane ride back to Austin that the term "stoked" is normally used to describe the feeling one gets when surfing. Perhaps it's also applied in the context of extreme-sports related activity.

To my wonder, the term could be applied, and very aptly so, to moments that we, geek software developers, have in our work. That feeling arises when we do something that we think is extremely cool, that perhaps hasn't really been done in that particular way. For example, I sensed that feeling when reading a weblog I came across on a while back, having to do with a very cool idea that occurred to one of the Wicket Framework developers. See Wicket + Swing == hmmm...interesting....

I believe that this feeling is the driving force behind the hordes of us out there, of any age, who spend their spare time coding, pursuing the creation of something that, to them, is so incredibly cool. So, just like surfers can't stop surfing and continually strive to be in that most special state of being stoked, so do software developers.

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