The Free/Open Source Software movement has made me a perfectionist, but that's not always a good thing.
When I look around at the programs I can download and use for free, I'm frequently amazed. I can have everything from word processors to webservers up and running with a couple of clicks. And what's more, these are incredibly well-written -- I can look at the code and it looks much nicer than anything I do!
This often stops me from writing things to scratch one of my own personal itches. I start by thinking how great it would be to have a little app on my phone to turn down the lights, turn on my stereo and television, and get everything ready for watching a movie. But when I start writing that, I start generalizing. "What if someone wanted to change the settings on the lights? Or if they have a different television brand with totally different controls? And of course there needs to be a way to autodetect what devices are on the network and set them up..." By the time I get to this point, I usually decide it's more effort than getting up and turning down the lights myself.
But there's something different about it when I am playing with IoT devices. When a Raspberry Pi is so cheap that it's given away for free with a magazine, suddenly making a quick and dirty button to do only what I need doesn't seem as bad. Somehow having a computer so small and cheap that I could literally lose it and not even notice makes it okay for me to write ugly code just for myself.
The result of this is something magical: I finally have my little remote control app, and it didn't take long at all to write. (I even have a button to turn the lights in my room a deep violet, turn on the lava lamp, and start playing Barry White. Just in case.)
I may eventually clean some of this up and publish it for others to use, if for no other reason than as an example of how it can be okay to not worry about doing things the Right Way™ on occasion. But for now, I'm enjoying the fact that what I wrote is actually useful to me!