Ray is trying to understand the math of options.
Sure, being a programmer these days is nowhere as glamorous or financially rewarding as it was in the dotcom days. I was lucky that I started developing software for a living in 1997, so I had the chance to enjoy the dotcom perks before the bubble burst. After that, a lot of my fellow programmers left programming and started doing other things, from becoming an insurance agent, a housewife, to a lecturer. Some of us stayed, because deep inside our hearts, we love being a programmer.
In short, if you’re in this because you like it, it’s worth every moment you invest in it. You’ll get exposed to some of the greatest minds mankind has to offer (Von Neumann, Alan Turing, Alonzo Church, and many others). You’re paid to do something you like. The field never stops moving, you have something new to learn everyday. Last time it was Object-Oriented Programming. Then it was Aspect-Oriented Programming. Then dynamic languages started gaining popularity. Then AJAX came along. Then… we can be sure that there’ll be no shortage of new things to understand and built upon.
On the other hand, if you don’t like programming, your life will probably be miserable. Not miserable financially, since a programming job usually pays pretty well, and if you’re smart you can get good at programming even if you don’t like it. But miserable because you’d rather be doing something else, which may not pay as much as a programming job. So treat this as a stepping stone to accumulate enough money that you can start doing something else. Who knows, along the way you may learn to love it after all.