Describes a period of monomaniacal concentration on coding apparently passed through by all fledgling hackers.
Common symptoms include the perpetration of more than one 36-hour hacking run
in a given week; neglect of all other activities including usual basics like food, sleep, and personal hygiene; and a chronic case of advanced bleary-eye.
Can last from 6 months to 2 years, the apparent median being around 18 months. A few so afflicted never resume a more "normal" life, but the ordeal seems to be necessary to produce really wizardly (as opposed to merely competent) programmers.
See also wannabee
A less protracted and intense version of larval stage (typically lasting about a month) may recur when one is learning a new OS
or programming language.