I was going through my feed reader today catching up on some of the blogs I read and I came across this post from Casey Charlton. I was pretty astonished when I read it - this coming from Mr. DDD. Not only that, but this is the second reference I’ve seen to software developers not being happy with software development in the past few days.
It got me to thinking of how I feel about this whole software thing. I’ve been on a few interviews recently and one comment that I received a few times that stuck out in my head was “you are obviously very passionate about what you do.” Hmm, does it really show that much?
I remember at one point in my life, I was dead-set on becoming an astronaut. I was going to go to Embry-Riddle for a degree in Aerospace Engineering - then I was going to join the Air Force and eventually become an astronaut and go out and fly in space. Ahh, I’m not really sure what happened to those plans.
I ended up going to LSU instead (mostly because I think I was too afraid of moving away from home) and I ended up majoring in Computer Engineering. I remember the reason I gave for picking Computer Engineering was that I was good at working with computers and I knew I definitely did not want to do something with software - I wanted to work with hardware. Ha!
At some point in college (near the beginning), I eventually found the need for money. I wanted to buy things and most people accepted money for the things I wanted. I didn’t want to get a job - who the hell wants to do work? I eventually found that people would pay me to build websites for them. After all, I dabbled in HTML and Flash back then and enjoyed building little websites. This eventually lead to me learning PHP and later on .Net.
So I guess you could say I “fell into” the field. But, really, who hasn’t “fallen” into whatever they are doing now? Who says when they are a little kid “I want to write software when I grow up” or “I want to be an investment banker” or “I want to be a construction manager?” No, you usually want to be a police man, or a fireman, or a doctor, or maybe even an astronaut when you are a kid. When it comes down to it, we all just do what we are good at.
I still feel like I could be a million different things. I used to love making little home videos (still do actually) – I could have worked somewhere in the movie industry. I definitely had the test scores and brains to be a doctor. I could have been a brain surgeon. I might have even joined the Air Force and flew a fighter jet. But I didn’t do any of those things, I wrote some software instead.
Bottom line is that I don’t see myself as a Software Developer. I spend most of my time writing software, but I still feed my interests for other things with my hobbies. I enjoy what I do and I am good at it. And some people even pay me to do what I enjoy doing. What more can somebody ask for?