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:
I frequently feel like I'm losing my passion for sw development, but seeing a whole row of green on at test report never gets old— jeremydmiller (@jeremydmiller) March 25, 2009
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?