This post is part 1 of a 2 part mini-series on why I both Love and Hate being a software developer. This is mostly a semi-generic rant about my views on the software industry as a whole, and NOT about any one company that i have worked for.
I have been a software developer for the past 8+ years, and every year I ask myself 'Why do I still do this?'. The answer is pretty simple really. I love it, it is the passion that drives me as a professional.
Why I love being a developer:
Because there is always something new/exciting to learn
IT Rocks. What other job can you learn something new EVERY day? What other job can you find yourself wanting for more EVERY day. Today more then before our industry is changing at the speed of light. The sky is the limit right now on what we as a industry can do. If this does not excite you, I am not sure what does.
Also, you should NEVER become bored as a developer. There is always something new to learn. It could be a new language, a new tool, a new framework, a new design pattern or a new methodology. The point is, you can code for 20+ years and never stop learning.
Soak it up, be the sponge.
Because I have the opportunity to solve some fun and challenging problems
Almost every day i have the opportunity to solve some crazy business problem. Sure some are better then others, and some are more fun then others, but it is still really cool.
One of the most gratifying things for me is helping a business succeed. It is really cool to see the fruits of your labor making a difference.
One of the really great things about solving problems is that there are so many possible ways to solve most problems. You put 10 developers into a room and ask them to all solve the same problem, you will likely get 10 different answers. This open and dynamic nature of our industry allows for crazy freedom and extremely rich rewards.
The Great Communities
The one thing i have come to appreciate over the past few years is the great communities that are out there. Regardless if you are developing in .Net Java, Rails, or what ever, there is a community out there.
These great communities offer many things
Because it is fun to be a 'Geek'
Lets be honest. Most people have no clue what it is we do on a daily basis. Most of the time, the only people that have any clue what we do are our peers. This is kinda cool. I like the phrase 'I can do what you do, but you cannot do what I do'. I know this does not apply to all professions, but most. I truly believe that most developers can learn another profession and do it pretty well, but i doubt most others can learn to code and do it well. (ok, i am on an ego trip in regards to developers)
Even though we are 'geeky' we are also very well respected. For proof of this just take a look at movies today. How many movies have been released in the past 10 years where 'geeks' are made to look cool or even glorified. If Hollywood gets it, it must be cool.
Because the pay is great
Ok, lets be honest, the pay rocks. I know that I could not do anything else and make the same living. Sorry, had to say this part.
Stay tuned for why I Hate being a software developer.
Till next time,
02-10-2008 2:37 PM