What Matters Most to a Programmer

The longer I am a programmer, the more I realize that I love my job because of the actual work I do. Period.

I love the idea that people are trying to get things done, but need a little help from me to get them the tools they need. I love discovering with them what they need and how to get it to them. I love all that data sitting on disks somewhere begging to be used. I love all that data outside of any computer begging to be put on disk. I love the idea that I am master of a little universe that I can see in a 19” square right in front of me. I love manipulating important things, both complex and simple, with just little flicks of my fingers. And most of all, I love seeing something that came from nothing work for the first time. I did that! (Happy dance) Oddly, not much else matters…

I have worked in the most deploreable conditions at the most difficult times and hardly noticed when the work was good.

OTOH, I have worked in Class A office space with the nicest people and best conditions and was ready to jump out of the window from boredom or frustration.

Yes, the more I think about it the more I realize that it’s the “work” that matters. If it’s important enough and I’m allowed to do it, I don’t need much else. If it’s not, then there is no perfume could that make that pig smell good.