I didn’t graduate from school wanting to work as a programmer. I graduated from school, along with my fellow schoolmates, just wanting to have a good stable future.
If that meant being an engineer; why not? It had decent hours, it paid well and it had prestige.
After working two years as a manufacturing engineer, I found myself wondering if this was really what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Is this job something that makes me want to jump out of my bed and greet the world with a smile? Is the rest of my life literally set in stone?
I realized that the answer was no. I was thinking then – I am young, I am smart, I have no debt, and thanks to my job, I have enough savings to allow me to explore my options for some time.
That sabbatical led me to a life changing realization that I really enjoyed programming and helping people solve problems.
Software is an industry unlike any other. One where innovation and new ideas occur every month if not every week. Yet, it is also an industry where the fundamentals matters; where tried and true concepts and methodologies still work.
It is an industry where one week, you will be having a flurry of meetings with clients and sales teams pinning down a problem; and the next week, you work alone in your office rarely seeing anyone for days, and the week after you’re on a high working with your team to solve an intractable problem.
It is an industry where you can have a workable product in 1 hour and yet turn around and work on another product that takes a year.
Life in the software industry is always interesting, challenging and satisfying.
In the last 15 years, I have worn numerous hats. I have been a programmer, systems analyst, coder, tester, software designer, graphics designer and a documenter. I was a software salesperson and, for a while there, I even did some software architecting.
Because of, or maybe despite, my varied experience, I realized creating software to help solve problems has always been my first love and will always be my first love.
Can I do something else and do it well? Of course I can. I have done so before.
I’m lucky that the people I’ve worked with not only share my sentiments but celebrates them.
They have taught me that the goal is not just charging their clients by the hour but in collaboratively working with their clients to develop feasible solutions.
The goal is in developing a team that not only helps their clients solve their problems but thinks outside the box to find the best solution.
The goal is not just frantically trying to catch up with what’s new in the world but embracing the amazing technology that is literally happening before our eyes.
And that is why I do what I do.