Early in my career as a software engineer, an executive of the company I worked for told me that “nobody wants to be a programmer, it’s just something you do to put food on the table.” That particular comment has stuck with me for years. I’m not an easily offended person, but that comment seemed to have an underlying attack on my value as a human being. It suggested that I was doing undesirable work and that I wasn’t capable of finding a real job. The irony is, I believe I have the best job in the world. Writing software pays well, it’s mentally challenging, and tremendous fun.
When we talk to young people about work, we often tell them to follow their dreams – but that’s a really bad idea. After all, neither the mortgage company nor the grocery store accepts dreams as payment. Instead, better advice is to find the sweet spot in life. What is that? The sweet spot in life is where your skills, your desires, the market, and money all meet. It’s the job you want to do, that has employment opportunities, and pays well enough to enjoy your life. For me, I absolutely love programming. It really is the best job ever. I found the sweet spot in my life, and I couldn’t be happier.
So, to that individual who said nobody want’s to be a programmer, you’re wrong. Very wrong. I wake up every morning and look forward to my job. I read about it in the evening. I code for fun. Writing software is my passion and I have never once been ashamed of what I do or thought of myself or my skills as undesirable.
Can you say the same about your job? Are you truly passionate about what you do? Did you manage to find that sweet spot in your life? I did and it has made all the difference!