I was listening to a few people talk at an event about the software they were working on. For some of them, there was a true passion in solving the problems they faced. However these weren’t applications that eased poverty with cleaner water, or more efficient transportation. These weren’t applications that dealt with medical issues impacting human health. In many cases these were simple, consumer applications that entertained people, but these developers were quite proud of the applications they worked on.
However the challenge of practicing their craft well elicited quite a bit of passion from these developers. They not only took a lot of pride in building an efficient set of methods in Java or C# quickly, they really enjoyed the process of taking a development task, writing code and tests, and delivering software that worked. They would even find pleasure in receiving a bug report, finding the issue, and delivering a corrected version of code. Most of all, however, they believed their software was making the world better in some way.
There were also plenty of developers that didn’t really care what they worked on. They didn’t find anything special about software development, and were happy to get assigned a task, write some code, and deliver it. They weren’t looking to produce shoddy applications quickly, and many of them were talented developers. They just didn’t much care where they worked or what the function the software performed.
Is this you? Are you willing to work on whatever application comes your way? Or do you have a passion to build something in particular, to work on projects that have some meaning to you? I think I’ve usually been one of the former, willing to work on any application. I’ve always been more concerned about the coworkers I have than the project we work on, but there are times I’ve felt our applications were a little special, and made a difference in some way.
Without a doubt I think most of us would prefer to work in an area that means something to us, an area that elicits some passion. I just wonder how many of us actively seek out such positions or projects.