At their core, software developers and engineers are creatives who enjoy fixing problems and delighting end users. They’re 21st-century digital-artists, driven by creating experiences that improve the way we live and work.
“The most satisfying part of software development is creative things,” reflects Kevin Stark, a software engineer at Tasktop. “Building something useful out of nothing is intoxicating. For those who don’t know how software is built, it almost feels like magic.”
Jaxsun McCarthy, also a software engineer, agrees that alchemy plays a significant role. “The thing that most attracted me to software development is the creative process. It was gratifying to start with nothing and, by writing a little code, end up with something alive on the screen.”
There’s a noble and altruistic element, too. “We help people’s lives,” adds Vivian Lau, an engineering manager. “We solve business problems through software and use automation to remove repetitive work and save people time. You also get to work with a lot of smart and talented people. Creativity, brains and teamwork are what software development is all about.”
Their desire to create something impactful out of nothing often stems from seeking to emulate a piece of technology that made a profound impression on them. “When I was ten years old I fell in love with writing software on a Commodore VIC-20,” remembers Colin Ritchie, also an engineering manager. “I’ve wanted to be an engineer ever since then.”
“What initially attracted me to software development was my interest in learning how machines worked,” continues Kevin. “I had always loved using computers, playing with them, even putting them together. However, I’d no idea how they functioned or how the software on them came to be.”
There’s almost child-like wonder in building technology that plays such a significant role in how the world works and evolves. Which makes the increasing unhappiness and frustration of many software developers and engineers all the more tragic. Instead of reveling in their passion for building great products, developers often find themselves wasting precious hours on non-value adding work.
Countless meetings, logging in and out of tools to copy/paste information, rummaging through emails and chat threads, filling in timesheets – – everything but coding. Meanwhile, the business and their management are on their backs; “Faster! Better! More!”
Such a high-pressure environment is a surefire way to kill their passion, turning their dream into a nightmare. It shouldn’t be like this, nor does it have to.
This new e-book, Software development as it should be – rediscover your passion for building great products, looks into:
- What’s slowing down developers and causing demotivation and burnout
- Addressing the ratio of doing value-adding work to non-value
- The pain of a broken knowledge-sharing network
- How a connected Value Stream Network address main issues undermining the professional and personal well-being of developers