Software Engineer’s Blog

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Programming in software engineering career

Ever since I started my career in software engineering, I enjoyed programming.

What I find interesting is power to control machine, power to create what I visualize, power to create what is useful to others, …..

This power comes with the challenge of solving tricky problems, challenge of adapting to new environment, challenge of learning new technologies and programming languages….

This challenges my intellect, and provokes me just as a wicked mathematical problem would provoke a mathematician. The joy of solving is comparable to innocent joy of a child solving a puzzle, joy of music director creating a new song, …..

Over years, software development has evolved adding more specializations beyond programming in due recognition of role of software in emerging world. However, programming still plays a major role in construction of software with large amount of code being hand written. The task of programming still challenges, in its own way.

Curiously, however, I find hardly any one of my age involved in active coding.

Wonder what happened to the joy of programming that we shared. On a closer look, it looks like many has moved into ‘management’. That is, many have moved on to become project leads, project managers, CEOs, etc.

I agree that managing a project, and running an organization, poses interesting challenges but they are not of the same kind as that of programming. For many people with whom I have interacted, this movement has been largely due to circumstances rather than a choice.

Now the question is, how many musicians stop singing to become a manager or music producer? how many artists stop drawing pictures? how many doctors stop consulting practice?… When none of this happens, why only software engineering stop programming? … It may be a choice, for a few, but is it always a choice or circumstances? Does it have to be so?

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October 26, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Most of the people start work for living. After getting into job they may start loving it , negligible fraction makes it passion. In course of time, better living demands Managerial post, this for me is game maker post. From here let me ask question you got two boxes, A and B . Both contains 100 balls. A has 75% red balls and B has 50 % red. In a dark room, if you need red ball which box anyone will try?. Managing will have lot of uncertainties where basic talent may be of little use. More over chances will be like ,time spend on basic talent will be less valuable. I have seen very old people sticking around with programming. But they were foreigners, where betting living can be made without changing the hierarchy

    Comment by manojthom | October 26, 2011

  2. I agree, Manoj.

    I understand the compulsions, as I myself have been through this. There needs to be some compromises but compromises cannot be on fundamentals. What are those fundamentals? It depends on individuals.

    One size does not fit all. Business would like to strait jacket solutions and that constrains choices for individuals. Individual concerned must make choices. This decision must depend on their interest, skills and priorities and knowing its consequences, rather than an enforced compromise.

    Such a choice is a conscious decision, rather than a mere compromise enforced by circumstances. Difference is, the latter leaves soul craving while appearing successful. If you ask them in confidence, they will tell you they would have been happier ‘technical’. Also, remember choice in life is not always one or other (though it might, prima facie, appear so. It can also be both, if you desire and plan for it.

    Comment by Vinod Varma | October 26, 2011


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