I have often been asked why I chose to be a developer. To answer this question in a very simple form, I can tell you that I love to learn. But there is more to it than just learning, which I will explain in this post.
Learning has always been something that I have enjoyed. I'm not talking about memorizing things or going to class, but actual learning where you acquire a new skill, understand a new concept, or see something in a way you never understood before.
Being a developer, there are always new things to learn. Sure, there are the technical learning curves with programming languages always improving, but I love learning about the person who is going to be using my software. I love to see how I can help make their day better, by removing some of their headaches and replacing them with something that will make their job easier. Which leads me to my next point.
Not everything that I code is helping someone, but a lot of what I do does. Sure, it may be helping someone to save money, make money, or be more efficient at their job, but it is still helping someone. And while it may be work related, you can tell a difference between good software and bad software. This person is going to have to do the job anyway, why not make their day better by creating something that will allow them to have the best experience possible? That's what I love doing, I love creating things that make people smile, make them enjoy their job, and take away the headaches.
When I worked in e-commerce, I would hear stories about customers who simply bought from us because our site was the easiest to find the products that they wanted. We carried over 40,000 items that were basically all the same thing, flooring. What we did, was find ways to show the items based on what the customer was looking for, and not just throwing them into a site with all 40,000 items. This made them happy, because we helped them find what they wanted, not having to wade through thousasnds of results. Not all of them ended up buying through us, but we still got to help be a part of helping them and that is what is was all about.
I'm not going to lie, the pay is definitely part of the reason that I chose development. Not the reason I chose development over a completely different career, but it is the reason why I chose development over hardware support. I was in love with both, but money encouraged me to follow one of my passions as a career. I do still build my own PCs at the house, but other than that I have found that I am ok with just watching Linus Tech Tips and some other Youtube channels to get my hardware fix.
The great thing about today's society is that you aren't really tied to a career anymore. Sure, most people tend to stay in their current chosen profession, but that has become more fluid. I don't have any regrets choosing this career, but I often wonder if my eight year old self with a dream of being a zoologist would be dissapointed in me. I hope not, I hope he understands that the career that I chose was best for me, and my love of animals still resides in me. I hope he knows that one day I will do more to help protect the animals in the world that we live in, and that I plan on teaching as many people as possible about the great creatures that inhabit this earth with us.