A few days ago I was contacted by HR to know if I wanted to participate in the Boys & Girls Day with some workshop or presentation about my daily job.
Boys & Girls Day is a project/event where 5th graders from different Hamburg schools can visit different companies to gather information about different types of careers that might help them choose their learning path in the future, and specifically with the intent of going beyond the idea of gender-specific jobs: therefore more Girls in Programming and more Boys in Kindergartens for example)
Of course, I was thrilled with the idea and I started thinking about how to handle that 30 minutes of Show & Tell + QA.
But there is a problem: My job is rather dull!
For a young kid really the opposite of exciting.
- I don't build planes
- I don't save lives
- I don't create art
I sit all day in front of a monitor, hunting bugs and getting mad at my or other's people code to implement things that can barely be seen like microservices or have no special graphical appeal such as react form components or data grids. And when I am not actively coding, I spend endless hours in meetings, often useless, boring, or frustrating, to discuss requirements, specifications, and technical details.
But I love it.
For me, it is rewarding and challenging. And since I completely switched career 16 years ago I never had a boring day!
Why do I love it? What does make it so special? How could I describe it so that people just don't think I am a socially awkward computer nerd?
Here are my reasons why Software Engineering is exciting:
- You build things
- You break things (and possibly then understand how they work)
- You fix things ( it is relieving and fulfilling and unfortunately it does not work so easily with people and the problems in society)
- You learn to break big problems into smaller, easier to accomplish, challenges (and this is really useful in life too)
- You solve problems (often it is not even a matter of technical skill rather, communication, critical thinking, asking questions)
- Every day is different, with different features, different bugs, different challenges, leave alone different tech stacks, libraries, and frameworks which change very fast and require us to stay up to date and refresh our skillset
Actually many people could find the last one their worst nightmare, but for me, avoiding boredom and doing something different, learning something new all the time makes me feel alive and enjoy my job.
I don't know yet how to phrase it in a way that could be attractive to a bunch of 10-12 years old boys and girls, but it is a good start.
These are my reasons, why do you love coding? Why did you start coding and keep on doing that?