Software Engineering Is My Profession, Programming Is My Hobby

I fell in love with programming before I knew what it was. I never knew it’d be a way to earn my living. It was fun, and I was young. I programmed without abandon. I wrote tools, games, everything. Because I enjoyed doing it. There is a certain enjoyment in bending the spirit of the computer to your will, through magic incantations.

I never intended to do anything with those programs — other than using them and extending them, obviously. Nobody asked me to write them; nobody paid me to write them. The concept of selling programs was as alien as that of getting paid to eat chocolate. Some programs found their way into BBSes (the internet was not so popular that time..), and others apparently liked it too.

Our story continues: the boy grows up, and gets himself a CS degree. Natural enough, I guess. And then a job. As a software engineer. Fancy name, huh. ‘Neways, he liked it, it allowed him to keep programming. They even gave him his own machine, some programming to do, an air-conditioned office to do it in — oh and yes, salary.

He was blissfully unaware of his trivial role in increasing India’s participation in globalization, or of the socio-economic impacts of outsourcing, or of the ironies of capitalism. He was allowed to program. He loved it.

Technology, apparently, grows faster than your beard. Computers became ubiquitous. Within a few years, people wanted software for every imaginable and unimaginable thing on earth. Software to help develop software. Software to let people play poker. Software to let software play poker. Software for this, that and the other.

And with it came the people — the people who came into the fun world of programming to make profit and salaries. Who would’ve gladly washed cars or mopped floors if that paid a better salary. People who’d sell beer or software, whichever brought them more profit. Managers who talk in terms of estimates, man-hours, cost, schedule and metrics. Business executives who’d to tell you what technology to use. “Software developers” who demand training and documentation — even if the code is available. Who like PHP, and have not heard of Scheme.

Who claim to be the proponents of technology — yet they stand not in awe of this miracle that they’re part of. Who can browse to a website, but not wonder how it is that the bits fly around in a fraction of a second between two machines separated by a few continents. Not wonder about how we’ve created the computer in the image of ourselves, and linked them with neurons and gave them power to talk to each other.

People who see the money in the software business, but not the magical spirit of programming.

I’m a software engineer by profession. I help create, grow and fix software. As demanded by others. Not quite unlike the oldest profession.

I’m a programmer by hobby. I command the spirits that live in the machine. I create magical worlds, enchanting, exciting. My soul pours out through my programs. It defines my emotions, my pains, my triumphs, my life. I’m a Picasso, I’m a Mozart.

10 Comments

  1. Nov 8, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    […] the original post: Software Engineering Is My Profession, Programming Is My Hobby Related ArticlesBookmarksTags History PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page.It began […]

  2. Dec 8, 2008 at 4:25 am

    […] I usually get my information elsewhere. Most of the stuff I find interesting is provided through RSS feeds. Some of it is made available through audio podcasts, which is brilliant when commuting. As for […]

  3. Nemanja said,

    Dec 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Beautifully written, thanks mate…

  4. himadri said,

    Mar 2, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    truth indeed does make you free ….
    you words are so true and relevant .
    very well written ….keep up the good job

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    Mar 3, 2009 at 8:10 pm

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  6. Hrish said,

    Dec 13, 2009 at 7:46 am

    I have a question. Why have you stopped writing? :)

  7. ratz said,

    May 28, 2010 at 3:32 am

    u strung a chord in my heart!

  8. Adnan Liaqat said,

    Oct 11, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Hello!
    I hope you will be fine doing all, I have done my Computer Science degree without my final degree project. I request you that please send me an idea for Android or other Mobile Phone Application. I shall be very thankful to you for this act of the kind..

    Kind Regard,
    Adnan Liaqat

  9. A developer said,

    Aug 21, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I’m somewhat of the opposite at the moment… it was exciting at first, but after some years in the business, I feel isolated from the world. I see the sun, but it’s only through my window. I hear the laughter, but it’s only from the window again. Inside is a person who feels like his spiritual wellness drained, as if working is an arcane form of torture right now, rather than helping the poor man across the road. To inspire lives, to go home knowing that I made a difference. That is only a dream, after the ambulance run evaluating my isolated life as a programmer. I didn’t change a life; I was too busy being creative on a computer, and now with a salary to keep me there.

    • Faton Ademi said,

      Dec 5, 2017 at 1:52 am

      Can you send me one message on messenger because i want to speak with you something neccessay :)
      Facebook Faton Ademi ,so you can to send me just one msg and i’ll reply to you !:)
      Thank You …


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