What is being a programmer?

This weekend I went up to my grandmother’s house with a good part of the extended family.  We did some house cleaning and yard maintenance – things she can’t do in her current state of being.  I was bummed I missed them taking the tree down, one that was only a few feet taller than me when I was growing up.  During the visit, my cousin had sheets to fill out regarding his high school graduation project.  A few willing participants answered questions like, ‘What is your job title? Do you feel fulfilled in your work? What is your average day like?  What would you tell someone going in to your field?’  It was the last question that really made me think.

I am not really in a traditional programming field, at least not the kind I thought I’d be in when I was going to college.  Then again, plugging away at ”Solving the Palindrome Problem” in Pascal really wouldn’t have prepared me for much of anything, except learning to think creatively when problem solving.  This of course was my answer to ‘what is the favorite part of your job.’  It would have to be the problem solving part.  I am given a task, whether it’s to integrate some fancy javascript into a beautiful design, or to set up a CRM, it’s all about solving problems.  We generally know what the end goal is, and we have to figure out how to get there.  Most of the time, it’s fun and challenging, sometimes overwhelming when trying to wrap your head around just what sort of logic needs to go into something, and even sometimes it’s really tedious and annoying.  So what I put on my paper is, to be prepared for some really difficult mind work, being organized, and to not get frustrated by the tedium…. and whether you like it or not, there is going to be client interaction, and they are going to want a top of the line, lets say car, like a Bugatti or Ferrari.