A couple of conversations recently have caused me to reflect on how my normal, everyday life as a creator of software looks rather odd to people outside of the profession.
Conversation with my 7 year old after the usual attempts at getting him to actually talk about what he did at school that day, and his claims that he doesn’t remember:
me: I remember everything I did today and could tell you all about it. But I’m probably more interested in your day at school than you would be in my day at work.
him: I already know what you do at work
me: really? what do I do at work?
him: you just type on your computer all day long
Conversation with a good friend of mine (profession: folk singer)
him: did you invent anything today, Sarah?
me: Not today.
Some days I can claim to have invented stuff. In a conversation last week, I related that we finsihed up two different versions of our software on the same day.
him: I’m always interested in what exactly it is you do since it is so mysterious to me. What did you do today?
me: There are people who work with me, whose job it is to find everything that is wrong with what we make. Then they make a long list of problems. Today I went through that list and figured out when things needed to get done and assigned them to different people.
It’s my birthday today, so I suppose it is natural to reflect on what the heck I’m doing with my life.
As I get ready to leave for the office, I choose not to think of my work as incomprehensible to my friends and family. Today, I choose to think of what I do as mysterious.