As background, you should know that both my aunt and uncle are physicians. They don't know what software engineers do all day, either! (Granted, I don't know what physicians do all day, so we're even.)
So what do I do all day? In any given day, I'm probably going to do most of this:
- Modify some existing code
- Send a bunch of emails
- Write some CSS
- Test a feature someone else wrote
- Respond to a customer request or problem
- Attend stand ups and/or scrum meetings
That really doesn't sound very interesting. Those are the tasks I do, yes, and there is joy in many of them. I actually really enjoy writing code - it's a game to make the software do what I want. I also like playing with someone else's feature and seeing how they interpreted it. There's value, too. Because I write an email, a customer knows what to do. Because I wrote some CSS, a page looks as good as a designer could make it. Because I fixed a problem, a client saved time. That's pretty cool.
Those aren't tasks, though. They're accomplishments.
So what do I accomplish in a day?
- Help others see possibilities
- Make a system do something useful that it didn't do before
- Make a web page more beautiful
- Save time for customers
- Offer my customers abilities they didn't have before
That's better. That's what I really do.
What do you do?