Most people work in fields where they have neither talent nor passion.
Alex K

Most people work in fields where they have neither talent nor passion.

Yes, and that sucks for them, but software engineering is a different sort of cat — for at least the time being.

In a field like accounting, there are very specific rules that must be followed, nearly to the letter — indeed, you can be prosecuted in the US for, e.g., not following generally accepted accounting principles.

Software engineering is a young field, and it’s really not clear what best practices are at all. And it’s constantly changing — the level of discipline I expect out of a competent developer today with respect to source control systems or automatic testing is literally an order of magnitude greater than what I could have conceived of 20 years ago.

And whatever solution you pick for your problem, the one thing that is certain is that there are pitfalls — hidden traps of a lesser or greater magnitude that you need experience, ingenuity and research to avoid.

You can’t do that as a bored drudge serving time. You need at least some talent and some passion.

And you know? The happiest people I know in every field are the ones who have a passion for their work. My dentist loves dentistry (and a bunch of other things like science fiction and extreme skiing). My ophthalmologist discovered instantly that I was a technical person, and explained in fascinating detail how each of her machines worked (I remember her saying, “You’ll love this next one!”)

“Passion” is code for “We want an employee happy to work 80 hours for 40 hours pay and burn themselves out so we ca replace them with someone younger and cheaper”

Here, I agree entirely. Yes, we shouldn’t allow our aspirational talk to be manipulated by our employers for their own ends.

But I can use a word for my own purposes while still not accepting the debased usage of that word by others.

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