Making Meaning Is Why I Choose A Career In Computer Programming (Part 1)

This is the first in a series about why I choose to become a computer programmer.

While I was in college studying Chemical Engineering, I decided I was going to pursue a career after college in Computer Programming.

Making that decision was easy because I believed that in order to make a contribution and change my world as we were so fond of discussing in those days, I had to be in a career that allowed me to do so.

Now, what do I mean by “making your mark on the world“. I and some of my colleagues wanted to have our lives count for something when we left college. We did not want to be absorbed by the shapeless workforce, get married, have kids and then die, hoping that our kids will carry out our dreams.

However, it seemed to me that my college education was gradually becoming meaningless. I liked the engineering and mathematical theory I had to learn, but I couldn’t really see what difference it made to the life of the common man as we were apt to say. I mean, in my daily interactions with the public, I couldn’t bring my budding engineering skills to solve the everyday problem that people had. The challenges faced by the common man were

  1. how to get a good job
  2. how to pay bills
  3. how to have better relationships
  4. how to reach God
  5. how to succeed in life

It seemed to me that my engineering career did not pose any real solution to the challenges encountered by mere mortals.

Based on that observation, I decided not to have a life where my work will be so removed from the realities and challenges faced by mere mortals. I decided I was going to have another career where my conversation and work will in one way or the other visibly impact my world in general and my community in particular.

Read more in Part 2.

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