Everything we think, know, and conjecture comes from the outside world. Our educations affect our perspective of the world. We are vulnerable to the inclinations of our daily environments. I spend a lot of time writing code. Some of this code becomes part of a flashy feature; however, most of the time, my efforts are directed to marginal improvements. Incremental improvements are important to progress but it is also discouraging. The important role of management and strategic leadership is to remind developers about the importance of their work and make the appetite of menial tasks more palpable.
Those in the software development field are primed to be constantly open to new ideas. Today, there was a new innovation, a new version, a new best practice that unravels what was known yesterday. It’s a challenge that we are well-accustomed to. We are compelled to seek challenges to grow. We are forced to adapt the belief that change is inevitable, as the ideal developer is not only an expert in their domain, but also able to shift their expertise to new technology quickly. There’s no way of understanding everything in an ever-changing and ever-growing environment.
Our field is getting more diverse, more mature, and, therefore, more isolating. This is the truths of the complications of growing field of knowledge - the increasingly specialization of software development. When the work we do becomes less visible in the final product, we are reduced to a feeling of insignificance. There will be times when the work we do does not feel impactful. When we devalue the work we do, we end up devaluing ourselves. Developers are human, of course; we cannot deny this. As much as we love our devices, we are not machines. It is up to us to return the dignity of our labor.
Celebrate the menial - fixing bugs, developing conversions, exploring new methods. This is not hand-holding or extending a entitled privilege. This is simply reminding ourselves of the complications of increasing specialization of labor and the risk of marginalization, either externally or internally. Everything we do is valuable, whether it is a huge deployment or a simple bug fix. The changes we put out into the world is unique and impactful, all is part of the whole that makes it function better.