Where Are All the Fun Software Engineer Jobs?

My mother called me today and inquired about my week. As usual, I try to steer the conversation toward more exciting topics and away from my occupation. I start out with a, “Yeah mom, I’m preparing for this fight in my Muay Thai class tonight.” Or something like, “Guess what Mom? I found ultra cheap tickets to London.” Without fail though, she always comes back to the dreaded, “That’s nice dear, so how’s working going? You never talk about it.” It’s true, I avoid as much conversation about my job as I possibly can. For starters, if you don’t understand software Engineering, a lot of what I say will sound foreign. Secondly, my job just isn’t interesting.

The most exciting thing I probably did last week was refining our backlog in Jira.

Backlog Refinement

Am I happy with this? No. Unfortunately, I feel stuck in this twilight zone of job imagination vs reality. In my imagination, my role as a software engineer would mean I get to do the following:

  1. Solve problems that matter
  2. Build Software
  3. Talk with Costumers and get first hand feedback
  4. Make important technology decisions
  5. Be involved with relevant business decisions
  6. Give lectures and educate the community

In reality, I’m lucky if I even get to at least build software. Unfortunately, every job posting I come across seem to echo all of the same shortcomings that I currently experience. “Oh hey look, another b2b company building a SASS for e-commerce…how exciting 🙄”

I’m someone who likes to build and code, but doesn’t like being stuck 8 hours in a desk all day for the next 40 years just waiting for 5PM. I really want a healthy level of unpredictability and excitement with my job; not to just fix meaningless bugs. But, as my mother constantly reminds me, “They’re paying you a lot so there’s no reason to complain.”