engineering, Because You Love It

Being an Engineer

As in every field, in engineering, it is important to love what you do. This is mostly because you will tend to do what you love, and as an engineer you need to spend most of your time engineering. I spend some of my time thinking about hard problems, but the majority of it solving those problems with code, services, APIs, and the help of people. The day to day of engineering involves working with people to define problems, and simplify and codify solutions.

Engineering

Make Solving Your Vocation

Making engineering your vocation is a way to absorb it into your very being. Engineering isn't a hobby and it's not a job, it's a way. You are going to get comfortable solving problems with code. That is how you become a better engineer. You go home at night and think about the problems you solved that day, and how you could solve them better. You think about the problems you didn't solve, and how you'll solve them tomorrow.

A law professor once told me this about practicing law, that it is not a career, but a vocation. He meant that you shouldn't do it for the sake of anything but the desire to do what it is. In the case if engineering, programming, developing: it is solving problems with computers. Make solving problems with computers your reason and you will find success as an engineer. Make it something you do with others and for a good, and your will have a successful career.

Work the Career Too

You can always do more. So, after you make problem solving with computers your vocation, you should learn about the industry, and work the organization for the greater good. The indsutry is a thriving place, where innovation abounds, and collaboration is essential. Learn to work with people and communicate your ideas and thoughts effectively.

I recommend reading Making it Big in Software, for more on that topic. http://makingitbigcareers.com/books/making-it-big-in-software/. That book is full of good advice about everything from A-Z in software, from some well respected industry names.