Creating physical things is so satisfying

April 9, 2005

I work in the software business. The fruits of your labour is a CD that contains an installer, some documentation, and ultimately users interacting with nothing more than different coloured pixels on a computer monitor. It seems so … um … un-real. If you turn off the monitor, poof, it all goes away. There’s nothing to hold, feel the weight of, push or click or turn to get things done. Lately I’ve been working on repainting our kitchen and, although the work is somewhat laborious, at the end of it there will be a beautiful kitchen to be admired every time I go into the kitchen. You’ll actually be able to see the blood, sweat and tears (not literally luckily) that went into the transformation. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to think that you were able to, and did, do that work to create something real. At the same time during the repainting I’ve often thought how frustrating it is to do all the repetitve bits and pieces. For example, there’s three doors that I am working on at the moment. Once I’ve finished one it would be nice to just go Ctrl-C, then Ctrl-V twice. Perhaps that’s why I stay in the software business because the repitive nature of physically creating things is just not my cup of tea.

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