I've worked in software development for 15 years and, while there have been signficant personal achievements and a lot of experience, I've always felt detached from the man/woman-on-the-street, the every day person, how it affects their lives, in a number of ways:
- the technologies: embedded software, hidden away, stuff not seen by the everyday person. Or process technology supporting manufactured products
- the size of the systems, meaning many jobs, divided up, work is abstract, not one person can see the whole picture
- the organisations: large, with departments dealing with different areas, the software, the hardware, the marketing, the sales, the customer support
- the locations and hours: out-of-town business parks away from the rest of society, fixed locations, inflexible: 9-5 everyday
This to me seems typical of the companies I worked for and see elsewhere. Granted, there are positives such as the technology itself and usually being among high calibre co-workers, but the above points frustrate me about the industry because they detach the work from its meaning.
How can one:
- change these things in an existing job, or compensate for them?
- find other work that avoids these and connects with the final end user?
Job designs tend to focus on the job content and technical requirements rather than how the job aims to fulfil end user needs, is meaningful.