Creating Something Tangible

18 Feb 2021 by Dave

If you’ve worked in software for long enough, you’ve probably become frustrated with the intangible nature of the work. You’ve likely dreamt of quitting your job to go into cabinet making or something.

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be a “real” engineer. Being able to point to a building or bridge that you were responsible for sure must be nice. Instead, my life’s work will fit into storage the size of a grain of sand.

Human perspectives are not easily changed, and once we’ve decided how something is we may never change our minds until we’re forced into new circumstances - it often takes a shock to the system. For me, for better or worse, it was the pandemic.

When the lockdowns started around the world, our clients had reason to panic. Many of them didn’t have the funds to support paying their staff without revenue coming in. Luckily, most governments announced support schemes. The problem is that such schemes still come with red tape. Imagine trying to ensure some money reaches the lower income earners who have come to depend on your company, those who struggle to feed their families when income isn’t coming in, and failing because some administrative process was not correctly followed, or was not clearly specified to begin with.

That’s the situation our clients faced, and that’s where we helped. A client told us they were in tears trying to get this process to work right, until they read our blog and used the system updates that eased the process. It was at that moment that my perspective changed. It was never about the work being “tangible”, it’s about our impact! And it always has been - we’d impacted thousands of clients even before the pandemic as we showed them how it feels when someone really cares about listening and solving their problems.

You can’t see or touch gravity, but that doesn’t make it any less real. You can feel it, and when you look around you, you can see its effects.

I’m not sure if this will help anyone (like I said, perspectives don’t change easily), but if you ever fall into the trap of devaluing your work just because it’s digital and exists in the cloud somewhere, think again. Change your yardstick, and you’ll see your work is bigger than you thought. That makes it all the more important to be sure the work you’re doing actually has an impact. That is something you need to figure out for yourself.

Learn more about our company here.