My parents write an annual Christmas letter, and one of the main questions they ask me every year is “What is your job title?”. My internal reaction to this is just a shoulder shrug…not because it’s a bad question, but because I don’t know how much a title means to me any more. Here are some of the various titles I have seen in job descriptions and such for what I do:
- Computer Programmer
- Software Developer
- Software Engineer
- Software Craftsman
- Ninja (eye roll)
- Bad Ass (more eye roll)
- Rock Star (good grief)
…and of course, you could add “Junior”, “Senior”, and possibly even “Mid-Level” to any of those titles.
You know…I just want to put in an honest day’s work each day, write some software, be challenged, and have some good interactions with my teammates. It doesn’t really matter to me whether they are seasoned professionals or fresh out of boot camp or college. Some of them I can help guide down the path more than others, and some I learn from more than others. I just try to enjoy the whole journey.
I do care that I’m fairly compensated for my knowledge and experience, and so if a company ties a job title to a salary range…that’s fine. But ultimately…what I do for my job just fits in to part of the whole picture of my “self”, and what I’m called at work doesn’t really affect me in any way. I don’t necessarily think that my thoughts on this are some reflection of a greater maturity level…rather, I guess I’ve discovered over time that my fulfillment due to my job is much more related to what I do and the people I work with than any other thing.