Why create? Assorted thoughts on software development

Being heavily involved in both machine learning and game development fields, it seems that the majority of building is done while sitting, by only typing on a keyboard and staring at a monitor. Whether there is a pandemic forcing people to work from home or not, I can continue creating without moving from a single room, or even from my desk.

However, the creations that are built with this relative physical ease, can be spread across the world. People in Norway and Japan have purchased and played my games, readers from India frequent this blog, and ML I deployed has been interacted with by people all over Canada.

This ease of creation to the sheer scope of impact is a reason that draws me to build, be it in machine learning, web development, video games, or any other type of software. An example of scope of impact, is that, as a user of Visual Studio Code, for 5 hours a day, could that philosophically mean that the developers of the code editor created 5 hours of time? That what had left their fingertips in lines of code, is now physically in my room, on my monitor, and likewise in the lives of people around the world?

In addition, since millions of people use the code editor, does that mean the developers generated tens of millions of hours of value every day? I’d like to think so. As you can tell thus far, this article veers more on the thought exercise direction, but I hope that we can walk through these ideas together, and see if it provokes some thought on how you see your own creations and impact.

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