I'm applying for a summer internship at Fog Creek Software, a well-respected software company in NYC. I'm going to be interviewed by one of their developers next Tuesday, so I've been trying to anticipate the questions I will be asked and give them some thought. Tonight, I asked myself a simple but important question: "Why do you want to work at Fog Creek?"
First, I thought I wanted the experience. An internship at a reputable software company would look great on my résumé. I briefly considered whether I was in it for the office. Then, I thought that I wanted to prove to the world that I could build software, not just make little toys and read big books. However, I quickly realized the true source of my motivation: I want to work at Fog Creek to prove to myself that I can build software.
Until now, my most substantial project has been my work on OpenInkpot last summer. Assembling a cross-toolchain is highly technical work, but it's not a creative act. I didn't design the structure of the toolchain; I just put the pieces together.
I've tried to prepare myself for a career as a software developer by reading books on software structure and construction, but I know that's not enough. I won't know that I'm ready until I've built something real.
To become a software developer, I must develop software.