"I don't want to be involved in software"

I went to the path to agility conference yesterday and a short story caught my attention.  Ken Schweiber talked about a neighbor (I think?) he got an internship for doing some QA work for a software company.  After their graduation, he offered to help get them a full time job - the answer was amazing : "Hell no".

Because of this person's experience, there was no desire for that person to go into software dev.  Horrible code quality, missed deadlines, angry unhappy people, the toxic cocktail that can kill any project (and morale) was rampant.  Sure you could argue that's an isolated experience, but is it really?  I'd like to think it is, but it isn't.  Worse, I know someone I think is on that edge, to the point of NOT wanting to be in software anymore.  Frustrated, feeling left behind, etc, I decided to dig a little bit into this - I genuinely want to know where this profession began to break down and fail to serve the person that at some point enjoyed it.  I love software, I think it's fun but that's not the whole picture.  I invited this person to lunch and what I nailed down as the answer is one you've heard before. More...

The best customer ...ever?

Normally I don't talk about my family, at all, but this one is necessary because ... well it's funny and yet very cool.  Recently I've been working with my dad on a little app he wanted done.  Not only is my dad a great "customer" but he's damn good at telling me exactly what he wants ... in his own way that I find just hilarious. 

As with most people that write software, most family members have NO IDEA what I do, at all.  Normally my reply to what do you do is the default "I work with computers" and that usually scares them off or leads to the cliche discussion of how their computer is suddenly slow (full of malware and porn) and they want to know what to do.  I did get sucked into doing some work ONCE and I vowed never to fall for that again.  They're the worst customers on the planet and you don't get paid to do it nor is there any satisifaction out of it.

Anyway, a while ago, my dear ole dad says to me "so you make websites right?" More...