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Fellow coders, how many of you feel they are doing meaningful work? By meaningful I mean useful to a very large number of people or actual value creation, if you’re working on the nth “app for that” or on something that just makes money for a small handful of people that’s not meaningful.

· · Tootle for Mastodon · 3 · 0 · 1

@alan

I'm working on Odoo based solutions for some governmental agencies and I think it's meaningful

@alan I used to think my particular niche is not meaningful (web scraping) but I've been involved in so many cool projects like scraping sex worker forums for human trafficking detection etc.

Most of real meaning is not apparent. Expanding our knowledge graph further is meaningful and who know what real value your program provides.
Some random csv exporter could save a person hours of work so they can spend more time with their family etc. etc.

@Wraptile I disagree on the last point, that wouldn’t be meaningful outside our capitalist system and some could argue that you’d actually be destroying jobs in that way, so there would be less people employed and less money circulation around. The first one you talked about is for sure something useful to a large number of people.

@alan I'd disagree. Reality where destroying meaningless manual labor jobs via automation is a bad thing sounds whole lot like a dystopia to me.

@Wraptile but that's the dystopia we live in today, moreover someone might say that your job is meaningless and it could be automated at least at 90% given enough time and investment.

I understand the point and I agree, but it's important for me to make people realize that we already live in "that world", it's just a matter of realizing it 😃

P.S.: "efficiency" is an empty concept, never rely on it in order to evaluate meaning

@alan I don't think we live in such society yet.

As a worker I have all the tools available to optimize my work to me personally and whether I do it in 20 minutes with a program or 6 hours by hand my employer is not entitled in controlling or even knowing about this.

It might become more true where AI vastly overpowers human engineering where high quality automation tools will only be available to the few but we're not quite there yet.

@alan all of this hinges on what meaningful means to each person. Telling everybody yours is the one that should be used is patronising.

@pauby not really, quite the opposite, if there’s no shared definition for something, than it doesn’t exist. And meaningful is clearly defined, I’m not naive, I just don’t care about the “my job lets me survive, so it’s meaningful to me” because I have to draw a line somewhere and it’s the reason why I’m asking 😄 Moreover it can be argued that for Hitler it was meaningful to wage war and to murder Jews, still terrible things actually destroying meaning for millions, so not meaningful in the end

@alan Telling other people their work is meaningless if it doesn't meet your definition is patronising. If that's not what you meant, then that's how it came across to me.

What is meaningful is relative. What is meaningful to me may not be to you. What is meaningful to society may not be meaningful to another society. What is meaningful to a group of people may not be meaningful to another. Etc. Yada. And so on.

@pauby and as I said, I know, I’m using a universal and quite simple definition of meaningful because of that, and by the way I’m asking mostly to western, capitalist developers, if someone comes and says they build simple stuff helping seal hunting for Inuit people I’m perfectly fine with that, if you’re in Canada and you build apps in order to track lions for western safari hunters, that’s not ok. Or can you say the opposite?

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