My job is in computer graphics, design and also involves some programming. For the past couple years, there’s been a recurring theme to conversations about what I do which has gradually grown to become something that really bothers me.
Basically it comes down to this–what will I have to show for my work 20 or 30 years down the road? It’s pretty safe to say that none of the websites I’ve created will be online anymore, it’s doubtful if the CD-ROM based training will exist or even function on future computers, the community of almost 1000 people I?ve brought together will probably be gone (though hopefully many of the friendships will remain) and most of the other projects I have worked on will be entirely irrelevant since they all deal heavily with very ephemeral ideas and products.
It could be argued that the type of work I do is the building blocks of the Internet (in whatever form it ends up being) of the future, and that that is a tangible enough result of my work. Really though, the Internet itself is such a big intangible that I don’t count it as something I?ll be able to look back on and feel like it?s something I accomplished.
I?d like to be able to physically touch something?hold in my hand and say ?I made this.? I want to be able to have something to hand down to my kids from when I was younger. I don?t feel the need to change history or to alter the course of science, but I do feel the need to get my hands dirty?make something, have something to show for all the thousands of hours I spend trying to make a living.