Just as a painter paints because he enjoys the act of applying brush to canvas in order to create a reality out of an abstract idea, I code because I enjoy the act of putting fingers to keyboard to make a reality out of an abstract idea. Painters don’t paint because it is incredibly profitable, and I don’t code for just a paycheck. The money that I make from coding ensures that I am able to practice the art of coding my own abstract ideas instead of someone else's.
A day job as a developer will never make me happy nor make me feel fulfilled; Only the ability to hack on my own projects can do that. For this reason and this reason alone, I view all development jobs as the same and compare on the sole criterion of how much they enable my outside hacking. David Cronenberg once said "The desire to be loved is really death when it comes to art." I think that the same sentiment applies to development; If I only code for what someone else wants, then I have died as a hacker and have lost that part of my being forever.
I am a hacker. I am an artist. I use electrons, pixels, and switches to transform the beauty of the baud into a physical reality for my own enjoyment. I derive pleasure from making bits cross wires and pixels blink on screens. I experience pain from tedium and monotony. I don’t write code – I write art.