G. Mark’s Answer
I have found that being a coder can be a high-pressure job. Many times you are either designing and coding on a deadline because your goal is to produce a product. After code leaves your hands, it will be stressed by testers and eventually customers. And you need to be cognizant of potential problems in the field to support customers that need your code in turn to support their customers. And there will occasionally be problems that are very difficult to isolate or solve. But be aware that folks who choose to be programmers are very often in love with the job. There are as many ways to build systems as there are coders themselves. Quite often there will be a theoretical approach or philosophy that someone will claim is the end-all and be-all of methods and that that will be the final answer. But technology does not just march on, it sprints (see what I did there with the pun thing?) Staying on top of technology is tough. So usually someone will focus on the latest flavor of the month in terms of operating systems, languages, processors, design approaches. As I said, though, programmers are often having a great time. Stress, yes. But many folks just think and dream in code and the latest sexy machines. There are many great books about the people behind these efforts. One rather old book but one that I think really captures the flavor of these labors of love is Tracy Kidder's "Soul of a New Machine". I first read it when Kidder gave a talk about it at Bell Labs quite awhile ago. It's available in audio books. Get it.