Challenging problems to solve... when asked about the job
First of all, I am not judging or criticizing at all. I am just trying to understand the reason why this is the most important criteria for many people.
I can understand when people say they like the job because of good WLB, compensation, meaningful (ie make world better) or fun work or work environment such as good benefits or colleagues. But what I don’t get is lots of people (engineers in particular) say they choose the job because of interesting or challenging problems to solve.
To me that sounds like solving the problems for the sake of solving them which is kind of pointless to me. All of my friends choose the team/company because of above mentioned reasons.
However, in Blind and when managers talk, they all cite challenging problems. Is it just another way of saying fun work?
Challenges are good sometimes but most of my friends rather take on easy problems and use the brain on their life and family.
Challenging problems can be interesting when you solve them as a leisure but when it comes to work, that should mean stress for most of people as your performance review cam suffer if either you don’t approach it reasonably or leadership/peers don’t understand the difficulty of problems (communication doesn’t always work in some relationships).
Am I missing something? I am not talking about challenging problems that obviously contribute to the better life of human beings such as cancer research. Most of tech problems are supporting role (ie infrastructure to mine data) but I can still understand when it comes to a problem that opens up a new innovation that will benefit human life.
However, it is hard to connect this to the problems some companies are solving such as Facebook, Google Ad and Pinterest. They provide entertainment and contribute to better life to some extent but lots of problems such as better marketing can be double edge sword. Making MS office or Amazon retail experience or Google maps better can be also rewarding but I am not sure if that gives tangible joy of solving the real world problems. I am not downplaying the roles of these businesses but what I am trying to say is it is not straight forward enough to say that unlike the researchers working on human health problems or poverty.
Once again, I understand these roles are solving great problems that can lead to better life eventually but the relationship is not very directive to feel it (as opposed to doctors who just saved a life or social worker who helped poor family to get necessary funding for their crisis). I would like to understand the real meaning of this solving interesting/challenging problems when it comes to say internal service or entertainment or ad (marketing) business whose impact is very indirect.