One thing that came as a surprise once I had settled into my job as a web developer was how good it felt to have created useful things for people with relatively rudimentary tools like ASP, SQL and Java applets. Especially in the beginning, when the systems I created were pretty small, and the pages could be churned out without too much hassle, the satisfaction achieved from having created something useful for little effort was a nice feeling.
Later on, as the workload as well as the complexity of the systems increased, the satisfaction was still there, but the ratio of inspiration over transpiration started to decrease. In the end, the bigger systems, like the ones for Occupational Health and the Internal Auditing function, took such an amount of effort and complexity that the major source of satisfaction derived from having completed a good piece of work on time for a proper handover.
So in the end, even though the feeling of creativity still was there, it became a bit like what was said about the SF writer Fredric Brown, that “he hated writing, but he loved to have written”.