</p><p>I'm always amazed at what non-programmers are impressed by. Code up some major application, and... Why doesn't it have this feature? Why does it have that workflow? What kind of colorblind dyslexic idiot designed this UI? But whip up a simple script to automate some repetitive, routine task and you're a genius!</p></quote>
I'm always surprised at this as well. I had two things I was known for at my previous company. One that I was proud of, a software library that was used across the entire company, across multiple teams (20 project teams), built up a community around, supported and upgraded for 6 years. This was mainly on my own time, but I kept getting requests from other teams to help with integration (which I needed my time authorized for). I kept getting complaints about the library, people wanting to change the flows, wanting to add features in, wanting it to be more light weight, wanting it to be more heavy weight and do more, etc. The library was actually designed with maintenance and long term support in mind.
The other project, was something that automated a process I thought was stupid. Basically something that took multiple true type fonts, merged them together, and then based on all the localization strings it stripped out all the unused fonts to save on RAM. I threw that together when I was home sick from work with a 103 degree fever during flu season. It was only suppose to live till the end of the current project I was on (2 months). You can imagine how crappy the code was, it barely worked, it barely did what it had to do.
Guess which one I got more praise and recognition for? Not the properly designed project that affected our customers and revenue flow, but the code vomit (almost literally) project that made people's life in the company easier. Because of the second project I became known as one of the company's expert on true type fonts, and even had the company lawyers call me to talk about licensing of the fonts we used (as if I knew that). And I still had to support that tool 5 years after I wrote it, because it somehow leaked out of the original project which had been shipped and closed down. Just for the record I consider my knowledge on fonts to be slightly above average, but when you consider the average is 'a font is what you select in Word' its not much, no way is that considered an expert in any other area.