If you are a software developer working for a company that is not a software shop, your life is pretty much compromise. You have to build applications and systems that often seem repetitive, within timeframes where you are pretty much forced to cut corners. Usuall the cut corners are in in testing/documentation if you are lucky, but sometimes you miss in functionality and stability. Yes, you can refuse to cut corners and quit (or be fired), but this may not be a near-term option for people supporting families, medical challenges, etc.
Which got me wondering, what if you are an artist and find yourself painting repetitive lake and seafront landscapes, Venitian canal scenes, and the other sort of stuff you see in the Home Goods art aisle? I'm sure these artists are having to pump out sub-par work, stuff that they aren't thrilled with, are they inherently miserable creatures? Or do they say "I get to do something I like to do for a living, my work may not end up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but that's ok"? Same kind of thing with musicians who write soundtracks for straight-to-video movies or reality shows, are they in abject misery beause they are not the next Mozart, John Williams or even a pop star?
Maybe closer to home for us Slashdotters, what about auto engineers? Not everybody gets to work on the next BMW concept car. For those having to work on generic sedans priced under $20k, are there corners to be cut analogous to what software developers are asked to do (safety, emissions, performance)? Does this result in similar misery/angst being described in TFA?