I view software engineering as a class of general engineering in the renaissance sense. It allows a person to develop and tune skills in many areas from solving puzzles to designing about anything. If one can understand the workings of software, other systems aren't that difficult. Engines, electrical systems, plumbing, heating, and cooling can all be broken down into subsystems that may be considered independently and 'debugged' appropriately. This can lead a person to do their own automotive repairs, upgrade the circuit breaker box in their home, or design a new playground in the back yard.
The hard part of all this involves time. While fixing and 'improving' these systems might be fun to some engineers, family and other parts of life all compete for that same time. The trick is to find the projects that are worth the time and the results please yourself and the family.
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