As one-off projects - discrete things that require planning, management, and execution - nothing beats cooking a good meal.
As one-off engineered objects - things that require design, fabrication, and systems integration - nothing beats a bicycle.
Writing software brings with it both a strong sense of opportunity and also a creeping feeling that the whole thing very well might be fake.
Empires can be built through persistence - through late nights, doggedly following every lead, and waiting around long enough to catch a little luck. But finding your crew - without which your empire might not be worth it - requires patience, empathy, and *incredibly* good timing, and in some ways these are things that empire-building seems to breed out of people.