Well, I am a self taught software engineer although I prefer the term software developer. I started coding straight after high school and never looked back
I believe that the true value in technology lies in helping people solve problems on their own terms, in a way that seems most natural to them. That means that the software we create must always be user friendly within the context in which it is to be deployed. To a great extent its not really about which programming languages you use but rather about how much value your end users derive from its usage.
What am I after? Well... I seek challenges, I can solve with code. Tell me something is difficult and I will be interested, Tell me its impossible and now am ecstatic. Then I spend hours and even days trying to prove you wrong. Although I concede that there are some problems that just can't be solved and am OK with that :-)