I've been a professional programmer for about 10 years, and an academic/researcher who happened to program for about 10 years before that. The dividing line is somewhat arbitrary.
I've worked mostly in university and big, government-run laboratory settings. More recently, I've moved to the private sector. I've been on big projects, small projects, good projects and really bad projects. I've been responsible for architecture, planning, testing, quality standards, IP, and just getting the damn code written.
Most of my work has been for physical simulations of some sort or another. Electromagnetism, hydrology, radiation.
I try to keep up with things going on in Haskell and functional languages, even though I'm strictly a C++ programmer at work.
Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers
Q&A for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development
Q&A for people wanting to improve their personal productivity
Q&A for Ubuntu users and developers
Q&A for professional mathematicians
Q&A for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.
Q&A for computer enthusiasts and power users
Q&A for power users of web applications
Q&A for scientific skepticism
Q&A for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems
Q&A for professional system and network administrators
Q&A for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields
Q&A for scientists using computers to solve scientific problems
Q&A for users and developers of hardware and software for Raspberry Pi