Ask anybody that really loves their work and I think you'll get the following answer...
To me, the process of analyzing a problem, breaking it down into pieces, formulating a solution, mapping out a strategy, and creating the code is highly rewarding.
To me, it's a mental excersize, just like a surgeon, or a detective. We start quickly and accurately developing solutions given the parameters to find a solution.
There's also something very tactile about typing on a keyboard to develop the solution and seeing the results on screen. I don't feel that same joy attempting to use an iPad or tablet to do work. I need the sound of those keys.
I'm not saving lives here, but I'm making them better and making people more productive. Which can in some cases improve the quality of life.