John P. over at personalwireless.org
has an interesting piece which talks a bit about missing the
general excitement in working in the IT industry.
Its actually something I think about often, but often dwelling on such
thoughts will surface new ideas. This is what I came up with:
Maybe it is because now it is a JOB, where you have to make MONEY doing it,
which often means doing what others want instead of doing what you want. I
think if you were to quit your job, take a month off, away from technology
entirely, preferably on sandy beaches some place, then you could find your
“buzz”. I just call it the love. Some computer folks have the love,
and others just do it because it is a job. Unforntunately sometimes those
of us with the love loose the love when our jobs slowly derail us from the
things we really love.
The environment is definitely still there, its just that jobs in that
environment are not high paying. Jobs supporting hobbyists are often not
high paying. You could make a living at it, but it would not be the same
kind of salary as working corporate IT. Corporate IT and even Corporate
systems programming does typically not involve fun with “cheap 3D video cards,
commodity parts, and the malleability of most open source projects”.
Instead, most businesses buy Dell, HP or IBM for their desktops and replace
entire PCs, not components, when something goes wrong. Most businesses
don’t have the time or money it takes to pay an administrator or programmer to
deal with open source anything unless a business case can be made, and even then
in many environments there is an illogical fear of the lack of accountability
that comes with using open source software.
This is the 4th Grade/Office Space career test. If you had one million
dollars, then what would you do? Lets update the question, because one
million just isn’t that much these days, so instead lets say, if you had one
billion dollars, what would you do? Not with the money, with
yourself. What would you do? I certainly wouldn’t be working this
job. I’d probably take some time off and reaccess myself. But I know
myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t leave the computer world. I’d
probably start a software company and practice all the things that I love.
I’d practice good software engineering and use open source. I’d sell
software product, services, and support. I’d hire young programmers and
shape them into great software engineers. We would score very high on the
Now the point of the exercise is that this is what I’m supposed to do NOW,
even without one billion dollars. Quite frankly, I don’t have the
guts. An unfortunately working in this life sucking cube all day just
makes me more bitter and more disgusted with the computing world that it is
possible that when or if I do decide to make the jump and try my hand at
starting a software company, I’ll fail. I’ll fail for all the reasons I
would have failed anyway, but I will also fail, and maybe faster, because I
carried with me something which I should not have. I lost the love by
working the life sucking cube for too long. This is my ultimate
fear. The only solution is to quit my job and start now, but fear tells me
that I won’t make mortgage payments and that beans and rice aren’t as fun as
going out with friends on the weekend. I need to be strong and make the
If you could do anything you want, what would you do?