Graffiti in the clouds
Over the past few years (the period of blog dormancy) I have spent time perfecting my art. A transition that started back at Company type 2 … has taken leaps forward. I have made impossible things work, and charted courses through the wilderness with a machete’ and a canteen. All in all, it has been a good three years for growth. It is kind of funny, though. On my 41st birthday, I found that I felt a decade older. Dedication has been matched with disregard, and sometimes derision. And so I have wanted to write so many things, and I have tried to figure out where I feel technology may be headed, and what I can do. And I have measured where I am, and thought back to what kind of contribution I thought I’d be making at this point in my life. And this… this is not it.
I should begin by saying, I never quite expected to actually be writing software for a living. Of the various things I imagined I would be doing (activist lawyer, musician, writer, and weighty list of others…) … this wasn’t it. Don’t get me wrong, I have been a technologist since an early age… I grok computers, and software. At the approximate age of 12, my parents’ wisdom landed a Commodore 64 in my hands. I see software as an art form, unto itself. If there’s one thing my Political Science degree has taught me, its that there is no one path to where you want to get to. But I never expected to specifically be here.
That being said, as time has gone on, various recruiters from my past have checked in with me. “I’ve got this thing working for the banks, XYZ hourly..”, etc… “This insurance company is hiring techs with your varied experience…” and so on.. It is nice to have such an eclectic and “jack of all” portfolio to draw such attention, but, I while I have been growing silently (and sometimes not so silently) disatisfied over the past 18 months, I still kinda had to say “no”. Same shit, different company. I have the gig where I can put in overtime, build beyond expectations, and get little but a pat on the back in return. I work there already. One recruiter, though, said: “So, Dave. What is it that you ARE looking for?”
That’s a fair question. I wish I had the reply I have now, I thought about it, and simply said “Something with purpose. I’ll know it when I see it”. And he said “Well, that’s hard to put as a search parameter in the database …” Take as an aside, perhaps that’s a working project for some forward thinking HR+technologist. Why the hell can’t we add purpose and drive to rest of the recruiting parameters? You see, all work is a trade-off. You trade time (life force) for money. And, almost 100% of the time, you wind up short in the exchange. But we have to eat. And we have to put a roof over our heads, and the heads of those we love, and hold dear. It’s a sacrifice we make. But, while I’m making that sacrifice, I simply want it to mean something. Something more than 40 hrs = $X. Cause those are 40 real hours of my life that I will never have back. At the end of the day, it ought to mean something.
So, the “reply I have now” is this. The conversation has gone, at this point, like this.
Recruiter: So, what is it you DO want?
Dave: I want to write all over the clouds with sharpie.
Dave: I want to leave meteor size failure craters in the earth. I want to fail at big things, until finally, I don’t. I want to write all over the clouds with sharpie, and then see the fireworks.
Yeah, probably not much more help. But that’s what I want. Any takers?