In a Former Life
November 16, 2008
I’m writing about professional maturity, being short-sighted and accomplishment obsession.
I’ve been looking back at a few of my professional endeavors from the early part of my career and blushing.
I could have saved tons of time and had more success with knowledge that I have now. Thankfully, this applies to everyone.
This is a tough pill to swallow. At the end of college I was much more of a technodiva than I’d like to admit. I remember thinking projects were rubbish because they weren’t built on free software. I remember being a Standardista. It is not the way to go. I was “right” and everyone else was wrong. I’ve realized a great project is one that accomplishes its goals for a long period of time ethically and legally. Just because it doesn’t pass W3C XHTML Strict 1.0 doesn’t mean it’s rubbish.
Accomplishment Obsession & Short Sightedness
I was so eager to get things “out the door” that I’d completely neglect anyone else who would ever touch the project. In a lot of cases, the project rush was handed down from the employer, but most of the time it was just being selfish. I left a few messes (doesn’t everyone?) but I think karmically I have paid for it. Now I’m a documentation advocate – I look at every project I can with the mindset that one day, someone else will have to be using this creation. How can I make their life easier?
I think I never would have had this ‘awakening’ if I still worked in web development. The community has a tendency to turn every possible debate into a holy war. Looking at things from the sysadmin realm, galvanization still happens but it’s not as bad as the web. Why, though? My guess is because the web is much more young than project management and system administration.