I think this is pretty fantastic. And scary in a way. In fact I have been thinking something along those lines for a while, just was never able to clearly articulate it.

I guess it just confirms the fact that nothing happens by itself and that sometimes we are "so busy doing our job, we forget to do our job" - in a larger sense, anyway...

I guess it all comes down to this - why have you chosen to be a developer? What does it mean for you to be one? Sure, our direct responsibility is to write code, get it to a good quality and ship it. The very feeling that you have helped someone is pretty powerful as of itself, but the reality is, there needs to be more to this. Eventually every person needs to ask themselves this very selfish question "what's in it for me?". 

And that is a totally valid question to ask - sometimes work can be tedious, exhausting and demanding, so there must be a rewarding part somewhere. And I'm not talking about a delayed gratification of shipping - no-one ships once a month, so there should be something that keeps you going. The mere "I just like writing code" almost never covers all of it. There's always more to it. You may like to learn new things, to work in a certain environment, to earn certain income, to gain recognition  ... or all of the above. But it is important that everyone understands what it is that is really driving them and if there is anything that is driving them - otherwise they may find it very hard to go that extra mile we all have to go every now and then.

And it's trivial, but sometimes we loose it somehow - a career is not something that just happens to you all by itself, even if you work for a major company and steadily climb the ladder. More importantly, career is not something objective - of two people doing the same job, one can be deliriously happy and the other quite miserable.

I suppose, while I'm on the topic, I should probably say what it means to me. I completely agree with Eric there - it's all about "cluefullness" for me. I need to know that I have learned more, that I have a broader and deeper view of the world. Why does it matter to me that the CLR custom attributes are a little funny? That you shouldn't be using DllMain in MC++ DLLs if the current release of CLR and why? I have no idea. It just does. It makes me high. It makes me feel empowered... and of course, it also helps me with my everyday work.

 

PS It goes without saying... but let me say this anyway:

The content of this site are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway. In addition, my thoughts and opinions often change, and as a weblog is intended to provide a semi-permanent point in time snapshot you should not consider out of date posts to reflect my current thoughts and opinions.