A Truly Humbling Experience

Posted on November 12, 2007 @ 07:39 journal school

I know that I’m a junior developer. (Really I do!) I’m always going to be a junior developer, because of one thing. I don’t care how good others are or how I rank up next to them. I’m always going to judge myself as junior compared to how good I can be. Dude, I couldn’t care less how “good” I’m supposed to be at my age. There’s always going to be someone faster, smarter, and better looking then me, and I’m cool with that.

Last week’s experience at the “Nothin But .NET Boot Camp” was humbling. Why? Because I realized that my life is pretty darn good.

There are people who have faced so much more adversity then I will probably ever face, and wake up every morning enjoying life. This year I’ve been allowing myself to play the role of “please feel sorry for me, my life is so hard and I’m not sure I can make it.” Last week, I realized that I need to smarten the heck up. My life is pretty good! The day to day battle with money, are trivial in the long run. I have a beautiful wife and daughter who love me dearly. How hard could my life possibly be?

“Success it not to be measured by one’s status in society, but rather by the obstacles one over comes.” - Booker T. Washington

Software development has taken over my life. It really has, I live, breathe, eat, and sleep thinking about patterns and curly braces. I hold my daughter in my arms as I’m rocking her to sleep thinking about code, and I feel guilty about doing it. Why is it that when my wife is talking to me about things that happened to her during the day, I’m drifting off thinking about how I need to be on the computer hammering out an idea for a block of code? Dude, I suck!

When I picture success…

  • I picture myself sitting on pillows next to a warm fire with my wife staring me lovingly in the eyes. With our two healthy kids upstairs sleeping. Knowing that at that very moment, we had the freedom to do anything we wanted to do. That doesn’t mean that we would, it’s just the feeling of knowing that you could.

  • I picture myself sitting on a rocking chair on our porch out on a hot summers day reading biographies of great people. Knowing that if at any moment my wife, children or grand children needed me, that I could be there for them in less than a second.

So if this is my picture of success, why am I not fully present when I’m with my family. Why am I consumed by code?

Software development was a means to an end. But it’s becoming an end to what was meaningful. Coming home on Saturday to my wife and daughter brought me a lot of joy. After not having seen them for most of the week, it helped me realized how much I love and care for them and helped me remember why it is that I’m buried deep in books, and why I care so much about my craft of software development.