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Turns Out I'm Not Doing my Job Very Well aka Sucks To Be Me

Soooooo anyway I had the day off today and you know what they say - the devil makes work for idle hands. And boy did that devil dude really go to town on me. Earlier this morning I came across a tweet. The sort of tweet that I like. A highly polarising tweet that makes geeks stand up and cheer and makes everyone else feel like we are laughing at them. Anyway heres the tweet,

"pragmaticpat: adults are "pro homework" for children, yet frequently do not study their craft outside of m-f, 9-5 #leadbyexample ?"

So anyway I thought, as I was waiting in the car for the wife to finishing shopping or whatever she was doing at the time, I would throw this tweet up to our Yammer community and stir up a bit of debate. Things got a bit heated, more than even I would have liked. In fact I think I offended people1.

Lets say just I am beyond passionate about my job almost obsessively so in some respects. Being that type of person I often expect everyone else to be just like me and therefore measure people against what I do. I also tend to make statements as if there were 2 types of people in the world. People like me, who go home and do a bit of extra work/research and people who do their 9-5 allocated work and don't care about anything. But hey there's a twist here - I'm not actually stupid - I know the world isn't black and white, us and them, all or nothing. I'm also not as horribly snobby or elitist as I make out (I am a bit but thats just the nature of a technology fanboy - defensive about their passions - suck it).

Anyways enough of the woe is me schtick, it's boring. I just want to say that I understand there are people out there who do their 9-5 and go home and actually have a life beyond the keyboard. I was never implying people need to work 24/7 or they are coasting. I realise I have a bit of a reputation of being an elitist uber-geek and therefore many people may have assumed that was what I was getting at. However I know that in the 9-5 block a lot of people are contributing more that just their time to a single project and are going out of their way to do something decent rather than mediocre. I'm happy for someone to say "I'm happy with were I am" - hell I am sure they've worked hard to get were they are so why not? What I'm not happy with is someone who expect the same kudos as people who go above and beyond just because they show their face everyday. When I retweeted that tweet and even went as far as yamming it I was stating an opinion, an opinion that wasn't directed at any particular people or any particular company for that matter, it was just a blanket statement.

On a similar note I've had the pleasure of seeing plenty of CV's over the last few years as well as interviewing people and I must say the industry has it's fair share of people who are guru's on paper but ask them a question about something that they haven't encountered due to work on a project and they are flummoxed. It's a sad state of affairs to get into that shape. It's a bit like a morbidly obese fitness instructor - they can do their job but neglected to look after themselves - who would want to hire that sort of person? Not many people I'd bet.

So yeah I accept that there are many different types of people. People who want to better the industry as well as themselves. People who want to better themselves and the company they work for. People who just want to better themselves. People who just want to do a super job with the role they are given and finally people who just want to get by2. But I refuse to accept that everyone should be treated equally in all respects and as long as people can respect that then we can all get along.

So whats the point of all this? I know I have high standards but I also need to learn that not everyone wants the same thing out of life. Or more to the point that other people actually HAVE a life outside of IT. In the past I've had shed loads of opportunity to shine, but I've also been on some long boring pressured projects so I need to realise other people are going through that too. I need to be a bit smarter about this. It's even part of my job description to mentor others so I suck at my job (hence the title). Perhaps I should pull my finger out and ensure people are given opportunities to shine? Yeah thats sounds about right….

1 For what it's worth I wasn't asked, request or ordered to write this. As always I am doing this for my own reasons.

2 I'm sure you could break it down more.

Published in Craftsmanship on May 25, 2011