I was thinking about what my dream job would be today, and it occurred to me that I have already figured out my dream job, and how to get it. I have it, in fact. I just haven’t figured out how to actually get paid for it.
See, I have always liked to help people. Never doing well in school, though, ruled out a whole list of options. However, one thing I have always enjoyed is programming.
I wonder how I ended up helping out in #symfony? It seems I made up my own dream job.
So, having your dream job is great, but not being paid to do it, well, that’s not going to work. I have a family to take care of, and they have this unfortunate habit of eating.
So — it’s a work in progress. I suppose that’s pretty much like everything else we do, no?
There’s so much about programming that is incredibly satisfying and empowering. But it doesn’t change the fact that, for me, programming builds an acutely negative mindset over time. I’m always asking the question “what’s wrong with this?” Positive people are always focusing on “what’s good about this?”
As soon as I saw it, I immediately sent the following back to him:
@jcarouth@recborg It’s all about how you phrase it internally. For me, it’s less about how I messed it up, and more how I can fix it.
We can’t spend our lives mired in depression by seeing everything we do as imperfect. Nothing is perfect. Especially with our “programmer’s eyes” for technical detail, we will almost never achieve a level of quality that we would consider perfect. In fact, I would be worried if we did achieve perfection with any regularity.
Instead, if you start to feel the same way as Myles did, take a step back, and a deep breath. Stop looking at your code base, and start looking at your usage metrics. Look at all of the people using your code. Deriving value from your code. Improving their lives because of your code. If you don’t have access to that information, ask for it! Validate that your “bug-riddled mess” is actually helping people do something they want (or need) to do. Seeing this will help fuel your creativity, and drive you to provide ever better solutions.
Take some time to connect to your users. They are your best defense against the negative subtext that we operate in. View your work through their eyes, and see how they derive value from it. It’s a powerful thing, knowing you are improving someone else’s life — and we get to do it every single day. How lucky are we?
Now, this is great for all of us Symfony developers, but it’s also a good thing for php developers in general.
If you’re a Symfony developer already, you know what you’re interested in there, so I’m going to focus on what non-symfony developers can get out of this treasure trove. Also, these videos are also available in French through the talks section.
Richard Miller gave a talk on what you get from a full stack framework. I haven’t watch this, as I have already drank that particular kool-aid, but if you haven’t made the leap yet, I’m sure he presents some compelling arguments. If, after it, you’re still not sold on full stack frameworks, just wait until Dustin Whittle’s Silex talk from San Francisco is up. It will blow. Your. Mind.
I wanted to write a quick note about one of the ways that I stay up to date with things: podcasts.
They’re great for anyone who commutes, and the rest of you can surely find some time to fit them in somewhere. Even if you can only track one or two.
A lot of the podcasts I listen to aren’t specifically web development or even PHP related, but that is on purpose. I have Twitter and RSS feeds, as well as IRC for keeping up with more directly related topics. I’ll detail those later.
The Critical Path — A podcast by Horace Dediu about the theory and practice of disruption, and jobs to be done theory. It has an Apple centric overture, but it uses Apple as an example to build a lesson from.
Freakonomics — Always interesting(ish) topics, to keep the brain going.
Back to Work — This could also go into Education, but I find the duo of Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin to be quite comedic, and even enjoy listening to their “commercial breaks”.