How to act like you (maybe actually) care about your work

At Symfony Live San Francisco 2012, I gave a little talk. No, really. A little talk. Seven minutes. I’m not even sure I used all of it. That’s not a lot of time, but I think I managed to at least provoke some thinking. At least I hope I did.

Hmm. How do you act like you care about your work, as a developer?

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What if you’re actually terrible at what your real job is?

So this may be very Merlin Man (site, twitter, podcast1, podcast2, and podcast3) inspired, but I have to ask it, just for everyone’s sanity: What if you’re actually terrible at what your real job is?

Let’s say you’re hired to build websites. sure. You’re hired to build websites. But as Horace Dediu (podcast)  points out, a lot of what we need to look at is the “Jobs to Be Done” and when you look at it in that perspective, your Job to Be Done is really to solve their communication issue.

That’s right. You’re not building a website, but communicating information. Be it “This is good” or “That is bad”, or just “Buy this widget”, the job you are doing for your employer is helping them to disseminate information.

If you get up every day, build exactly what they tell you to build, exactly the way they say, there’s two very, very real possibilities of what is happening:

  1. You’re viewed as nothing more than a production worker
  2. You’re terrible at actually solving the problems given to you, and thus become #1

Sure. You have to be able to make things pretty to be a designer, and you have to be able to code to be a programmer, but you have to be able to problem solve to be effective at either.

So, what do you do if you decide you’re terrible at your job?

Get better.

Keeping pace

Alright, I understand that in order to keep people checking back regularly, I have to post regularly.

I get that.

I really do!

Sometimes, though, life just takes over. I’m working on making that better.

To that end: Did anyone else attend the Day Camp 4 Developers session last weekend? If not, you missed a real riot. The speakers were excellent, and the crowd in IRC was just awesome.

It’s “symfony” not “Symfony”. Whoops.

Apparently I have been misusing the symfony name. It is “symfony” not “Symfony”, not “Symfony 1”, just “symfony”. I recently went through a slideshow by Kris Wallsmith. Ten of the first thirteen slides are dedicated to this. Anyone else find that oddly statistically significant?

I am terribly sorry, I beg forgiveness, please let me keep my fingers!

Ok, that’s over. Phew. 🙂