Thursday, January 27, 2005

Techie or Manager

I drove into work the other day listening to meditative incantations. As I drove, I tried to see the world as a child. Water-towers became docked space ships and streetlights become uni-podded aliens attempting to disintegrate me. Beside the fact that I am weird, why would I do this? No I didn't smoke anything. Its an exercise I like to do when I am doing software design. I like to keep imaginitive, and open. This is important because software is soft. Software developers create thier own realities. Maybe a little insanity is good for those whose create alternate realities.
Anyway, I arrived at work, mentally prepared, but not for what was waiting for me. A note summons me to my bosses office - kind of formal and all. I immediately itemized all my misdeeds of the past week or so. Nothing that I couldn't defend, or so I thought. Well to cut to the chase, I was promoted, to Lead Software Engineer.
My heart sank. To begin with, my mentor, leader, and collaborator of 6 years was moving on. He was the interpersonal hub and arbitrator between the disparate elements of the project. He also had to do all the crappy admin stuff. He never really got to do much software design or code. I sort of led the software design and coding efforts as one of the project's Alpha Geeks.
As I thought about it I realized that I really had it made. I get to play with computers for a living. I get to devise, conceptualize and realize. I don't wanna be no manager. I am already living my dream. So I said 'No'. I told my manager that developing software is my passion and I meant it. You can't argue with that. I also mentioned that she could count on me while transitioning in a new Lead.
My heart rose like the mid-day sun.
I had made the right choice.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

hello, world!

So what do I have to say that hasn't been said before? Well I guess I am searching for something that seems real but doesn't exist. Its interesting to hear software developers talk about languages and design methodologies, because it ain't real. Its all abstraction. One thing all developers have is the ability to work with newly created layers of reality. I remember when "too abstract" was a problem. Now I say, "yeah ain't it cool." Mathematicians have searched for meaning in the digits of PI. Physicists have searched for answers about the fabric of reality in quantum theory. Programmers also find the fabric of reality in code. So what happens when abstraction gets a hold of us. We look deeply into the machine and see not ones and zeros but a mystery. A mystery that we will try to solve but never will, because its only real in our minds.