October 15, 2007
I distinctly remember the tribulations my father went through in his career. He worked hard to achieve an MBA from a prestigious business school. The degree opened up many opportunities for him, but I don't think he ever found exactly what he was looking for. We moved throughout my childhood, travelling from job to job, never staying in one place for more than a year or so. I'm not sure he ever found work that satisfied him, even to this day. Copies of What Color is Your Parachute were staples in our household.
It can take a long time to figure out what you want out of your work life.
Like my Dad, I spent many years after college flitting from job to job. I had nothing to complain about. I was making a great living. I was never on the market for particularly long before some new opportunity would come up. I enjoyed my work. But I wasn't choosing a career path. I was letting happenstance determine what I was, and what I was becoming.
At some point in your career, you have to stop floating through life like the symbolic feather in Forrest Gump.
Unfortunately, I don't think my father ever figured out what he loved to do. He never determined the color of his parachute. But I got lucky. A few years ago I realized that what I loved to do, what I really loved to do more than anything else, was write software and fool around with computers. Seems obvious, I know, but you have the advantage of not being me. Self-awareness is a perplexingly difficult thing from here on the inside.
Life is too short to stay at a job where you're not doing the things you want to do, where you're not enjoying yourself. And yet here I was, a guy hopelessly in love with all things computer and software, working at a company where where software was considered a byproduct, a cost center, a necessary evil:
A close friend of mine works for a company that has experienced a mass exodus of developers. The best left first, the mid-range followed. What's left are the people who clock in 9 to 5 for the paycheck and don't take pride in what they're building. The company now has what they asked for: a team of low-level code jockeys. The people with initiative, energy, and passion have left.
Enterprises that consider developers "commodities and low level craftsmen" are doomed to have (at best) average developers working for them.
To be fair, it was post-bubble, and jobs were hard to come by. The work was interesting, but it was abundantly clear that software was not the lifeblood of this organization. Outsourcing was in the air. Although my coworkers were competent, nobody was quite as obsessed with the software as I was. My passion for software, and everything around it, was clearly not shared.
I set out to change that. Companies would no longer be able to select me from a generic lineup of candidates. Instead, I would select companies. Companies that I respected, companies that shared my passion for software. Armed with thirty years of hindsight, I would no longer let random, chance opportunities determine my career path. I will choose where I want to work.
In a recent article, Joel Spolsky describes the guiding philosophy behind his software company:
Frankly, the main reason I had to start this company was to have fun at work. Working at Fog Creek is intentionally designed to be pleasant. We started the business because we wanted a great place to work, to spend our daylight hours. And we have a disturbing tendency to try to do a lot of things ourselves, especially if it's going to be fun or if we think we can do a better job. It takes us a little longer that way, but I figure the journey is the reward.
That's exactly why I chose to work at Vertigo Software. We have the same philosophy. At Vertigo, I'm surrounded by incredibly talented software engineers who are all passionate about software. And dammit, we have fun.
If you love software as much as I do, you deserve to work at a company where people come to work not to punch a clock, but because they love software, too. You deserve to work at a company where software engineering is respected. You deserve to work at a company where peers meet to enjoy building software together.*
We're in the middle of a huge tech boom; some might even call it another bubble. Opportunities abound.
Choose wisely. And remember, this stuff is supposed to be fun.
* did I mention that we're hiring?
Posted by Jeff Atwood
I've changed 3 jobs during last 1.5 year, after my retirement from Military Forces to do software development with pleasure.
Here, in Ukraine, there is only outsourcing and outstaffing.
It is very hard, to find fun in the "out*".
But I try. I try.
Most often people settle for what they have. The job itself doesn't matter as long as they don't have to worry about it and they get their paycheck. I think that's the general idea and that's why it's still so hard to do things the way you like rather than doing things the way that's financially more benefitical.
And how, exactly, do we find these kinds of jobs? In my 28 years experience, it has always been hit-or-miss. Do you have any suggestions for how to find employers like this?
Wait a minute... there's people who actually like their jobs? ;)
As the song says:
"But I stiiiiiill... haven't fooooound... what I'm looking foooooor"
And what am I looking for?
Yay! Dyslexic solidarity! March with me in the Dyslexic pride parade!
Spellcheckers are wonderful, but they can not fix vary vs very.
I wish I could work at Vertigo too. :D
Damn, you lucky bastard :-)
I think there is a small minority that actually enjoy their work. Another group that hate their jobs. And the largest group is satisfied enough with their job. It doesn't have to be the best job. But it does allow them to enjoy their life outside of work. I came from a single parent house and life wasn't a lot of fun. You do what you have to do. But now I have my own family and while I love my job I enjoy being able to take care of my family even more.
It's not the bad old days for me, where I used to work crazy hours for little pay just to prove myself worthy. I've proved myself. And the one thing I learned is I'm not wasting anytime in doing the things I want.
Any suggestions for a third year (of bachelor) for computer engineering student from a tech school?
I'm thinking more of an apprentice/internship type thing, to learn the ropes and get experiance with working with a team.
I'm dedicated, disciplined, determined, and diligent. Very bright, top of the class material with a decent gpa and working knowlege of linux programing, plus experiance with many languages and paradigms. Good communication skills, lots of hardware knowlege and a very holistic view of modern computers (asembly and up, sysadmin, webdesign etc).
I'd love to get into something to do with computer games, but anything interesting would be good, and I'm interested in almost everything.
What are my prospects?
apeinago, not too good if you can't spell experience..
Wow what a great place you work in! I'm a Java guy though! :-)
Unfortunately here in Italy it seems that most industries which make software make it by accident and consider it a cost; thus they mostly get the 9-5 workers plus a little coding lovers who simply have nowhere else to go :-(
But I'm happy to hear that such places as yours exist somewhere in the universe :-)
I should add in dyslexic then.
I don't want to work with people who can't look past what I would consider such a superficial and non-indicative trait. ;)
While a lot can be said about spelling, and how it has a bearing on why people think certain ways about other people; I find far too many statistics are blind to the anomalies that lie outside of the expected range. Just because most people who can't spell are lacking something, doesn't mean ALL of them lack that something.
There ARE brilliant people who simply can't spell, their brains not wired up to process words in the same way as others. It is a reoccurring problem in my own life, but in a strange way it also is a solution. I can read quite fast, upside down, and backwards without problem, sacrificing handwriting and spelling as a result of the skewed way my brain processes things.
Is it a sin to not be able to spell well? If my thoughts can come across clearly, with full sentences and without misunderstanding, are they any less valid due to it being a few letters off? Because I can't spell one or more complicated words, I am instantly discounted, discredited, and cast off as easily as a babbling idiot... aT LeST I aiNT WRiTeN LieK DiS! fur reals.
Is there some reliable metric, some percentage of misspelled words that so finely correlates to one's abilities, that we, as a culture, instantly jump to such harsh conclusions?
Just because someone is tone-deaf doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t make good music. Mozart was deaf, but he is considered one of the greatest classical composers. Just because someone lacks in spelling, doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t make good thoughts.
Wow. This article came to me at the tail end of one those life-altering decisions when I came to the realization that I was either going to have to sell my home or leave this low-paying code-monkey job for a higher-paying one that I'll probably not enjoy nearly as much.
I'm faced with the prospect of EITHER selling a home I love or leaving a job I love, because I just can't make ends meet, anymore.
I really envy you. A lot.
apeinago, I agree completely with you. Just a little correction: it was Beethoven who was deaf.
Jeff, congrats for your blog. I really enjoy reading your daily posts!
thats right, sorry, just finished watching amadeus, he died a disease, not became deaf from one.
Deaf and tone-deaf are two different things. Beethoven became deaf, but he was certainly not tone-deaf.
but my first thought when I read the title was, "He's going to Microsoft."
It is unlikely that I would ever work for Microsoft. I respect the mothership, but I also like to keep my distance and perspective.
Do you have any suggestions for how to find employers like this?
What's your favorite software? What companies make hardware products that you use? Whose blogs / websites / books do you read? Who were your greatest influences? These are sources for great places to work. You might also try looking up a directory of software companies in your area, and then checking out the websites for each company to get a sense of their corporate style and sensibilities.
Researching and selecting a company *you* want to work for is definitely more work than picking a number from a menu that some headhunter lays out in front of you. But it's also a hundred times more rewarding.
In the worst case scenario, you'll have to do what Joel did: start your own software company.
I bet you guys are they ones who ate my cake aren't you? You totally ate it even though the voices told you to stop. I hate you.
"You deserve to work at a company where software engineering is respected."
Hey Now Jeff,
This was great to read first thing this morning. I agree with you I really enjoy the environment I work in too.
Coding Horror Fan,
I may have to look you guys up in a year or so when I've got enough .NET experience. Not sure I'll be able to get used to playing xbox 360 on such a small TV though... ;)
I grew up in a small town where there are two types of people - those that stay and focus on family; and those that leave looking for something more. I have my 6 figure salary enjoying the 60 hours I spend at "work" and loving every minute of the more intense (but shorter) time with my fiance. While for them, as long as they get paid they can get onto the good life after work.
Honestly, I can't condemn them for finding a different path. I don't get how anyone could spend so much of their life doing something that they don't really care about. But they're happy and that's what it's all about right?
On the other hand those that are not passionate about work or passionate about !work are truly people to pity.
I totally agree. I truly do love software, but I don't necessarily have to love the job where I create software. But, I like it enough to be mostly satisfied. I think that if you really like what you do, you'll eventually start your own company either building a product or offering a service. It's pretty scary, but definitely worth the risk. BTW, Vertigo was a great place to work, you must've started after I left.
I'd love to work at Vertigo, even considered applying last time I was looking for a job but I live in Toronto Canada. I'm not ready to move and less likely to get hired but would love to find a company that is as fun to work at as Vertigo.
Well Jeff, if you ever need a Toronto office, give me a call. You have an avid following here who would be keen to start one :D
PS. - IT'S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME!!
People focus on spelling mistakes because they are indicative of a sloppy careless approach. Whilst I agree that Dyslexia is a valid excuse and indeed an issue that should be taken into account to some degree, the readers of your thoughts are not aware of this issue and judge upon what they read. In everything that you write you must take care to go back over it with a fine tooth comb to rectify any mistakes. If some get through and people pick up on them then learn from it and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
In Software development terms spelling mistakes indicate the coder is sloppy and they can’t be bothered to revisit and improve their original solution. Its ok to hack out a solution or to write out a stream of consciousness just to get it down on paper but you must factor out mistakes as your understanding of the problem or comment increases.
If you leave in spelling mistakes no one will take you seriously and you will end up in a mediocre company as the best guy in the room – believe me this is a place you don’t want to be. You need to be in a company where you are the dumbest guy in the room.
You seem like you have the aptitude and passion to work in software development so my advice would be to seek out the companies you really want to work for. Apply to them line up about 9 or 10 interviews with your least favourite companies first leading up to your most favoured companies. These interviews you will mess up so learn from them and by the 8th or 9th interview you will be in the zone. From this approach you will get the job you want.
Good article Jeff, I have just found my dream job where i am definitely the dumbest guy in the room ;-) and they respect software development.
how fitting for todays Dilbert to be somewhat related to office feel goodness?
At my job things are mostly great, we don't get a XBOX, or any kind of games but;
- flexible work hours
- free snacks, drinks, and food (breakfast/lunch/dinner)
- we get to order our own hardware (most have at least 2 monitors)
- we get any software we want
- Herman Miller chairs
I tru;y enjoy doing what I do, and wouldn't change it for anything short of being a multi-millionaire living in the Carribean.
At my last job, software basically drove 1/2 of the companies revenue, easy.
But we were treated like sweatshop employees. Oh -- you have to dress nice, but we'll buy you crappy chairs, give you refurbished machines, put you in a windowless, overbright cube farm with falling apart cubes, and generally tuck you back into a hell hole while everyone up front gets nice offices.
The place I am at now is much better ... while Vertigo sounds much more fun, this is still a pretty great place. It's strange (and hard) getting back on the 'real dev' track after being on a grinding treadmill for a year.
It sounded to me like you were setting up an announcement that you were moving to another job, say, at Microsoft. Not sure if you were intending to mimick the tone of some other recent blog entries by some newly-minted blue badges or not, but my first thought when I read the title was, "He's going to Microsoft."
I have had a love affair with software for a few decades. What better world to play in - all day math/logic puzzles. HOwever, I have worked in far too many places where I (software) was a cost center or an inconvenient truth (Sorry Al, we were that first).
It took my last layoff (on 06/06/06 no less) to put me where I need to be - an independent contractor. It scares me not to have a guaranteed paycheck but where I go people want me to be there and appreciate what I do for them. After a couple decades of being "one of those" - this is nice.
Any of you developers want to feel what it is like to be a commodity - Join a Taylor company - odds are there is one near you.
Instead of those 60 hours at work which you merely "enjoy", wouldn't you rather spend more time with your fiance? If so, are you sure you enjoy your time at work? It seems to me that if it gets in the way of better things, it's not something to be happy with.
So it's a compromise. It's "good enough". Personally, I don't like to strive or be happy with a compromise, because it is per definition not what I want. On the other hand, it's impossible for everyone to get what they want.
So I guess my point is, all people are truly people to pity. Perhaps it'd be a good thing to stop creating new people. Ah well, here's me again, bringing love and happiness to the Internet.
I'm one of those jerks who gets to work at home most of the time so I really can't complain about much of anything. Occasionally I have to travel out of state for long periods of time, but recently travel has been few and far between and I'd almost welcome another extended engagement.
This article could not have come at a more important time in my life. I recently switched work groups in my organization. Now, instead of being one of those people that show up to work because I have to, I will be able to persue my career dreams. I will be testing applications for security vulnerabilities instead of mindlessly coding what other people tell me, even though their design is flawed, the usefulness of the app is minimal, and the time spent is great.
Thanks so much for this article. As I said earlier, it could not have come at a better time.
Not sure if I'm lucky, but my internships and job offers right out of school fit into the sort of good end goal you're talking about.
Maybe it's because I never even bothered to apply at large companies, despite the slightly higher pay offered, or maybe I just got lucky. But I know my parents set a strong example for me that working at something you love or can at least be proud of is worth more than your paycheck.
I don't know, until I just plain can't find a job anywhere else, I will always be interviewing companies as much as they are interviewing me. And if that fails, my old summer construction experience can at least keep me fed.
Oh if only I worked for a company that loves software, instead of the government, who, as you so aptly put it, views software as the necessary evil. It seems that most civilians working for the government are only here to collect a paycheck. I have the fortune(sometimes misfortune) to work with my brother, who is one of those paycheck-collectors. Several times when he's seen me upset about some new asinine decision to pervert and destroy something that I created, he's looked at me and said "stop complaining, you're getting paid, aren't you?" I've always looked at him like he was crazy. Is that what life is about, throwing away 40 hours a week of my life in return for a paycheck that I can spend on what little time I have left? I don't think so, and I never have. Do what you love, even if you have to live in rags to do it, because all the money in the world isn't going to help you get over the fact that you just retired from 30 years in a job where you accomplished NOTHING of any substantial personal value because you only wanted your paycheck.
Lucky for me, software development pays really well ;)
I've often had people tell me I should just go with the flow, accept decisions from above me because they are from above me, dress differently because I should 'dress for the job I want, not the job I have.' My response is that even management can be wrong, and if I have to wear a suit to work, I've screwed up somewhere.
I suppose at some point I'll have to move on to something better for me, but for now I kind of enjoy the fight to bring innovation to a decaying organization. I feel great after a day of meetings and bludgeoning people with what I call my "Warhammer of Logic."
I've realised that I am probably the "best guy in the room" at my current company. This is a major problem as I'm actually not the brightest spark (see my question below).
Can someone please tell me the meaning behind the book title/question "What color is your parachute?"
After many years of thinking about it I take it to have an ironic meaning: If the parachute saves your life, who gives a flying %$^#$ what color it is. So, relating it back to job hunting, if you have a job that makes you happy, who cares how much money it pays, what your friends think about it, what city etc. It makes YOU happy.
Am I right?
Great article. I think I'm hitting this point in my carreer where I am wanting to move on to greener pastures, to work with people that share the same passion I do about software and products. Only a couple of things are holding me back: family and not having the "5 years" under my belt.
Do you accept candidates from Brazil ? :)
because all the money in the world isn't going to help you get over the fact that you just retired from 30 years in a job where you accomplished NOTHING of any substantial personal value because you only wanted your paycheck
I have lived to this principle until now (I am closing in 40 years old). My family has grown and the financial requirements are such that I am considering ditching my "work for passion" principle in favor of a career driven one.
I have been managing people and I know this is what pays and would allow me to afford the 5 bedrooms house we need, and one that is not 1h30 commute away from work.
Even if abandoning programming seems the most rationale choice for me, this is tough as this is what I have been living for since I am 11 ;-)
What's the odds of Vertigo importing a developer from South Africa?
We work cheap :-P
If only it weren't a Microsoft shop, eh? :)
Amen. I have never enjoyed my work so much as I do at Apple. The career paths for software engineers and managers are equally rich.
Oh, sure. Come to the dark side. It will be fun.
After a quarter century of jobs, I can say I enjoyed it, but I question if any of it had all that much value. Most of the software I wrote or helped to write is on the trash pile. I admit to some bitterness over putting a lot of time and passion into a product ten years ago, only to see it dumped because it didn't fit the new management 'vision'. I became a 9-5er and invested my time in my family. I still don't see the point in putting 70-80 weeks into something that will be outdated in a year or two. Even companies my relatives put huge amounts of time building into big names are gone.
Enjoy what you do, but don't live to work, work to live.
I've had a number of jobs that I enjoy but something usually happens and I leave. I think it is the politics of business that does me in. By this time I've learned the political posturing of my fellow employees and especially the managers. I just don't want to play their game. I just do what I see is the right thing to do and trust that it will be recognized. This strategy is probably not the best, but it's all my temperament can handle. I will not get into battles over nothing I consider important. It's really upper management that won't see what is going on and rewards it.
For 8 years I coded delightly and endlessly, applications always growing up, reaching the sky, and one fine day, somebody came into the office and suddenly told: "What? This software is coded with an obsolete language!" (language was C++).
My boss, a dentist, looked at me, and his glance froze my heart. I started to say: "Obsolete? Of course not! Let me explain...!" But it was late. As in Dilbert comics, he had just made a decision. A team of programmers was hired and came to pull down 8 years of hard work, plus countless afterhours working. They earned more money than me in all my life.
Of course, I helped the team to pull it down, but something was also pulling down into my mind with the process, and after that I was "promoted" to something like "project management": phoning over there, and telling others to hurry up. Did you hear about Peter Principle? That's it. I leaved myself the company after 3 years of self destroyng my own applications, painful migrations, and endless phoning.
Now I'm not working, I live assuming my incompetence and, what is worst, I (almost) hate programming...
Sorry about the sad history, but the existence of failure is like starvation in other parts of the world: we prefer turning aside and only talk about good news.
Someone had to say it.
Remember, This Stuff Is Supposed To Be Fun
Ok, I grasp it. Bye bye ;-)
agree, I like to think of if as, everyone has a gift, something that they are good at and they enjoy it, but (no data to prove anything) that over 90% of the people go throughout life without ever knowing what was their gift, what the would've enjoyed; work takes about 30% of your time, it'd be nice if you truly enjoyed what you did
I think those of us who have found their gift are very lucky
"I have been working in this field for 16 years, and have recently come to the conclusion that in order to really enjoy doing this kind of work, I'm probably going to have to start something on my own."
In fact, that was the motivation for me as well. Been there done that, and even then there are issues:
The only thing I know in the end, at 48 years of age, and if you are married, “happy wife, happy life :-)
Have a good day and carpe diem maaaannnn!
I worked for just over a year at a great .Net dev shop where they really treated developers well (pool table, open bar fridge, coffee always hot and exotic, zero stress, zero deadline - one of the 4 directors was also a passionate coder), but quit to persue a position that would allow me to work from home for fewer days a week and more pay, working in ruby.
Now I've just resigned from the work at home position in order to begin thecodingcollective, basically taking the best of the distributed work model and finding the best people who are working independently. Your post is inspiring, I certainly do like getting my code boots on and it makes sense to invest your time into your own company (or at least one where you have a decent say in things).
My Parachute hasn't opened up yet! When it does I'll let you know what color it is. Still I enjoy my job and look forward to working with great people. Sometimes it's not the work but the people you work with.
Damn, i get depressed every time i read what is required for a nice job - i hope i get nice startup job after i finish uni where i can catch up on all the technology you need to survive out there but don't learn in school
So Jeff, should I quit Vertigo and go do what I love more than anything else, even though it is unrealistic, and I may go broke, but I'd be happy as a clam ; )
Although humanity should try to enjoy life, life itself is only temporary. I know you're thinking, how depressing but truthfully if you think about it deep enough, nothing matters. No matter how bad you think you may have it, ponder the thought that what you've done, are doing, or will do makes no difference ultimately. This doesn't mean give up and do what you want as there are laws to live by but it's still a fact. This realization once fully understood, can change your view on what's miserable vs acceptable.
Scott Adams on Multimonitor lifestyle:
If you get paid for what you love to do, it is a big luxury.
At points in time it's a luxury to see your wife and kids well provided for and happy, and if your job isn't too bad then life is pretty good.
I have been in this business for 25 years, and I think my favorite job will be opening up a juice bar, with healthy, tasty food, run by 18 year old nubile young women, while I fiddle around on my laptop at the corner table...
Graduate. Get hired. Grow according too your employer's needs. Drift away until you are no longer needed and passion turns into a remote dream. How can you expect to find your parachute when you've been free falling for so long?
I've reach the point where I open up great books like "the pragmatic programmer" and can't help but wonder if they're into some sort of cult. When I peruse over a good technical blog, I can't fail but wonder at all the time and passion that was sacrifed on the altar of technology. To what costs? I ask myself, do these crazy people come to afford to call everyone else "mediocre" and "average at bests"?
There's always a cost.
I wished that professional satisfacton would come with balance. I could place faith in a place that would take on perfectly mediocre individuals and, within that 40 hours constraint, invest in their potential. Forty hours is a lot of time to be doing a single thing. Fanatism may not be required if professional growth happens while you are working, which is pretty rare.
So, how extraordinary do we have to be in order to be happy at work?
Be the change you want to see in the world. If you don't like where you work, start your own company and do it your way. What does it take to start a software company:
1) A $1000 computer.
2) A $100 domain name and website
3) A comfy chair and a solid desk.
4) Mad skilz.
Really, can you think of another job where you can get started as easily on as little capital and run it all out of a quiet corner of your existing domicile? (Well, except for "Self Actualization Guru", and those guys are jokes). I turned my back on the J.O.B. almost 15 years ago and have never looked back. I keep my clients happy, they keep me happy and if something doesn't work out, we move on. I get to work the way I want to with nobody breathing down my neck and when things get boring, I go find another project to work on. It's a little like being the Sultan and the projects are my hareem. Diversity is stimulating.
"In the worst case scenario, you'll have to do what Joel did: start your own software company."
Wrong. That is the BEST case scenario. Just don't do it if you aren't self motivated. Actually, they are the best because when you don't keep your client happy, I will happily take over your project.
I've developed software for 30+ years (yes, even Fortran).
I learned a long time ago to interview the companies I interviewed with. My favorite part of the interview was when I was asked, "Do you have any questions?". I'd pull out my list and start.
I'm very good as what I do. I have studied and worked very hard to learn how to create the best software at the least cost (speed and quality).
I now own a business with with a couple of like minded individuals, and can't wait to go to work every day. We do have fun.
There are several steps here - that not everyone is lucky enough to pass:
1. Find your bliss.
2. Pray that you're good at what you love.
3. Pray that it is marketable - that people will pay for what you do.
Numbers 2 and 3 are not always guaranteed. Even if you love software and computers, you (a) may not be very good at it, or (b) you may fall in love with - and labor to learn - a technology that turns out to be a dead end, market-wise.
If Number 2 or 3 do not pan out - then your bliss is best pursued as a hobby rather than a money-making venture.
So I wouldn't be so fast to snark on those who seem not to have the "fire in the belly" about their careers. Many of them are probably skilled in something that doesn't earn a reliable wage, or realistic enough to know that they aren't good enough at what they love to make it.
People who get paid to do what they love are much rarer than portrayed on this (and similar) threads. They are in fact very lucky.
I agree with you Jeff, when companies do outsourcing they only want workers that can do the job. It doesnt matter if they are good or not, and if the quality of the resulting software is low, as long as they continue getting money.
People who get paid to do what they love are much rarer than portrayed on this (and similar) threads. They are in fact very lucky.
should I quit Vertigo and go do what I love more than anything else, even though it is unrealistic, and I may go broke, but I'd be happy as a clam
Is that several guys playing Settlers of Catan in one of those pictures on Vertigo's Job page
Wow, Vertigo looks like a great company. I'd be really excited to work there except for the whole .NET thing. Maybe I can find the parallel universe where Vertigo does everything with LAMP (where P=perl :).
Researching and selecting a company *you* want to work for is
definitely more work than picking a number from a menu that some
headhunter lays out in front of you. But it's also a hundred times
Well, maybe, but sometimes the headhunters come up with opportunities that greatly appeal to you that you never even would have thought of. I got my current job, doing software development for a non-profit educational organization, through a headhunter. I knew the organization, and I love the work they do, but it never occurred to me that they'd need software developers, so I never would have applied. A good headhunter (they do exist!) will get a good sense of what you're looking for, and help you find a job that matches both what you can do/want to do and what kind of company/organization you'd enjoy working.
"Most often people settle for what they have. The job itself doesn't matter as long as they don't have to worry about it and they get their paycheck. I think that's the general idea and that's why it's still so hard to do things the way you like rather than doing things the way that's financially more benefitical."
troof! The employer also know it!!!
it's the fear of uncertainty. one of my friend who is only like 23yrs old with a Math degree is afraid to go look for another job because job searching is very "hard" according to her. people can't get out of their comfort zone and that's the problem.
I congratulate you on your cool job.
I have been working in this field for 16 years, and have recently come to the conclusion that in order to really enjoy doing this kind of work, I'm probably going to have to start something on my own. The reason, I've found, is that pretty much every place in my metro area is just a grindhouse. Software development isn't that difficult, and it's very enjoyable when you do it right. I continue to be amazed at the number of companies that haven't figured this out. Where I am right now, they have hundreds of thousands of lines of extremely bad code that causes hundreds of hours of lots productivity per month. I was hired under the pretense of "rehabilitating their codebase", something I've done successfully at other places in the past. But I've come to find out that this job isn't really about that, it's more about putting up with the codebase. They're so motivated by a desire to sell more software that they don't want to devote any resources to actually making it worth the money.
And they're not unique. I find that I still enjoy this activity when I can do it in a way that makes sense, and it works better. I think I can add some value, so I'm now in the process of trying to figure out how to run a business.
Come hell or high water, I WILL ENJOY MY JOB.
I can see it now.. interviewing at your company.. an application, a pen, and a sheet of paper with the FizzBuzz test on it. Noooooooooooooooo.
I'm damn pissed now after spending whole morning trying to determine what crap overwrite the data which causes reporting not work. Heck almost anything doesn't work now.
I was brought in to startup on new projects but ended the old team left, and I am left picking whatever pieces that hit the fan earlier.
The things I face everyday will fit nicely into few DailyWtf.com articles.
A project that run into the 2nd year, and still full of bugs and incomplete requirements. This is a damn CodingHorror!
I get customer complains and barrage almost daily, and my boss think I'm incompetent to finished up the job.
When I took up this job, I thought it'd be a simpler life than where I was before and vowed not to jump job anymore. I think I might break my promise again.
Thanks for the article; I almost forgot *why* choose this industry in the first place.
Now excuse me, I gotta go brush up my resume. What Color is my parachute? I duno but I'm going to buy that book on my lunch time.
ponder the thought that what you've done, are doing,
or will do makes no difference ultimately.
That's not true. Working at http://www.tethers.com/ will finally enable cheap access to space, and ensure the future survival of all humanity. When the Earth gets too crowded and socialist, space colonies will be where the self-selected cream-of-the-crop will go, just as America was at one time.
Re: the jobs page.
Fridge has icemaker! FRIDGE HAS ICEMAKER!
Hire me now!!
I recently got a new position, and it's tough to remind myself that this isn't where I'm going to stay, but that it's just a stepping stone.
After being used abused contractor for 3 years, this job is delightful. But unfortunately I also see it as a place I won't be at likely for more than 5 years. I've been coding in php since I left college, had to learn it for the first job (which reminds me, never do tech support for realtors). It's also what my current job utilizes. The problem is that short of me restructuring the code and helping my team (ie: my manager that also codes) learn how to utilize the correct tools, there's not a whole lot I look forward to. Random tasks to be automated, etc. New implementations when necessary, I understand.
But when I was in college, I totally fell in love with C++. It has been years since I used it, but when I started to learn ASP.net 2.0 C#, it was like old times. I just absolutely enjoy that coding style. Even building web applications felt like I was building an application like back in college, so much cooler than php out-of-the-box. I enjoy php, but it's not my desire to stay with it permanently.
So I've put together a list of items to try and shift my career to be asp.net 2.0 and c# based over the course of the next couple years, so I can get learned what is necessary and have real-world applications in use that will be helpful when I start looking for another job down the road.
Long term planning has never been my thing, well, sticking to it anyways :)
Are you still hiring? =)
Do you have branches in Argentina? =)
(I'm going to check that now...)
This article was really inspiring... thanks
Passionate programmers, programmers who consider software development as an art, who appreciate the great technologies and see its beauty, who enjoy the complexity of the software,... if only I get to work along with such people...
Reading your blog post puts a smile on my face. I am currently trying to find a new job where I can break out of a strictly VB 6.0 developer, which is mind numbingly boring. The one thing that I wonder is in Software Consulting and what also appears in some cases in any Software Development job is there not some form of employer loyalty, for lack of a better word. Within the last 2 years I have seen 3 people come and go from my project for different reasons, but that has put me in a situation where I am torn between wanting to expand my self and not end up screwing my employer by leaving them high and dry without anyone who has any experience on my project. Just as a question if a job is mind numbing should a person leave for greener pastures?
Wish I still lived in Concord!
My biggest turn on is working with other people who truly love the work they do and are always learning new stuff. Just hate it when people are only in the job for the paycheck and it gets harder and harder to recruit people who LOVE computing. It shows when you look at someone's work if they are really interested in what they are doing, and you can tell when you look the product they develop.
Woow very inspire articles. I'm working in one concession forest in Indonesia now. I'm looking for home business opportunity in order to increase my income.
Your article is very useful and inspiring me to take a job more better.
Amin The Family Myazaleakid
I am already 63 years old but after joining internet marketing activities I become 63 years young, not 3rd puberty but 3r ride career
This blog shared quite lot of fun for us to get relax to cope with internet activities which could bring anybody to vertigo not only stressful.
I recently got laid off from my job of 18 years. So, I'm getting my online sh*t together and want to get the word out about my Home Business Opportunity