parlez vous victoire?

Monday, May 29, 2006

the power of passion...

I read a post one of my colleagues wrote on our intranet blog that really made me think... think back to the days when i used to feel that way, feel so passionate about my job about what i was doing... i would beam and gush about the things i was up to. but what about now? where did the passion, the fire, go? i strongly believe that one should be fired up about one's job, about what one does... afterall as we hear so often, and know all too well, we spend so much of our time at work... what is the use of doing it if you do not feel alive? when, oh when did i become so jaded? and more importantly where to now that i have the knowledge of how i feel?

here is the post if anyone is interested in questioning... questing with me...

JEverything

May 17th, 2006

I’m very fortunate to work where I do. I love my job. And I mean it. The work is challenging and fun, the company is going places, the environment and work ethic are unique, and the people I work with are gems.

Some major components of the important triad of learning and growth and maturation are encountering new ideologies, tasting new philosophies, viewing the world through new paradigms, experiencing new challenges, sampling new approaches to problem-solving, and assimilating new wisdom through the engagement of new people.

This piece is about something specific and will be too long (and maybe tedious) if I don’t focus, though there is much else I can say about how this work environment feeds all of those needs and stokes the fires of personal learning and growth and maturation.

What I am about to say may sound whacked, but I can think of no better way to put it that would make more sense: In terms of appreciating how and why I love my job, I’ve come to realise that my experience would have been entirely different if the development tool I found myself working with was not Java.

Artists, mercenaries, musicians (you name it) generally choose their own tools, and while the ply of their trade decides the format of the implements, there is an element of personality exhibited in the specific choices made in the exact tools a person picks. And while I may admit that Java was not my choice at this workbench, I can point out that I could have chosen a different workshop.

In an open-source-friendly environment, you are encouraged to explore, to research more than one solution path, to investigate more than one option when hunting solutions. There is an usually an abundance of tools, and when there isn’t a tool for the task you want to tackle then you’re more than welcome to compose new tools from existing ones, or modify the existing ones to suit your own needs. It’s somewhat like a host of sword-smiths producing an arsenal of katanas which you can choose to use in various combinations in battle, or from which you may take any blade you like and reshape to suit your own style, purposes and preferences.

This freedom fuels an insatiable thirst for knowledge, a self-feeding and self-perpetuating quest for knowledge or enlightenment about what’s out there, what’s good, what’s to do and what you can do. The more you explore, the more you learn, and the more you want to learn. It’s all about getting it right, in the best way possible. The coolest way possible.

What I’m saying, then, is that Java and the numerous associated open-source libraries we use in conjunction with it are an epitome of this fantastic environment of exploration, learning, and curiosity-and-its-pursuance - it may not be the best box-o’-toys but it sure is a fun one, and it defines an environment and an ethic I love. Work with passion is not beatable as far as good feelings go.

Quite frankly, I’m sure I’d have known different electric avenues were I not in a Java environment, and I might have had oblivious fun running up and down those avenues, but knowing what I do now, I see that I would have been bored without realising it. And when I’m ready to move on to other things, maybe better things, I’ll have a sweeter appreciation then for concepts I might not even have truly understood otherwise. It’s something like not knowing what a colour looks like if you aren’t able to see it, but when you are able to see it, realising how limited your spectrum was without that ability.

Long live this culture of teaching and learning with unabashed grace, this ethic of harmony and challenges delivered in the same breath, this pursuit to quench an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

It’s what drives us to push boundaries, to break new waters and land upon new frontiers. It’s the fuel for innovation.

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