Are you really happy at work?

Jim Collins, in the book Good to Great suggests the following exercise:

“Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?”

Interesting read, it makes me think… I always wanted to be a football player, but it is too late now….

If you are an engineer, and you feel that this is exactly what you were born for, let me add one more test to the list. You receive a third call asking you to pick up the money only if you take a flight in the plane that was designed, implemented and tested by you. Would you still pick up the money?

Making stuff is not just a fun; it is not only about feeling cool, or geeky. It is about being proud of the thing you have created. Do you remember the first drawings you showed to your parents? How proud you felt while they were smiling looking into your creation? In the end, we like to create things that other people can use and appreciate. If you have lost that drive, or you never had it, think one more time about the stuff you do.

Don’t worry be happy? No, worry and be happy. Care about things you do.

With this post, I am closing the chapter on agile development, and starting a new serial. In the next set of blogs, I will be talking about innovation, research and development, chaos theory and s-curves, startups and big corporations, operations and support – all things I’ve learned – hard way. Stay tuned.

“It all depends“ my friend

There are two kinds of people, people that believe that everything can be divided into two categories and the other ones – which make it hard for you not to belong in one of two categories, even if you don’t believe in the two categories theory.

There is a religious theory about good and evil. And there is a theory which says that people are either religious or not, or whether they are destined to be religious or not. And there is a theory that we are all born and pre-wired to be conservatives or liberals – left or right guys.
And there is a left and right brain theory. Left part used for analysis, the right for the synthesis. Some people are more of the left brainers; some people are the right brainers.

And there is a theory about waterfall and one about agile. About writing tests before coding or doing it after. About OO and about functional programing, having mutable things or not, threads or no threads, strong types or not, SYNC or ASYNC.

And how about people in the middle? These are, according to the two categories theory, folks that can be split in either:

  • people that are wise, who have tried both and got to a conclusion that nothing is black or white, OR
  • people who have tried nothing in their life, and they just mingle around, pretending they are smart (or wise), and do “Dalai Lama like” talks, without having a clue what are they talking about.

Whenever you are new into something, and ask other people for advice, the best advice you can get is: “It all depends my friend”. And, indeed, if you are sure that it came from the person that has tried some of the options that your answer depends on – that’s the best answer you can get. Otherwise, he will be just wasting your time.
It is one of these two my friend, the same question, the same answer, two options.