Do you like talking about yourself? Apparently I don’t, as evidenced by the trouble I’m having writing about myself in this space. I like to think that I’m smart, well-spoken, likable, and maybe even something that, if not cool, sort-of approaches it. I think I’m a decent cook, and I have a fondness for video games, science fiction, and horror films. I’m a realist though, so I know that some of that’s true enough, while the rest is probably wishful thinking.
I’ve written software for most of my professional life; working for a large multinational corporation called Avnet. I telecommuted for much of that time, which was the best possible gig for which I could possibly hope. There’s nothing quite like leading conference calls with a team in Phoenix and another in Shanghai while wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and nothing on my feet. Telecommuting is great, don’t get me wrong, but it can be career limiting too. I think it’s easier to let someone go if they’re mostly a voice on the phone than it is to fire someone while looking them straight in the eye.
The experiences I gained, and the things I’ve learned while working for a giant corporation are hard to quantify. Each day would bring new questions, new challenges, new business or technical problems. Actually writing software was just part of the milieu, and it’s tempting to think that writing code is the gravity well around which everything else orbited, at least for a developer. But it wasn’t. Instead the real focal point was the core business. Everything else is just window dressing. In a world with countless technology options, API’s, buzz-words, best practices, architectures, and an endless stream of vendors vying for your attention and a slice of your budget, I’ve always found that it’s important to remember that. The business needs to drive the technology. If you do it the other way around, I suspect you won’t be in business very long.