Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tired of burning away time

As a techie, I've learned and played with countless technologies in my career, and worked on a lot of projects, some important but not forgotten and some completely pointless. All without substance: without form and void.

Remember IRTS, SMSR, TAXPAY, ICSS, GATEWAY, PRTS? No? You wouldn't. They're gone, all faded away. To what body of knowledge have these corporate business projects added? None. What understanding of professional practice have these projects advanced? Well, some. Perhaps like the beating of the butterfly's wings a few like ICSS made some subtle impact, but the effects have long since been obscured and obliterated by non-competes and proprietary information agreements.

I don't think I want to sign another "proprietary information" agreement or "non-compete" again. You'd have to put me in the next pay grade for sure.

Then people suggest I work for free. Open Source is fine and dandy, but I cannot eat, pay my mortgage, cover myself with insurance, educate my child, or in general, live, for free. And I have considered open source. Yet I haven't found a project that is worth my time, that isn't almost completely pointless.

And why is it that, as a developer, I am the one that needs to get excited about other's projects? People who are altruistically committed to what it is they do, frequently do not get compensated adequately. Companies like IBM and Red Hat benefit enormously from the donations of developers. That's OK, they can benefit, but many of the developers got nothing substantive in return.

If you've got the money, the need, and the interest, then it is up to YOU to excite ME. Convince ME that your minuscule, self-important activity is worth my time and attention. How does your organization benefit society, the body of knowledge, and my interests? Why should I care?

I don't want to spend another iota of my time or attention on pointless projects. It destroys my very soul.

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