Reveal your crap to the world. Why is (or was) it crap? Why did you do it? And how did you learn from your mistake?
All right Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my close-up
While I have plenty of crap code, heck, got some lined up for tomorrow and hard lessons learned from it, I thought I'd actually talk about a soft topic. In my first three jobs out of college, I made a terrible assumption that I would be rewarded for doing my job, being a loyal employee, etc. I had this idyllic 50's era notion of being a good employee would result in my happiness. In my mind, I'd bust my ass working for someone and they'd reward me with money, a pat on the head and the opportunity to solve more complex problems. The reality was I'd bust my hump and get an email with termination notice in it (the owner kept telling clients to go F' themselves so they wouldn't do business with us---go figure) or I'd go into an annual review and receive feedback of "this is designed to hurt" as
redacted or be told I can suck it up because I should have negotiated some vacation time or a better salary before I started the job.
Crap, crap, megacrap
Why was that crap? I was putting someone else in charge of my happiness and job satisfaction. I assumed they knew better or at least, I wanted to believe they did. I suspect the why is that I didn't want to take responsibility for my own life. I'm a mellow, generally non-confrontational type of person and asking for what I want is nothing I ever really learned how to do. Plus, it was easier being unhappy than doing something about it. Change is hard and scary.
wat do?I learned that the only one responsible for my happiness is me. I'm blessed in that my career choice was correct, I love computers and programming, just that I needed to do something that made my heart happy.
- I eventually took charge of my career and got myself out of my comfort zone. It's the only way to grow.
- I gave up on the idea of my company taking care of my needs, even if I voiced them precisely.
- I figured out what I didn't want to do (ASP all the time, 4GL languages, VB, maintain other people's code, put out fires all day long, Access), which is similar to figuring out what exactly I want to do (SQL Server stuff).
- I made time to attend user group meetings.
- I got involved with other database professionals. Twitter in particular has been a fantastic conduit for building relationships with others in my trade.
- I bought a developer edition of SQL Server 2008 for a whopping $37.
- I found a boss that supported me and sent me to 2009 Summit which changed my life as I caught a glimpse of what I wanted to be---good enough with SQL Server to present there.
- I bought an MSDN license and have been randomly exploring all that Microsoft has to offer
- I've organized a SQL Saturday and am working on the next one.
- I created a training plan and am working on certifications