Thursday, March 12, 2009

This stuff is supposed to be fun

So blogged Jeff Attwood some 18 months ago, and as far as my own experience goes, he is absolutely right. When I went to university, it was to study Electronics and Communications Engineering, but by mid-way through the second year, I really wanted to on Computer Science, but really it was just too late to be changing courses, so I stuck it out to the end. To show willing, I applied to some of the major electronics companies like Philips and Marconi, but nothing came of that, so I managed to convert my summer job at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office into a more permanent job, doing typical admin stuff in the library. A healthy dose of luck and good timing saw me slide into an IT helpdesk/sysadmin role, and from there, I never looked back.

I was then able to leverage (how I hate that word) my IT skills to get into development, and there I knew that I had found my real m├ętier. Like no doubt thousands of my technical colleagues, I have found the perfect union between my favourite pastime and my job. My wife still marvels that I spend eight or more hours a day at the office working with computers, and then when I come home, I'm happy to spend the rest of the evening, or most of the weekend, doing exactly the same thing (and not getting paid for it!).

In fact, I enjoy being a developer so much that I will do everything in my power to avoid promotion to a position where I can't sit down and write code every day. For some, it may be just a step on the ladder to management, and that's OK; but for me, the day I stop coding and using computers is the day they prise the keyboard from my cold, dead hands.

In short, I know what colour my parachute is; and being a self-professed geek, it's black.

So are there any other categories of people out there whose private life seems to be just an extension of their working life? Or perhaps even better, they see it as the other way round, where they're getting paid to do something they could spend every day doing? Musicians? Sportsmen? Accountants, anyone?!

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