A Comfortable Couch

Friday, January 14, 2005

Career change, one last time

I've been blogging a bit about a possible career change. Well, I can say with a high degree of certainty that I won't be changing careers.

I wasn't considering a new career because I dislike software engineering (I don't), but because I've finally felt the courage to take a harder look at myself. I've been spending time doing a lot of self examination, and I've been making some discoveries of parts of my self identity I didn't like and why I've been less happy. So I also decided now is a good time to look at my career decisions and see if I'm really doing what I want.

Writing my story about the Formula engine rewrite has made me realize how much I enjoy my work and I'm really good at it. I'm probably not going to find some new career where I have those two things. And as much as I don't like to admit it, simply enjoying my work just isn't enough for me, I want to be great at what I do and I want to make great things, I just do. I don't think I'll ever be as good at anything else as I am at creating software. Designing, writing code, finding bugs, I like it all and I'm good at it all.

So while I'm not actively looking for a full time job right now, if the right opportunity comes along I'd definitely take it. That being said, if I'm going to put in the kinds of efforts like I've done in the past, I need some things:
  • I want to work with awesome people. I hate clockwatchers, I hate apathy, I hate people who don't enjoy their work. I want to work with people who are good at their job, love their job and want to produce great things. I want to work with people who will fight for what's right, people with passion for excellence.
  • I want to work where professionals get to do their job as they see fit. That means management has to trust me and won't overrule every controversial decision I make. That's not to say management or anyone else can't fight decisions, conflict is the heart of progress, but when management is a dictatorship it's never a good thing.
  • I want hard problems. I'd rather fail than be unchallenged.
  • I want a private office, I won't work in a cubicle.
  • I won't work anywhere that isn't profitable. The pressure to make crap is far too high when no money is being made. I want to do it right and I don't like it when I can't.


Anonymous said...

I have the perfect employer for you - Microsoft! :)

Seriously though, wish you could have stuck around at Lotus a while longer - given your efforts on the Formula re-write, it seems you could have added some of that same "Katz polish" to many other aspects of Notes/Domino.

7:32 PMlink  
Anonymous said...

Hey - good to hear you've decided to stick with software. The industry would be sadder for your departure.

In terms of perfect job - I've been doing stuff for various consulting firms in Europe for the last ten years, and your "wont work for.." list seems to fit them exactly.

So where do you get your dream job ? Can we come along too ?

Keep up the good work.

---* Bill

10:32 AMlink  
Anonymous said...


3:44 PMlink  
Damien said...

Microsoft is high on my list of potential employers.

I would love to work at SAS Institute, but I can't get them on the phone. You have to actually know someone on the inside for most really good employers for them to even contact you.

11:45 PMlink  
Anonymous said...

I like your description of your ideal job. I think it shouldn't be any other way. Good luck! And yes apparently most of the best jobs are found through word of mouth/friends/networking/etc. It reduces the risk in the employer's eyes, as you are then less of an unknown quantity. Although in your case I am sure your reputation has a good chance of preceeding you.


12:03 AMlink  
B.I.Grant said...

Don't kid yourself. If you are looking for meaning in work, if you think you will find fulfillment on the job, or people who aren't disillusioned, you are just not being honest with yourself. It ain't gonna happen, Skippy. You are more likely to find solace in a book by Nietzsche.

4:09 PMlink  

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