My career has been a little odd. I earn less than some, but more than most. I don’t ever really feel like I’ve worked a day in my life. I get paid $$$ to play. I find interesting problems, and I sign up for that. Some days are difficult. I am not interested building yet another “it.” I am always looking for the “it+1” or “it+that” or “it*n” or “it/time” or “it=>(return null)”
I am more tactical than strategic in my career path. I don’t have an end goal. I’m not looking to min/max income or position. People race ahead of me, younger people chasing that brass ring at BigMegaCorp. I know that isn’t in my mental makeup to want that.
I made a comment once that “I will stop work the day that I die” and someone pointed out it was the saddest thing they ever read. For me, it isn’t. Because I don’t define “work” as toiling away on a souless project without meaning, or building yet another CRUD app (doing “it”).
And I’m happy.
And when someone tries to get me to do something that is more like “bullshit jobs”, I’ll tolerate it for a while if “we need to do this to ship.” I am willing to do whatever it takes to ship. If that means I have to push a broom about for a while, I will.
But if my work becomes permanently that, and we’ve shipped, or we keep delaying our ship date and the bullshit goes on too long, I wander off to find something else to play with. I do what I do out of love for my work, but not out of love for my job or love for a company. I’d do the kind of work I do for free, even if I wasn’t getting paid. But I still want to get paid for my production. I think I have an incredibly privileged position and I realise that over 90% of software engineers, if they are honest with themselves, probably are doing absolutely meaningless work that nobody wants.