I am a developer and as such I like to isolate myself from the world to get me into the zone where productivity is abundant. Nevertheless, I like to remind myself that being connected to other humans matters.
Some contemporary depictions of developers tell the story of a lone wolf that needs nobody else to succeed. The lone wolf is supposed to be absolutely brilliant, knows it all, solves any problem and overcomes any adversity – alone. A pro knows this is bullshit. A pro knows that being a team player is key to personal and professional growth. Yes, in today’s day and age we can work from different locations, but that does not mean that we need to work in isolation. I actually collaborate very closely with a designer who works from a different physical location than I most of the time.
I think it is important to care about who we work with, but maybe even more so, who we work for. Have you ever been in paradise alone? I am in San Antonio, Texas as I am writing this post, but I am here alone. I love this city, I love everything about it. And yet, there is a grain of imperfection amidst all my happiness. I am here alone and I have nobody to share that experience with. I like to think similarly about my work. If I do work just for the sake of doing work then I am missing out on the non-monetary reward that accomplished work provides – internal satisfaction. The confidence that my lines of code will enrich people’s lives. The implications of my work need not always be of world changing, philanthropic nature. It’s nice when that is the case, but it is just as nice when I know that my work helps put food on the table for the people that run their business on my code. This is a form of taking pride in what you do, a form of loving what you do that goes being financial gratification.