“What do you want to do when you grow up?” “A different thing every day.”
I remember answering this question the same way since college. Maybe it’s my form of ADD (doctors said I didn’t have it). Although, it is quite clear this was my conscious or subconscious desire if you look back on my life.
My teachers through my formative years described me as a problem student. I would constantly interrupt class, not because I hated class, but because I was bored. School just never moved fast enough for me.
Since my first job in tech, I’ve never done the same thing for more than 4 months. The longest time I’ve been on a project has been a year and a half. Even then, I rotated around to different jobs.
I can write code in at least 10 Turing Complete languages. When I can, I choose to use new technologies just to learn them, even when I know a perfectly good alternative.
In college, I worked at the local Starbucks. I spent 5 months as a barista and 5 months as a shift manager. As I tired of the monotony, I became lax with my responsibilities. My boss and I had a mutual breakup.
My first job at Northrop Grumman ended with a cage. I had worked my ass off on a big project for 18 months, working at least 5 roles by the end. With the completion of the project, I looked around for my next gig, excited at the possibilities. Unfortunately, one of my many bosses pulled a political manoeuvre to keep me on busywork until the project got funded again. Suffice to say, I was not happy about being restricted to a single project for much longer. I quit a month later.
With work that isn’t really work, the boredom problem is even worse. I’ve never finished a side project of any meaningful size. Or even gotten one into a fully working state (as defined by initial goals). I have an almost-complete OAuth 2 server in Go that’s been sitting around here for almost 3 years. I refuse to work on my pebble watchfaces when people make requests. I have a really cool prototype for a startup that’s been sitting half-complete and untouched in my private Github for a year.
Lately (about 6 months), I’ve been avoiding programming side projects altogether. I’ve started brewing beer, being obsessive about coffee, building bikes, rock climbing, and more than my fair share of gaming. Maybe years of programming 10-12 hours a day has taken its toll.
This need to keep switching jobs has not impacted the quality of my work negatively. In fact, quite the opposite. I’m a very effective programmer that works fast compared to my peers. But the boredom eventually happens. It’s simply the job of my employer to keep me interested (which Rafflecopter has been doing well at). Additionally, it keeps me shipping fast, which is a good thing.
But I love the way I am. I love looking back on my life and seeing the variety. I love how my experience is so wide that my expertise comes from connecting the dots. I love how that has improved my versatility. I love that I’m never afraid to learn something new in tech.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’m a bit bored of writing this post.