Programming taught me an interesting life lesson: be a stickler for the details. You see, getting the thing to work is only half the battle. You’re not done. Not even close. Yes, make it functional. But then make it readable. Should it also be flexible? Then do so. And certainly make it beautiful.
When it comes to business, I - like many developer-turned-small-business-owners, I’d imagine - am really quite green. Not just green, deep green. No MBA in sight. I’m not even sure what that stands for, to be honest. Master of Business Administration? Is that it? Yep, a master of business… yours truly is not. I was instead thrust into the schools of “business acronym Googling” and “fly by the seat of your pants.”
I’ve given this a good bit of thought. Late at night, when I can’t sleep, I imagine a potential variation on my life; one in which I commute to work each morning before my kids wake up. I spend 8-10 hours at a desk writing code, and return home around 6pm. I step out of my car, and approach the front door, slowly reaching for the keys in my pocket. I release one of those fatigued sighs that only I can hear, and then unlock the door to my two young kids, excited to see me. The best part of my day.
Ladies and gentlemen, come inside, have a seat. I bring good news! After a lifetime of travel and research, I’ve returned, having finally uncovered the secret to writing successful, maintainable programs.” He taps his temple. “It’s all right here."
I can count just three hobbies in my life that are deep enough to continuously reignite my love and enjoyment. As I was thinking about this a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that each one, like hiding medicine in dog food, managed to provide unique, valuable lessons that have overflowed into how I organize and construct my life, in general.
I can still remember it. Eight years old, second grade, Mrs. King’s class, and I’m openly stressing to my friends about a particular embarrassment that I’m hoping to conceal from the other students. To tell you the truth, the one thing I can't remember is what this embarrassment exactly was. But, hey, it was second grade in the 90s; it could have been anything. Even a jean length that didn’t adequately cover your ankles was cause for ridicule in 1993.