D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption


Sunday, August 27, 2006 10:04 AM

I'm having another of those “midlife crisis” moments lately. Just a relative “Where am I going, where did I expect to be, what are my goals for the next 10 years, and what does it matter in the grand scheme of things”.

I think that at 30 (not there yet btw, still holding on to my 20's for another few months) I thought I'd be more knowledgable about business...but working for a company that tries hard to run things properly, I've realized that my last half-decade in IT has been mostly a lesson on what not to do (which seems to be how much of life goes...you'd think we'd all smarten up since we're all learning what not to do, but we keep on doing it anyway...sorry, went off on a new thread there...). I thought that project management would be the way I'd be headed, but after doing some real project management it doesn't thrill me the way I thought it would. I'm liking the business analyst portion of things though. And of course, there's the coding side of things. But it seems that topics such as code generation, TDD, frameworks...its starting to turn into a manufacturing type of business instead of the artisan type. Kind of like how you used to have a cobbler do your shoes, and then mass production entered. Now you have great shoes of moderate quality for cheaper, but everyone wears the same type of shoes.

I guess I'm trying to understand the coding industry as it morphs from a creative form to more of a template-driven operations form. I remember having a conversation about a website, and whether we should do it in ASP.NET from teh ground up or just use Dot Net Nuke. The decision ended up being Dot Net Nuke becuase it was faster to install, had editing ability, and had plugins. But...ASP.NET 2.0 can duplicate all of the things that Dot Net Nuke can, albeit with a bit more work...but not much. But that's how its going isn't it; what's the cost of time and money in addition to functionality. My boss has a theory that in time ther are going to be two types of developers: one that solves business problems, and one that creates tools for those who solve the business problems. And I think he's right. Look at the .NET framework. One key feature/purpose is to abstract all the 'yuck' code that we used to have to write over and over again so that we can focus on the business problems being solved. If this is a sign of the future, and if platforms like DNN and Community Server continue to take off, you end up having those that develop against a platform (which could be, and already is happening, with DNN and CS) or those that create the platforms.

I have no idea what my point was, other than today I'm just feeling blech and thinking too much. I'm truly convinced that 30 is when life really starts...that 1 - 18 is practice, 19 - 29 is your rookie season where you're still discovering things without a safety net, and 30 is when you know who you are (more or less) and know what direction you're heading in. Maybe because I'm still technically 29 is why I'm not feeling all that confident.




# re: Life

its not any better at 36. In fact, I'd have to say it might be worse at times. See what you have to look forward to? 8/27/2006 2:24 PM | Blogus Maximus

# re: Life

Alas, it doesn't get any better over 40 either.
You sound like you are really not interested in project management, but being a software architect - planning, creating models (both class and data), and being a craftsman/artisan and not a "code monkey". I agree absolutely. The hard part is finding a job that matches that job description. They are out there, but not often advertised, and, unfortunately, not always close to where you live. Of course, D'Arcy, I hear that Calgary has a very strong IT market. :) 8/28/2006 4:52 AM | Scott Miller

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