I can’t think about a better phrase to describe the latest songs in the industry. Listening to the radio makes you switch between the stations like you have some kind of disease; The songs lost all their meanings and instead we are swamped with “catchy” songs that we hate, but just can’t live without whistle them every 2 minutes or so. Just listen to Justin Timberalke’s latest song – “SexyBack”, this is all about the catchy music, the words are completely irrelevant and you can’t even hear the singer as the drums block his(?) voice(I’m not sure it’s even Justin’s voice). Does Justin OK with this kind of music? I’m not sure, but I *hope so. It still makes me think a lot about the way I worked until now and the way I’m working today; I really believe that being a programmer is as artistic as being a singer or a writer. There were times in life that I felt we are writing code just to make half-baked applications and ship them out to the mass(our clients), the quality was peripheral, and it conflicted with my “artistic”-self values. Are you familiar with that feeling ? There were also times of elation, when our code was beautiful, pure, magical. It made me smile talking about it later on. Working on a big product, at Mercury, and talking with the (amazing)guys at work, made me feel how lucky I am. Thankfully, I’m still in a position in life that I can made an influence, although I’m not naive and fully aware to the fact that clients are always right and $$$ will dictate deadlines and features packs. There is one sentence I keep saying to the guys working with me (since I was 16) – “be proud of your code”. Write your name in big, CAPITAL LETTERS, at the beginning of your files, make sure everyone knows YOU did it. This will push you into excellence (you don’t want others looking in your code and swearing your mom, do you? update: your mom says “no!”) and inspire you to think about better, more creative and unique solutions instead of ad-hoc, ugly “But hey, it works!” solutions.
So, please, don’t let **marketing or money dictate your life. Everything in Life is a trade-off, but you should decide your path, don’t walk silently in a path carved by others even if it’s easier. At the end of the day, saying “But I had to” or “But it’s shorter” will not make you sleep better at night; If you like what you’re doing, I’m sure that you are familiar with the feeling.
* I know. he is rich & famous, he must be happy. Does he ? maybe…
** Unless this is your decision, which makes it OK. As long as it is your choice.