“Why do you love working as X so much? so much that you’re willing to spend that many hours of your life at?”
Pause for a second. Try to close your eyes and think what will be your answer for this question?
For me, the answer is obvious: It’s the people and challenges that make my brain tick and my motivation SKY high. It’s the feeling that I can really make things better by investing everything I got into it that makes me proud of my work. I get huge satisfaction installing TFS 2008, trying to make our Integration Tests work X6 faster, practicing some Agile principles I’ve read about or take any other “dirty yet important work” no one would like to touch. I’m not scared of hard work and if I can feel, down there in my stomach, that it would make my teammates more productive – I’ll do anything I can to make it happen. Oh, and I’m trying to build one of the most complex search engine the world has the offer with a bunch of b–r–i–l–l–i–a–n–t guys! Can you blame me for working so hard, enjoying every minute of it?
Sure, getting a few bucks more would be great, but that will not make me proud of what I’m doing. One of the main things I’ve learned in my 8 years of developing software, is that highly motivated teams will always make the best products. Leave aside for a moment the productivity boost these teams enjoy and imagine their daily work, their lunches together, their working environment, their joy of talking with one another about day to day stuff. Imagine how they dream about their goals together, discussing ways to making it better and more enjoyable. It’s the buzz these companies have that drove the best guys to them, so “effortlessly”. The commitment to one another will make sure you’ll build quality systems, that you’ll try your best to deliver on time, to make it better, smarter, BIGGER, every single day. It will allow you to grow like you could never anticipated. Trying to grow this culture in your team is one of the hardest things in the world, way harder than any logical puzzle thrown at you. Believe me.
It’s just so damn hard to get it right.
“There are many men who feel a kind of twister pride in cynicism“ (Theodore Roosevelt, The Man In The Arena speech).
Over cynicism means death for any joint effort. No matter how strong your team is, negativity and cynicism will break your team spirit. It always does.
Stop being so negative, so cynical about your actions and your dreams. You can do great things by answer the question above and remember that it’s all about the people around you. It’s all about you! you can actually make everyone around you better by taking action. Stop listening to people who thinks they know best and mocking you with “you’re only a tiny nail in a giant machine”. Don’t be afraid of constantly trying to make a difference, even if you’ll lose here and there. Read books, talk about them and your ideas, share and try, try, try, and try again!
This attitude will probably make you a winner, someone that others will enjoy working with, being with, taking inspiration from.
I know that these guys are the one I love working with or going to a bar close by, drinking some beer and talking about how to change the world.
Best people simply do for each other.