"have fun" - Father (born 1916, died 1988) "always" told me / us: happily following the wisdom of a father who told me that if I find something I love to do, it won't really be work.
That's good advice from your dad, BoBraxton. Were you able to find a job that you loved to do?
yes - for a long time I "had fun" -- I was almost 30 years of age when I "got into" computers (programming) which to me was so much "fun" I pondered "you mean they pay people to do this?!"
I "got into" computers when I was quite young, before they were even established anywhere as widely as today. An old maid aunt/schoolteacher sent me the little Science Digest Magazine that periodically mentioned the new computer thing. I was hooked. I even bought some simple books on computers that discussed binary codes, circuits and other stuff.
I was disappointed how little universities offered in the area. Even one Big Ten university I attended for a while had no defined computer science degrees although they certainly had the largest computers. Heck, in undergraduate classes I even took a mandatory analog computer course. I never saw another in my entire career. And the digital computer used had paper tape input, a TTY console and (Can you believe this???!!!) a rotating drum as the main memory. Even volunteering to work on Saturdays didn't gain much except that graduate student's wife sure was gorgeous. I learned most of my computing at one excellent company and just by doing it along with a few scattered courses.
When you describe computer work as "fun" you have to qualify that with the environments in which you performed that work. Many of my assignments are better described as challenging or even demanding due to the tough environments. Some could be better described as Hell on Earth. The "fun" was the self-gratification that you could extract from a job well done that defined a system, implemented it and then supported it with little disruption. Frequently a pat on the back was nowhere to be seen due to the heavy politics and quite honestly some ignorant users that didn't know how to define what they wanted and got it. And what I got paid for it was well deserved for all of the stuff that I put up with and some minor mountains that were climbed in spite of the obstacles.
Never got that advice from Dad. I did figure out that he didn't want me to do what he did for a living because he never taught me how to do it. Hint. Hint. :-)))
In my life I really enjoyed the demands of my early profession. Tough and challenging and requiring creativity and hard work. And the rewards seemed to come. Then through the process of promoting one to his incompetence, maybe, [ :-)) ] I got to manage people doing what I used to do. For quite a while I could keep up with any techie working for me. Then the demands for managing and the politics won and I started to struggle to keep up. With the loss of technical competence comes a bit of disdain from technical employees these days. It just wasn't as much fun as it used to be. The old saying we had when we were young that "I don't want to ever be a 40 year old (fill in the blanks)" seemed to be more and more misguided in regards to enjoying one's work. :-)))
" With the loss of technical competence comes a bit of disdain from technical employees these days. It just wasn't as much fun as it used to be."
Geez, Jerry, I think you're reading my exact thoughts!
I've done my job - and I think most will say I've done it well - for many years, but the more technology becomes integrated into it, the more frustrated I get, and the less fun I have. The sad thing is, it was fun. Over the years I've watched as older employees became bitter with their work, co-workers and employer, and I don't want to become that bitter old employee. I work with good people and for a good organization. When I walk away from here I want to do it on a high note, with mutual respect and good memories.
no bridge burning
Retrieving data ...