Friday, July 25, 2003

Bruce Eckel

Stardate 56072.5 (7-25-2003)

I heard a bit on NPR during the week that IBM is moving more and more of their software development to India. My company is doing the same. Last wee the manager told us that she wanted to move the maintenance of the client utilities off shore to India. That way the developers could concentrate on a redesign of the same utilities. I'm sure that's what she intends, but I can't help picturing some exec higher up looking at the cost saving of the offshore maintenance, and wondering why we need to redesign something that already works. But then again maybe the Indians can answer some the the questions that go through three or four people, and then to me. I then answer what should be obvious to all. I mean, some the of these things are simple math or seeing what is in front of you.

So when I thing about my future as far as work, I can't see anything to look forward to. I have been doing the same thing for years. But I guess I should take the unspoken corporate message to heart, just be glad you have a job.

I have been working on one project in C#. It was not required to be in the lagnuage, and as far as the company is concerned it is not a real project. I went looking around the net for some resources, and decided to visit Bruce Eckel's site,www.MindView.net.It has changed since I was last there, and he has started a blog. One of the blog entries mentions a study that concludes that only 5% of software developers are effective. He went on to say that there were probably a number of developers in the field because someone told them it pays well, and not because it's something they enjoy doing. I think that could be said of a lot of professions. I personally enjoy doing things like the project above. I started it Monday morning, and when I thought to glance at the clock, it was afternoon. It's projects like this and the Perl stuff I mentioned in other logs, where I get to learn something new, that really interest me. A lot of the server program stuff is variations on things I have done a dozen times, so my productivity is not what it could be sometimes.

Bruce also mentions another study done in the 60s* that tracked 1500 some odd students going into college for a specific profession. It found that of these, 255 where there because the wanted to be, the rest because it would lead to a good paying job. Twenty years later, the same people were interviewed. About 101 were millionaires, and only 1 of those were not in the group of 255. So Bruce wondered what the world would be like if people could do what they wanted to. I immediately thought, hey, that Gene Roddenberry's vision in Star Trek. I can remember Captain Picard saying the the episode, "The Neutral Zone", as well as others, that the 24th century human works to improve himself/herself, instead of accumulating wealth. I have trouble picturing how that works, but it does sound good.

End of Entry

The other 90% by Robert K. Cooper, Three Rivers Press 2001

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