I yearn for you tragically.
So last night I had a dream that I left the University and took a job with Microsoft.
The dream was pretty detailed, I was walking around some kind of Queen Anne-style house – which apparently was the team’s meeting place – and in what would be the parlor in some overstuffed chairs I started quizzing the person showing me around (who was dressed in jeans and a white shirt with black tie, like a journeyman for the Best Buy “Geek Squad”) about their build process, who exactly said “go” for product releases, whether or not Visual Studio, or dev studio, or whatever Microsoft calls their dev product today actually did Java syntax or not.
It was weird. And just… wrong… Microsoft and Java. It was like being hired to build the Matrix for Vader. Or for Voldermort.
I was a little worried about the apocalypse for a moment there – but the sun will be back thursday and friday, so it should all be okay.
Two years ago today I started in my current job, after just under 5 years doing systems and people management in NCSU’s College of Engineering IT group. I wrote my first post three days in talking about the sheer panic of dealing with some kind of java problem.
I was so excited then. So excited about the possibilities. Ready to find my own Zihuatenejo
Some things change. Two years of delegating only to myself resharpened the technology saw reasonably enough and the sheer panic is reserved for things other than my linux servers these days.
As for the excitement. Well – the words seem remarkably prescient, but they’re not really.
I’m not sure we are ever going to change the culture until enough people have some idea of what kind of place we want to see us be at. Where we want the equivalent of Andy’s Zihuatanejo to be for us? And how do we make a place along the way? What are our arias, our chess pieces, our prison libraries? Even more fundamental – both Zihuatenejo, the arias, the bohemian-style beer, the chess pieces, the library – they were all outward manifestations of an inward passionate belief in something. Enough belief for Andy – and the seemingly-institutionalized Red also.
Maybe that’s an “aren’t we all” kind of paragraph – because I guess if you ever really find that, Hope managed to escape with all the Furies.
But more than a little of the excitement’s rubbed off from hundreds of stories that are best left over beers somewhere down the road, when time blurs the facts – and the repercussions.
I’m still seeking Zihuatenejo – though with the comfort that there are peers here and elsewhere doing the same. Searching for places where you can still make a difference. Searching for groups that still believe that’s what you should be about. And searching for leadership, including within themselves, that wants to make a place for that to happen.
There is a lot more to building and supporting communities than installing software.
Amen to that.