Today I read...

The Dream Giver
by Bruce Wilkinson

Read more about this book...

A friend recommended this book, and I'm glad I listened to him. I found that when I started reading, I had trouble putting it down so I read the whole thing. The book starts off...

"A Nobody named Ordinary who lived in the land of Familiar."

After that, I realized a lot of this book was speaking about me. It explained the different people in my life and why they behave the way they do. I'm having trouble explaining why I enjoyed this book so much, maybe it's because right now I feel "stuck".

I feel like I've got something in me that's screaming to get out, but I just can't figure out what it is. Some day's I think it's my inner creativity burning to get out, and if I don't feel like I'm able to think creatively and try different things then I'm a sleep or that I might lose that "potential".

I know you can't see it yet, but I will become what I am.

One of the things that keeps me pumped up throughout my day is the opportunity to solve problems creatively. When the opportunity isn't there I feel like I can barely stay awake. Lately I've been struggling to stay awake. My passion for software development is low right now. My motivation to learn new things, and code is still there... but starting to dwindle away.

I'm working on a good project right now. The architecture is laid out, and big changes are a no no. The client is happy, so any suggested changes are kind of looked at with raised eye brows. I feel like a spec developer who gets handed a 7 page document for a story card that I have to implement. It's mostly just creating new screens and updating stored proc's (so far). (I very much dislike having to spend my time in the land of SQL, I am an object bigot.) So for a new dev, it's a pretty cozy job. For me it's not quite my "sweet spot". (I should tell you that it's only been about a month so far.)

Zzzz... I'm finding it difficult to find new and interesting things to blog about, and it almost seems forced these days. It seems like if I want to keep any sort of artistic creativity alive, I've got to do it on my own time. Not on work time!

I'm not complaining about my job, I'm just yearning for the past. Last year was a tonne of fun, at my old job. There was no one to blame but ourselves when things didn't work out. There was no pointing fingers at the people in another department on another floor. We were the team and there was no other floor. We were a tiny team that got to work on some big problems and in the process we got to flex our creative muscles.

Like any muscle if you don't exercise it regularly, it becomes weak. Right now my creative muscles feel rather weak. Today I sat my butt down to write some code, I had plans on demonstrating some ideas I thought of while riding the bus. But once I got started I found myself getting upset, and frustrated with myself. I can't explain it, I was just mad that I wasn't moving as fast as i wanted to be. My ideas were a tangled mess, and I just couldn't sort it out. I was just annoyed and disappointed with myself. (mO, mO, mO... breathe buddy... breathe!)

One of the reasons I was drawn to software development was because...

I suck at drawing!

I've always enjoyed art, music, and literature. When I found something that allowed me to be creative, and something that I thought I was pretty good at, I held on to it. But lately everything seems so familiar, so comfortable, so boring... Zzzz...

I can only imagine what my team members might think if they read this post. I only wish they could see how we developed software during the last few months of my last job. I remember during my phone interview with ThoughtWorks saying that

"If it's not ThoughtWorks, then I'm not leaving my job. I like the guys I work with and I'm having a lot of fun."

If I liked the guys I worked with and I was having fun, then why did I leave? Let's face it... I tell myself it was for the opportunity to grow and face new challenges. Well, I was growing and facing challenges where I was. In the end I realize it was for the money. I was not in a comfortable place, and instead of pushing through, I returned to the land of familiar. So there's the decision... comfort and familiarity or the "dream".

I admit that there were times when I was discouraged about the progress of my old team, but after now job hopping for a few years I see that it had been one of the greatest and most accelerated learning experiences of my life. I couldn't wait to get out of the Waste Land, and not have to worry about money. Now that I'm out, I see how the time in the waste land was actually a season of preparation, but I don't think I stayed long enough to appreciate it.

I've always wondered how much other people make, financially. Not so much because I'm greedy, but more because I don't want to look foolish when I'm asked "What's your expecting salary range?"

Here it is... the big secret most people seem to hold on to.

DataShapers Inc

Imaging Dynamics Corporation

MediaLogic Inc.

ThoughtWorks Inc.

January. 16, 2008 - Present

If anything this should satisfy the person who's been googling "How much money does a software developer make?"

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