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I left development because it was the right decision FOR ME. While I certainly have my criticisms of the currently popular front-end frameworks, I'm not going to disparage anyone who is passionate about world. If you're happy so be it! However, some of the same statements made in this piece have always been true. This is a competitive market and we aren't all "overnight Zukerbergs". If you're not learning and loving what you do every day, then you're in the wrong field. -

@pennsylforniageek I think the passion narrative is harmful for the field overall. I think you can be a programmer that just writes code and only learns the bare minimum necessary to get by. Programming isn't like being on the assembly line but it's also not like getting a PhD so the learning component is manageable.

@davidk01 Conversely, some of the best programmers that I've worked with were not always the most skilled but they had a zest for learning and making their skills better and because of that, I would work with them again in a heartbeat.

@pennsylforniageek That's what I consider the passion narrative and it is harmful. We don't say car mechanics have to be passionate about cars so why exactly is software development any different? I work in SF and I've seen more burned out "passionate" programmers than I'd care to admit. All those people would be better off being less passionate because the one thread they all have in common is they bought into the narrative.

@davidk01 Given that we both work in the same city, I'm guessing we're simply seeing two sides of the same coin. I wonder how much of the burnout comes less from passion and more from unrealistic expectations versus demand of product.

@pennsylforniageek But passion is an unrealistic expectation in and of itself. Passion is also often subverted and passionate programmers are overworked to the detriment of their health. I think it is a bit delusional to think that programming is somewhat different than any other kind of work and many problems in the industry come from people fooling themselves into thinking they are somehow different or more special because they can write code.

Now see, on this point you and I completely agree.

dk @davidk01

@pennsylforniageek I didn't think we were agreeing or disagreeing. I think it is fine to have discussions without agreement or disagreement. Discussion for the sake of discussion should be more common I think.

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Though the point should be made that we have been able to maintain this healthy discussion because we have excluded the stereotypical internet debate techniques that are far too commonplace. ;)

@davidk01 @pennsylforniageek I agree, David. I was just thinking how much on Twitter and Facebook was of people just taking sides and having slagging matches. One Twitter friend chimed in and said the value was hearing others’ viewpoints. While I haven’t looked at your thread here, I agree with your sentiment. Discussion doesn’t hurt, and it’s nice seeing alternatives. The bubble is where the danger lies sometimes.

@pennsylforniageek @davidk01 And apologies to you both in advance if it was inappropriate to chime in.

Just that David’s post struck an immediate chord with me.

Have a great 2018.

@jackyan @davidk01 Please, no apologies necessary. I was kind of hoping more folks would chime in sooner; that's what makes for a more thoughtful and engaging discussion. :D

So now that you did chime in, what is your opinion on the subject matter? David's point of view has been outlined in a blog post he wrote a few months back ( which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

@pennsylforniageek @davidk01 @jackyan I look at it like relationships. You can love your work and that’s fine. Passion has a negative connotation that people often forget about. Passion is all consuming. It’s not sustainable in the long term. A new relationship can be passionate for a while but it can’t stay like that forever. It’s ok for it to turn into love and I feel work is the same. There’s nothing wrong with not being passionate all the time.

@damiensirkis @jackyan @davidk01 This is a really great comment. I agree with you; passion isn't something that you have to have every minute of every day. I just couldn't see myself doing what I do if there wasn't some level of personal fulfillment in it as a whole.

@pennsylforniageek @davidk01 @damiensirkis I think the fulfilment could come from something else, e.g. the sense of seeing someone really happy with a solution you’ve proffered.

@jackyan @davidk01 @pennsylforniageek agreed. Or working on something cool that benefits a lot of people (same idea I guess but on a wider scale). For a job to last I think it has to turn into something like that and the work environment/boss has to allow this to happen. Otherwise it’s an abusive relationship (back to my analogy).

@pennsylforniageek @davidk01 I have just read David’s post (when I responded I had only seen that one post come through on the federated timeline) and I’m inclined to agree with him. Passion definitely helps but what if one is in a situation where there is no profession to match? I would have loved to have been a car designer—however, I’m somewhere where there’s no motor industry in the traditional sense, and no training programmes.

@davidk01 @pennsylforniageek Maybe the word we should focus on is professional, i.e. those who profess themselves to a vocation.

@jackyan @davidk01 Agreed. Clearly from the responses to this my experience has been quite different than others. I think it's fair to say that most of the white collar working world these days puts in 45+ hours a week (I know, I'm being conservative). I cannot imagine putting that much time into something without some sense of fulfillment which for me, is not rendered by compensation alone.

@pennsylforniageek @davidk01 Still very valid—as you said earlier they’re two sides of the same coin. And I get 100 per cent where you are coming from. I indulge my passion—I have a car encyclopædia online called Autocade—but it is a hobby that pays a few dollars per month in advertising, therefore I spend relatively little time on it. Lots of fulfilment. If I found a way to make it pay I probably would do it far, far more than I do now.

@jackyan @davidk01 One of the nicer things with this site is that for the most part, people have been willing to have civil debates or as David pointed out, discussions. I'm not vehemently opposed to David's point of view on the subject at hand; in fact, I did agree with him on at least two (if my count is correct) points that he had made. However, I think that we are seeing two sides of the same coin. I'm more than happy to have my opinion changed if agreeable support is offered up.

@pennsylforniageek @davidk01 I imagine because Mastodon’s new, we’re seeing those of us more inclined to have a civil discussion hop on board first. If it grows, then it could follow the path of other technologies: email was great before spammers, Wikipedia was great before hierarchies and editors wanting to get up the chain.

@jackyan @davidk01 There a "lessons learned" opportunity for this community here to try and maintain that. I realize, as you've pointed out, that's a tough thing to maintain but my hope is that much like forum netiquette it will persevere at least for awhile.

@pennsylforniageek @davidk01 hope so, too. I gave up updating my Facebook wall in December; it’s nice to be somewhere a lot calmer and more civilized.

@jackyan @davidk01
Isn't it though? At this point in my life and career, I don't have the patience or energy to get heated over an unproductive conversation online. I'd rather have a civil discussion and listen to a different perspective.

@pennsylforniageek @davidk01 I’ve come to that point, too. One thing I’ve noticed is that Mastodon introduces me to new people (as has happened here). All Facebook eventually did was restrict me to the same bunch—it took away the sense of discovery. I feel a bit of the same wonder I once had when embarking on to a new corner of the virtual world knowing the people would be civil (e.g. when I first went on to specialist BBSs in the 1980s or a new blogging network in the 2000s).

@jackyan @davidk01 I'm hoping that the lack of advertising opportunities will make Mastodon prohibitive to becoming a commercial tool like . However, when it does, I'll happily move on to the next thing. In the meantime, here's to a happy, healthy and productive add free social media experiment.