My father was an electrician for over thirty years and has worked on houses, power plants, and manufacturing facilities for most of his life. When travelling around the region near the small town where I grew up, you can see physical structures that my Dad has helped to construct. There must be a certain sense of pride to see something that you built thirty years ago still standing and still being used today.
If you’re in the information technology field, can you still have this sort of sense of accomplishment? Let’s face it, things in this industry move far too fast for anything to last for a long time. Yes, there are some fundamental concepts still in use that were developed decades ago, and there are IT corporations that have been around a long time, but this is a pretty small percentage of the industry as a whole.
My current focus area revolves around cloud and automation so I talk to customers and colleagues about being able to provision and then destroy services quickly and easily, in a repeatable fashion.
Literally, all of the work that I do could be deleted in minutes in order to save on operational costs. It would be like building a house out of Lincoln logs and then putting them back in the box at the end of the day. So, if you’re in IT, especially cloud, would you have a thing that you’ve built that you’re especially proud of, or would it be destroyed just as fast as it was created?
If your family is anything like mine, they’re very supportive of your work and career goals, but let’s face it, they don’t really understand what you do for a living. Think about how hard it is to explain what virtualization, cloud, and DevOps are to people that are not in the industry and these are just the terms of today. Tomorrow there will be a whole new set of terms that will be equally as difficult to explain. With these types of language barriers, are you even able to really share in the accomplishments with them? Sure, they know that you obtained that shiny new certification or promotion at work, but they probably don’t really know the importance (or lack of) this accomplishment really is. Since you can’t share in the moment with them, you end up celebrating on your own.
OK, enough whining from theITHollow guy. I’m not sure if anyone feels this way or not, but I can tell you this much for sure. The people that come and say hello at conferences, touch base over Linkedin or Twitter, or read my blog, are my houses, power plants and manufacturing facilities. I may not have a tangible thing to look back on and show my son when he grows up, but in some way I hope to have helped someone else, who does understand the industry, to move their career forward.
If we touched base recently at a conference, shared a hello over social media, or you completed a project due to one of my blog posts, thank YOU for being my legacy.