Some days, you (as an unpaid entrepreneur-type) think… why am I doing this? Its too hard, too painful. Today started a bit like that, coinciding with the delivery of my credit card bill, and the new graphs I added to 33percent, my “money-management for people like me” software.
33percent rather clearly shows my expenses at this point in time exceeds my income, and the feeling of… “why don’t you just … get a job!” runs through my head for a while. And indeed, I might do that at some point, once I’ve tied up loose ends. But… it would need to be a special job.
One of the problems with IT is that very few companies actually want really good people. Most people want average people, who they don’t need to worry about replacing if they decide to leave. The systems they write are “ok” systems. Nothing earth shattering. Banking systems, enterprise systems. Government systems. Safe systems.
And I’ve done that. And in some respects, its fine. Particularly the people you meet. But… at the end of the day, you want to craft something good. Something… nice. Something of high quality, without being subverted by meetings, and bureaucracy, and ghosts of decisions long past, that are inherent in those big systems.
doing it yourself lets you be the judge of quality. Im not talking about “perfectionist” quality, where every last i is dotted and t crossed. I’m talking about… something that works almost as well as you can make it, and that works for the vast majority of the people who use it. Thats architected well, easy to modify, easy to understand. its just good, and you get a ‘good’ feeling as you modify it. Where the price of failure (see last post) is tiny, because you have constructed it to deploy without hardship.
Very few companies value these attributes. Most are after something that meets the requirements, not something that meets the requirements well. Its the difference between basecamp and ms project. Between subversion and clearcase. between apple and microsoft. Thats why we go into IT.