Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In pursuit of excellence

The road to this field, can take us from many directions, but in the end it is our own drive to be the best, that gets us there.

For me this road started in 1996, when I worked for a local isp as a tech support person, sadly it was not a very well run isp, but that is what gave me the opportunities for growth I sought.

I worked my way up from Tech Support, to Webmaster, to Hostmaster, and mainly it was because I was bored of just answering calls, trying to solve customer's problems, when my employer didn't care about the customer's just getting them off the phone as soon as possible.

So I started to read about HTML, Javascript, then I heard of coldfusion. I had gotten some training in setting up IIS, but to do actual web programming really intrigued me. I already had made my mark, by taking all our piles of training material, to create a html based step-by-step problem solving intranet.

I am a person who wants change, to desires for things to always improve, and life is not always like that, but sometimes you have to create your own opportunities.

So I started to bug the web design/development department of the isp, asking questions, what's a cfoutput, what's a cfquery...

Playing with access databases, eventually in time working my way up to SQL Server...and over time, my knowledge, skills and experiences kept expanding, but that's not what I want this post to be about.

I think that I had some weird expectations, that I would reach some level of skill/experience, where i could work for a good company that recognized my potential, offered training, and that I would have chances to grow with them.

But that may be the reality for some, but mostly a fantasy...

A lot of us have to work for shlocky companies, that slowly change, don't really care, just do the work, and that can really hurt our desire to do our job, if we're always the janitors of the web.

Which is not what I had signed up for.

For me, I want to be the best, not so much for the recognition of others, but to find something I can do with my life that I am proud of.

Success, Excellence, I feel is really a mental attitude, do you really care about your craft, even when other's don't?

Do you do what's right even if no one else agree's with you?

Can you stand to be alone in a crowd, and stand by what you believe in, even if no one agree's with you?

I've been reading a lot of Jeff Atwood's Coding Horror Blog, and DailyWTF, because they show where we and others screw up in our programming, and perhaps give us clues as to how to improve ourselves...

I think what kind of upset's me now, is a big lack of vision and clarity about where coldfusion is going?

I just don't feel that after this many changes of owners, anyone has a clear vision of what does coldfusion mean, what is it's future, and what is good for both industry and company..

I mean, for me, i focus on the core values of coldfusion programming: performance, documentation, commenting, variables, sql queries, project management.

But i just don't see much discussion on those topics anymore, instead it's what the trends are on, which are cool, but have we as an industry shown that as coldfusion programmer's we've mastered those basic core values?

I don't believe that is so....

Until we're Coldfusion Professional Programmer's, where when people pick both the language and the people to program in it, they will know they will get solid quality, that plans for long term as well as take cares of the short term..

Just my thoughts...