3 Nov 2011 · development

Passion and Pragmatism in IT

Do what you love is what, for instance, Steve Jobs said. It does not get more true than that. Hacking has been labeled as a negative word, but for me has a positive meaning, which is the impulse of people to open things, learn how they work and change it to make it better. Hacking for me is a passion, something I always do with pleasure.

Having this attitude in IT is important, only experimenting with stuff pushes your skills forward. Courses are not what gives you the ability to do things, they are just a kickstart for your hacking. Learning is one of the things i believe i am good at, it is something i find myself doing without realizing it.

But to work in IT, hacking by itself is not a great quality if you are not able to control where it is going. Attainment is important, because it is the manifestation of your knowledge. If you are not able to make things concrete, how can someone know if you are good at what you do?

Pragmatism is when you learn what in practice is needed and you do it. In practice, a product that comes from only passion is a nice thing to have but does not directly satisfy a need. In constrast, if you direct your hacking towards satistying a need, then it becomes a killer feature.

Needs are always specified in time. Today i know i will need to eat, if i skip today and eat tomorrow i will survive but i will be pretty upset. People work to satisfy needs, not because they are passionate about it (although i hope they like it), so if they ask you something for work, your passion must be directed towards their need. That’s the only way you will get money and success in the long-term. Money satisfies your needs, success is the intellectual reward for your passion. Both important.

Unfortunately work is not always fertile ground for exploration, at least not forever. In the end, if hacking for you is important, switch job to keep things moving. I know it can be daunting for someone, but sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.

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