Lift Your Vision Higher!
Having ridden the storm of the dot-com
decline, it's nice to see the worldwide
press having a semi-upbeat tone about
the tech economy. Java, as a language,
rode the crest of the wave; it could do
no wrong and Java developers were the
geeks among geeks. We now sit and
watch the ups and downs of our industry;
we watch the continual bickering
and arguments that crop up. There are
times I actually question why I do any
of this coding/consulting thing at all.
Recently I found myself stuck in a
rut, doing the commute, doing the job,
and going home. I'd died on the inside
and didn't know which way to turn. I
was enjoying programming but I felt it
had no real value. Now I don't really
hear developers talk about this sort of
thing at all and there seem to be
shocked faces when someone leaves an
organization, like Bill Joy leaving Sun,
I was faced with some choices. I
could stay and continue with my work,
stay but change my role, leave and
move onto something similar to what I
do, or, the real risky alternative, leave
and do something completely different.
It's easy to dream a dream but it's
another thing to step out and do it, so
with the support that I needed around
me I handed my notice in.
Now I don't advise everyone to do
what I did, but there comes a time
when you have to look at your desk and
ask yourself, "Am I really fulfilling my
potential here?" For me the reality was
that I was not and it was time to go.
The apostle Paul spent a lot of time
encouraging Christians and the Church
to go that extra step in their conduct. As
Java programmers we have to encourage
each other and the groups that we
belong to (user groups, blog communities,
IRC, and mailing lists). Continually
ask yourself how you can improve your
skills, programming attitude, and business
conduct. Java is a life lesson; how
do you think you are getting on?
I got hold of a couple of books,
Change Activist and Soultrader by
Carmel McConnell, that discuss how to
take control of your working and personal
lives and do something with
them. They were an eye opener and
made me realize that I was doing the
right thing by moving on.
The next step is to think big. Not just
a little bit more than what you already
have, but big, way beyond your comfort
zone. I'm sure there are people at Sun
who walk around dreaming up all sorts
of stuff that never sees the light of day.
It doesn't stop them; the chance of
developing that one thing that might
make it is enough for them to carry on.
I am not going to compare Java to
Christianity but there are some parallels.
We have to stay focused on what is
close to our hearts. Nehemiah was constantly
disrupted from building the wall
in Judah. Even when the laborers were
weak, they continued building. Though
the dot-com boom ended, the developers
Christians mature in their work; so do
developers. Constant learning, empowering,
and encouraging is vital to the
growth of the Java language, and the
development of the application server
and associated tools. We all have our part
to play and watching public blog beatings
only fills my heart with dismay as I
watch the others who are trying to write
more tools, and encourage and empower
us to create more powerful applications.
I'm really excited about the next wave
of applications, sites, and mobile devices
and how Java fits in all that. I'm excited
about getting out in 2004 and hopefully
meeting some folks in the Java world.
As we near 2004, here are a few questions
1. Are you really happy with what you are doing?
2. If not, what are you going to do to change it?
3. If not, when are you going to change it?
4. How are you going to prevent it from happening again?
Regardless of everything you read on
forums, Java is a top-class language. It
runs fast and does the job wonderfully.
Now let's get together as a body of
developers who, with one voice, can
show the world what this language can
Jason Bell is the senior programmer for a B2B portal. He's also a keen supporter of people reading the API docs before asking questions. In his spare time he's involved with building RSS development tools.