April 24, 2012

The Dumping Ground Situation.

I’m pretty good at much my job*. I can say that with confidence because during my last annual review I noticed that I scored well on all the important parts and my numbers were all headed in a positive direction. That’s a good thing. It’s better to have high numbers on the review instead of high blood pressure numbers because that just leads to a fast track to the big cubicle in the sky. I’m not much of a cubicle person so we are trying to avoid that.

Because I’m good at my job and people like the work that I do (I build applications that make you go “woo!”), I tend to get a plethora of suggestions on how to make my applications even better. “Can we make this turn red when there’s an issue. Can you require that field to be filled in and pop up a warning when they do it wrong.” I get that sort of thing and since I’m the architect that builds to the needs of the occupant, I do my best to accommodate. It’s kind of what makes the career side of me tick.

The problem with all of this is that I have a hard time admitting that I’m going to need help on a project. I’m a bit of a control freak (surprise!) and while I love being part of a team that comes up with the direction of the project, I like being the one that builds the code. I have a vision, I usually have an idea of how that vision is going to be executed, and I like to be the one that executes it. For all of my career I’ve usually been the lone programmer or system administrator for a group, so it’s kind of weird for me to think that I might have to write code with someone else that has the same or comparable skill set as me. After all, loner tendencies + control freak = me. It’s simple math.

At nearly 44 years old I am trying to find a way to share my toys a little bit and to allow others to play in the sandbox with me. If I don’t do this, I’ll make myself insane, have some sort of fit and then go off and find another opportunity. In reality I don’t want to work for another company. I like what I do, I just need to find a way to be realistic of what I can handle and to let others help me out. I want to be the guy that’s really awesome at his job because he had it all under control and he bit off exactly what he could chew without spitting it out all over the audience. I don’t want to be the guy that they think is awesome because he’s spending 80 hours a week working. That’s not who I am. I want to be fueled by passion, not control freakiness.

I guess I need to make a concerted effort to manage these projects better. Something to ponder.

I do know that the cookie I just had made me feel a little bit better. Nom nom nom.

* Thank god I’m not a professional proofreader.