One year a cloudgineer: Optimism

“Perhaps this modern sorcery especially attracts those who believe in happy endings and fairy godmothers. Perhaps the hundreds of nitty frustrations drive away all but those who habitually focus on the end goal. Perhaps it is merely that computers are young, programmers are younger, and the young are always optimists. But however the selection process works, the result is indisputable: ‘This time it will surely run,’ or ‘I just found the last bug.’ — Fred Brooks


“Programmers are optimistic. And we have to be because if we weren’t optimists we couldn’t do this work.” — Doug Crockford

Coders at Work and the Mythical Man Month —a couple from the canon we read for eng team book club. And I found these quotes and LOL’d because I could relate. I think from my first HTML project when I had to make a baby chick jpg bend over and peck the ground on hover…I promised too much.

I’ve been noticing more evidence of this optimism as I’ve grown into this developer de profesional this year. Particularly an addiction to fix. The moment I spot some smell in the business process where someone does something manually: You send that email notification by hand every time?? Nah fuck that, and I crank my automate all the things dial up to GOD level.

Dear business person, this is all going to be better. I promise. Let us begin…

I remember one moment this year standing by the cooler chit chatting with the colleagues. And my coworker turned to me and said: “You always think there’s a solution for everything.” Hrmph, it appeared another ridiculous optimist engineer had arrived!

I think a worker in softwares who isn’t infected by optimism will burn out quick. We are always standing beside perfection in the bathroom mirror and would otherwise be crushed by imposter syndrome anxieties without the optimism juices we can keep combing through our hair before getting back out on the dance floor.

Our job is curse-like. An infinite, grinding loop. Building then perfecting then fixing then rebuilding. Validating inputs, hunting memory leaks. A person can get trampled who can’t dream even a small unwitting hallucination to maintain presence, power, and control. Like give me a daydream of a customers toothy smile when it “just works.” Hello World, this is 10x! The dream begets eagerness, effort, and excellence and will save your ass on the daily. Dream big, y’all.