Everybody is boring, and that’s wonderful

At one point in your life you meet new people at a party. Then as you get older you meet them at dinner parties. Then you start meeting them at your kid’s ballet class or whatever activity you choose to enrol them in.

Out of all the new people you meet in your life, occasionally you’ll meet somebody that’s boring. But actually truth be told, it’s just you’ve met somebody that hasn’t learnt to hide the boring parts.

To be really boring at something you have to know it well. You have to form opinions that are hard to be challenged. You have to feel that you can stand on your soapbox and tell the world how you feel about something. If you’ve got a good case and can win people over, you’re probably extremely boring. That can be hard to hide if you don’t know it and many people suffer long awkward conversations as result. They can think of nothing better than getting away as quickly as possible.

But you know what, that’s just fine. What’s boring to one person is another person’s dream. It means they’ve dived into every little detail and know their subject inside out. The more there is to know about something, the more boring they can be.

When it was announced that Concorde would no longer fly, Sir Richard Branson tried to buy the fleet for Virgin. His engineers looked into the feasibility of Virgin Atlantic flying them, and they discovered something boring. Because British Airways and Air France both have blue in their liveries, the surface of Concorde is slightly warmer in the blue areas, which makes air flow over it slower. As Virgin’s brand is only red, which is bright and would reflect heat away as the white does, it would actually increase the speed that Concorde could fly. With Virgin’s livery, Concorde could have set a new speed record.

Isn’t that boring? Or really very interesting?

My team are the back-end developers at Golin Digital. We’re the most interesting part of the web development process (in my boring opinion). But I fear we’re probably the only people that think that.

Clients love designs, they get excited to see their brand or idea come to life in a new way. Front-end developers get to take these designs and turn them into sites you can click and touch. Videographers take gorgeous film and put it to inspiring music to warm your heart. Animators make a character come alive. Project managers deliver the projects and get the payoff when the entire project comes together to produce a great piece of work. Everybody can admire each other’s contribution.

But back-end developers, we’re different. There’s not a lot to see or get excited about for everybody else. It’s just mostly lines and lines of code.

We get excited because a new data centre has opened, cutting a few milliseconds off the page load speed. We get excited when we’re able to switch a server around without anybody noticing. We get really excited when we’ve spent all day writing tests for a part of a project, to be rewarded with the word “OK” appearing in otherwise empty box.

It’s boring to so many people, but we love it. It’s our passion and my boring team want to do nothing more than make the magic happen. Boring people make this magic happen, and if you think you’re as boring (but also like the pub, you have to stop now and again) then you should get in touch.


Originally published at golin.com on January 15, 2015.

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