Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Advancing The Craft

There's been a lot of talk lately about 501 developers and the confusion as to who they are and what to do about it.  My understanding of the original intention of a 501 developer isn't just someone who leaves at 5:01, but someone who makes no advances in their craft.  The time is just a symbol that they do not advance under any condition for any reason.  I usually leave at the same time as I want to go home and spend time with my family.  My children have after school activities that they need to get to and I want to watch them play.  There's nothing wrong with that.

So what is a 501 developer then?  To me it is someone who doesn't love their job or care enough about it to try and learn more.  They make no attempt to advance their craft.  I spend only a little bit of my time each day to learn more.  I don't do it a lot, as I don't want to get burned out and become bored with the very thing that I love doing.

There are two main points that I'm trying to get across.  One is if you don't love your job, then maybe you should be looking for something else to do after 501.  If you do love you job then you not a 501 developer.  If you love your job then you are probably learning or reading blogs like this one already.  The second point is how much time should you spend learning about the craft?  Well, logically, the more you love your job then the more likely it is you'll spend time trying to learn it.  However, if you spend too much time trying to learn then you're probably getting burnt out.  I feel that it doesn't really matter how much time you spend as you will eventually find a balance.

If you don't love what you do, then you should spend some time trying to figure out what you love to do.  If you love what you do, then you already know what you need to do.  If you ever find yourself at the point of not trying to learn or you do not really care about your craft, then you need to do some self reflection and soul searching to find the answer to the question: Do you love this job?

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