We are Not Children

I am not a woman/man child. I don’t need games and toys to be motivated to do my work. I don’t need sugar snacks and soda pop. I take my work seriously and find inherent joy in it.

Companies often use hackathons to “motivate” employees. This only acknowledges that they believe the daily work is boring and that we are not hacking every day. Just like “happy hour” is unlike all other miserable hours, “hack-athons” are unlike all other miserable “life-athons”.

They bring snacks, pizza, and beer. On top of thinking we need play time, they feel that isn’t enough. They turn the hackathon into a competition. Who has the best ideas? Who played the best?

Programming is already inherently play. I don’t need play time. I am trying to solve real problems for real people in real communities. Part of that process is programming, and in it, there exists an infinite space of play.

I am a professional programmer. I take myself seriously and so should you.

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4 thoughts on “We are Not Children

  1. Made me think of this Oscar Wilde quote.

    “A man who takes himself too seriously will find that no one else takes him seriously.”

    • That’s a good quote. The question is, if how serious people take you is a function of how serious you take yourself? Or is it that people don’t take you seriously regardless.

  2. I like it inasfar as it’s an opportunity to work on something you’re interested in, rather than on the next item someone else put in your queue. I’d like it much better if it were a more common thing, like “20% time”.

    • I have always operated under the framework of “Ask for forgiveness, not for permission”. Take your 20% time regardless if they give it to you. Life is too short not to. In fact, they (the management) don’t understand the process of programming if they object.

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