Alice in IT
Vrezh Oganisyan / June 13, 2020
4 min read • ––– views
“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that”. (Lewis Carroll)
In 1865 Lewis Carroll wrote that we need to run twice as fast as we can just to go anywhere in Wonderland. More than 150 years of intensive scientific and technological progress turn the IT industry into the new Wonderland. As a result instead of the paradise on Earth, we got burnouts, crashed work-life balances, and infinite threads of holy wars regarding new programming frameworks and languages. I think that we got into the trap of Wonderland where consuming matters more than creating.
In the article, I want to discuss the main problems of the so-called Wonderland and will try to propose a solution and a new way of existence in the IT world. So, wear masks, and let's dive deep into this land!
As I have mentioned earlier, in the new circumstances the only way to progress is to adopt "study harder, work longer, and never give up" paradigm. Surely, this paradigm might make you feel happy and fulfilled in the short-term cause you will start to see how quickly your skills are improving by mastering different technologies, but in the long-term, you won't be able to follow "running faster" approach because of the rhythm. Your health won't be able to continue this kind of life and you will start to feel depression and burnout.
To dig deeper into different approaches to being motivated, productive, and healthy, I will recommend starting understanding the ways your organism (especially brain) works. I'd recommend to from my article about learning and management and then give some time to "Learning how to Learn" course on Coursera.
The lack of work-life balance
Nowadays it's quite popular to forget about life by placing work at the center of life. Similarly to burnout, in the short term, you will get a better job and portfolio, increased salary, while in the long-term you can get ruined life and relationships.
The one thing some might understand is that the quality of the ability to work mostly depends on your life. To avoid being trapped in the 'hard work pays off' paradigm try to alternate the periods when you are working hard and getting rest by planning it before important projects and deadlines. Make sure that after some time of exhausting projects you can get enough rest.
Holy wars about "yet another framework"
The topic that drives me crazy is infinite wars about the next important technology which is going to change the way we
live write code. The stories of successful companies show us that stack doesn't matter, that different languages, frameworks, and paradigms can create projects that customers love.
By holy warring about the next great framework, we're moving important things like customer satisfaction, performance (still regretting that I used gatsby for blog) and security to the background of our attention.
So next time, when you start to discuss the next revolutionary thing, try to answer can it bring valuable improvements
to your cv for customers.
In my opinion, the only way to break the chains of burnout is to start doing stuff differently because as we can see previous paradigms of life showed us their unsustainability.
By differently I mean to stop putting ourselves in the position of a squirrel trapped in a wheel where we are working hard to have abilities and skills to work more without any goals.
By differently I mean to follow examples of the people who built the Wonderland for us and their principles were: inventing, exploring, and building stuff.
By differently I mean to get out of the wheel and start to explore and build stuff that might encourage our interest.
The video below may help to understand the idea better: