Searching for a learning buffer
Searching for a Learning Buffer
A level game in professional growth. Still playing.
My grandmother used to tell me me that every choice you make also limits you. At the time I thought it odd or dooming. Now I take it as a cue to use my most precious asset. Time. It has taken me some awhile to understand that, Time and how I use are the only relevant differences between my colleagues and myself.
At the beginning I thought it was my International Relations degree. To me it was quite evident in a sea of engineering graduates. But most people really didn’t care. Then I thought of my first jobs as teacher and translator. It wasn’t the proper expected path. But then I had learned that what mattered most was practice practice practice or rather debug debug debug 🙂
Maybe, I thought, my original sin comes from the language I used. I belong to the joyful army of those empowered by Visual Basic 6. Unfortunately, I was told, it is a “soft” language. Real, properly graduated engineers, they learn C and C++ in university. Or even,” you know, assembler” (the latter in religious hushed tones). Luckily for me, I witnessed the release of the first .NET framework and everything went smoothly afterwards. Smoothly that is, until I stopped a few months to have my daughter.
I was told I would have to cope with the infamous Work-Life Balance.
Why is Work against Life I wondered? Work is crucial. I like it, some days I enjoy it. A few times I have been able to look back in pride at some projects. Now that they are completed, rolled out, and even documented 😉 they inspire the same mild homesickness feeling of college years or school trips.
They keep inspiring.
My best projects were built or led by people who never stopped at the first solution. I would ask them in the morning “how did you find out about this ?” and they would tell of some wild prototype made in the night. At the beginning I could try myself. The results were not comparable but still I pursued them and enjoyed my bits of nightly learning.
Let’s fly over the first months of parenthood and let’s also suppose that everything is back in place: 8 hours work, some 1h and a half commuting, picking the girl at day care/preschool, cooking. And delegate anything that we don’t need to do personally. Making the most of time bits and crumbles.
I still miss my learning time. I feel it was my key driver for growth all those first years as a thrilled outsider and now I have to invent it all over again. I only need a seat in the underground to make it do.