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We're not craftsmen and craftswomen

By Steve Jones,

We're just not, we're not craftspeople, at least not most of us. We do what we need to do at work. We get systems working just enough. We get by. That's a little sad, and one of my goals is to get as many of you as possible to think of yourselves as craftspeople, not technology workers.

Jerry Rice was the best at his craft, and yet he continued to put in work on The Hill as though he were trying to catch others rather than the other way around. David Marks and Norm Abram are professionals, and while they need to complete projects to earn money, they also recognize that "just getting it done" is not enough. Doing just enough to complete a job is the sign of a amateur, not a craftsman.

There are constraints in our business. We never have enough time, money, or all too often, specifications, when we are working with technology. We need to be effective and make things work. However that doesn't mean doing the bare minimum to be functional. 

We should aim to be professionals, and part of being a professional is continuing to improve our skills over time. Professionals continue to learn; amateurs do not. We should consider new ideas and techniques, dig into new technologies, and avoid shortcuts. Most importantly, we should do the job that we would want someone to do for us.

We do have lives outside of work, and outside of our careers. However it's not an either/or, but a balance that we should strive for between work and life. We can include regular education, and consistent improvement over time as we complete work. We balance that by remembering to appreciate and enjoy our lives outside of our chosen profession.

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Steve Jones