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How Far are You Willing To Go To Get Something?

By Ben Kubicek,

To a certain degree this question is about commitment and stubbornness. I know a lot of technical people that are stubborn and committed. Still, how far would you go to improve or learn a new skill? How far would you go to make sure a database or a new system is production ready?

I guess at the core of this question is: what motivates us to do our best? Why do we go through one more round of testing? Why do we re-factor something again? I think part of the answer is trying to achieve perfection. It will never be attained, but we keep reaching for it. Another part is perhaps just having pride in our work and in projects that our name gets associated with. There may be issues, but they surely won’t be from our contributions. I have seen and experienced time and time again technical professionals caring enough to stay late or work on weekends to get things done.

Sometimes people will go to extremes to get things they want even outside of their jobs. I have firsthand knowledge of a fellow that wanted to get an NES Classic mini for Christmas 2016. You may or may not be familiar with the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). The original NES came out in the 80’s. Nintendo released a NES Classic mini in the Fall of 2016 which had 30 of the classic games preloaded on it. It was released Nov. 11th  2016 and sold out immediately in the U.S. Anyway, I know this guy that wanted to get an NES Classic mini for Christmas. Now whether he wanted for his kids or for himself is not clear. He started to call stores after the release and couldn’t find a store that had any in stock. Soon he found a website that would show a certain store’s stock, but every time when he would call the store after it opened they were already sold out. He tried one time to get to the store an hour before it opened (6:00) only to find out other people got there ever earlier than him and the store was all sold out.

Finally, one cold Saturday winter morning in late December, after a six-inch snow fall (15cm), he woke up at 3:00 in the morning and decided to check the website for stock. He found that a local store had 9 units. He decided he would sleep a little and then go early to the store. After lying in bed for an hour and not being able to sleep he got up and decided to drive over to the store. He dressed warmly as the temperature out was 5F (-15C). He arrived at the store at 4:30 and found there were already three people waiting. After waiting 2.5 hours outside in the cold the store finally opened at 7:00 and he was able to buy NES Classic Mini. We can only hope it was worth it.

So what about you?Are you willing do to the work to learn something new, something you have been putting off?Share a time where you went over and above to get something done or to learn something new

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