One of the blogs I most enjoy reading is Life Beyond Code. This blog allows me to take off my technology hat and think about things like my career, my direction with information technology, and how to better develop not only my technical but also my personal and interpersonal skills. The posting "You don't have to go ALONE!" is one that is hard for me, but I understand the wisdom in what is being said.
Very little in our lives is about something we did alone, without a shred of help. This is especially true when it comes to our careers. Someone likely inspired us, challenged us, encouraged us, or gave us a helping hand for every major accomplishment we count in our lives. But we often don't think that way. We count them as personal accomplishments and that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Therefore, it makes even less sense to try and plan and scope our careers without stopping to consider where we might obtain help.
For instance, once upon a time a guy by the name of Chad Silva, an airman in my unit in the US Air Force, introduced me to Active Server Pages and what you could do with an Microsoft Access back-end. We then got into SQL Server, then version 6.5, together. Truth be told, I was riding on his coattails, learning about all this great new technology. After all, my primary job was as a project manager, the Air Force in its infinite wisdom deciding that a guy with degrees in physics and mathematics and a professional background as a developer with Visual Basic experience was best suited managing computer contracts. Therefore, everything I dealt with technology wise was completely on the side. Chad kept feeding me the nuggets of new technology, keeping me from losing all hope and converting to the dark side known as project management.
Fast forward almost ten years. I write for SQLServerCentral.com and SQL Server Standard Magazine. I've been an infrastructure architect for an enterprise class organization for over four years. I penned an eBook on SQL Server performance monitoring. And Chad? He's a .NET architect with his organization, a multinational corporation. You won't likely find him on a Google search because Chad has been and probably always will be a very private person. However, for those who know him, he'll do just about anything to help them. If I have a question about anything programming related, Chad's the first guy I email or call on the phone. A lot of where I am today is due to my friend, Chad.
But Chad is only one of many people who have helped me to get where I am today. And I'm sure as others think about their own paths, they'll find a whole litany of people who helped them, too. Which brings up the critical question, "If we didn't get to where we are alone, why do we think we can get to where we want to go by ourselves?" That's enough to slap down any ego.