"If money was not an object, what would you do for work?" I usually ask that question when I am trying to get to know someone a little better. People say all sorts of things. Some people want to be writers, fashion designers, actors and so on. When people ask me back what I would do. I tell them I would code. I started coding when I was in secondary school, at first it was because I wanted to learn one of the tools to become one of those bad-ass hackers you see on TV and then it later evolved into the love of creation. I discovered that the ability to create the things I wanted to see in the world was more valuable than breaking other peoples' creations. I could not stop dreaming up systems. The fact that I pay my bills today as a developer is a total fluke and one of the biggest blessings in my life. People ask me how I knew software would blow up so early in my life... I didn't, I just had the privilege to find what I loved to do at an early age and never let go.
Somewhere along the way I got lost, I started to care who could code better software systems than I could, I started to care too much about how much I got paid for software I built, I started to care too much about the monetary value of my time, I only built applications that could generate me money. Creating software became work. If you asked me how was work, I would groan... the way a man who toils the soil with his hands would. I got stressed when I did not know the solution to a software problem. Instead of approaching the problem with the optimism of an explorer discovering a new frontier, I approached it with the pessimism of a war veteran assigned to a peacekeeping mission. Sometimes I wondered what else I could do with my life. But anytime I went on vacation and had relaxed for a sufficient amount of time, my mind went back to code.
Many times I have wanted to forget clients and just build all the stuff I wanted to see in the world. A Hip-Hop quote engine that delivers daily inspirational rap quotes from the likes of lil' Wayne to your phone, or a reminder app of whose turn it is to bring bagels to the office today etc, but I am a grown up now and I have bills to pay, so I need to actually work and generate some revenue.
My childlike creativity, purity, and honesty is honestly being crowded by these grown thoughts ~Kanye West (Power)
Following the Golden mean, the answer is somewhere in the middle. My new year resolution this year is to work on things I want to see in the world alongside work. I am not entirely sure how this will be executed yet, I might start to have easter eggs in my apps, or create small, fun and quirky things on the side, but what I know is I am going to put fun as priority and create things I think will be interesting to make and exercise my creativity and put the grungy parts of work second. By finding interesting things to tackle and inserting my personality into my work I plan on putting play first.
I will share my escapades here... wish me luck.