My friend Maggie and I were discussing the way compsci’s approach their career. Those who take the artisan track ask “What inspires me? What do I want to create?”; they evaluate their career in terms of the difference (and things) they make. Those who take the technician track say “I’ve checked these boxes and now I will be a manager/senior architect”; they evaluate their career in terms of title and salary.
Given that my website is entitled “Created by Cate” and the fact that I give talks about “Art, Life and Programming” it is clear I’m of the artisan bent. In fact, a prof when I was in 4th year described himself as a “software artiste” and that is what I’ve aspired to be ever since.
When I think about what I want to do next, it’s all about what’s inspiring to me and what I want to create. What change I aspire to make in the world. What I’ll jump out of bed in the morning excited to be a part of.
After my interview at Google went well, someone told me that I would earn more at IBM. Honestly, I looked at them in surprise – I have no idea whether it’s true or not, but to me it’s completely irrelevant. I’ll earn more than enough as a software engineer, and whilst there is surely a debate about where it’s most amazing to work – to me it’s one of culture, projects, passion, commitment to diversity and work-life balance. Not of money.
Technicians can be bought. Not so much artisans – we need to be ignited instead.
The world – companies – projects – teams – need both. It seems like technicians will keep things ticking along, whereas artisans will be more unpredictable.
However it seems like work and life as an artisan is way more fun. What do you think?