I was previously the Technical Director for EVE Online at CCP Games in Iceland. Before that, I worked as a Senior Technical Artist at BioWare Austin on Star Wars: The Old Republic. I am the author of Practical Programming in Autodesk Maya. I also founded www.tech-artists.org. Rob is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 42 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Someone Has a Hat to Eat

06.02.2012
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In December, I made a blog post about being happy. A anonymous (of course) commenter said:

Hey Rob. 5 months? Are you really this shortsighted? It’s like watching a kid say he’ll NEVER get tired of THIS toy. Frankly, if you don’t get tired of it you stopped growing. Take it as a good learning experience for the time when you forge your own destiny, but if you aren’t back to being a grumpy asshole in 6 months I’ll eat my hat. Not that I wear hats.

So 6 months (and a released expansion) later, have things changed? No, not one bit. In fact, late-night-drunk-rants have grown even more positive all around. Few of the bitch-sessions I’ve been used to in my career. It is an unfamiliar feeling. But addictive.

So why am I not back to being a ‘grumpy asshole’? Because there’s nothing to be grumpy about. There’s plenty wrong, but we’re moving at a steady pace in the right direction. And everyone is on board that it’s the right direction. No “we’ve decided this is the right direction so STFU and do what you’re told”. This happens because the talented people that complain loudly have several constructive outlets (I put myself in that group, at the risk of sounding egotistical).

One of the most exciting are communities of practice. Read the Wikipedia article if you like, but really they are a company-sanctioned forum for people with axes to grind to argue. Then we figure out what we want to do, and how to do it. And then we do it on some 15% time for skunkworks projects we’re able to reserve. Being able to talk about our common problems, across teams and responsibilities- we have everyone from tech artists to server programmers to the CTO there- is a refreshing experience.

(If you’re at a large company with lots of programmers who all aren’t on the same team, I’d highly suggest forming your own communities of practice).

The people who get shit done and can convince you of the way forward are given the responsibility to get more shit done. It’s nice. I think it has to do with the open source and python mentality.

Published at DZone with permission of Rob Galanakis, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Paul Russel replied on Sun, 2012/06/10 - 9:12am

To be honest, the original comment sounded like a snarky, nonsensical, jealousy fueled rant.

“Frankly, if you don’t get tired of it you stopped growing.”

What is this? In my perspective it’s the opposite. Growth to me is exciting. Like figuring out how to do stuff with a new language, that feeling of new command is exciting, liberating and has to be (at least) correlated with growth.

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