Monday, August 06, 2007

Moving stuff

Between meetings we looked outside and down at the traffic below. We saw workmen in big trucks working on the off ramp. One of my associates told me that they had watched the guys move dirt back and forth. Sometimes they moved it back to the same spot as before.

She drew the parallel to some of the projects we have been on. We begin building the software but then because of budget cuts or Business requests have to change the plans and re-build in some other direction.

We laughed and thought about our current project. Just about every possible complex feature has been added but the time lines haven't moved. We go one way for a month or so and then are buffeted toward the opposite way by more features and scope. It's a turbulent sea out here.

I left for lunch to clear my head and get some grub. As I drove out of the parking garage I concluded that:

The sum of most human endeavors is just moving stuff from one place to another.

We just collect stuff throughout our lives and then leave it behind for someone else to collect. The archeologist is the ultimate collector of other peoples stuff. Some people are in the business of selling dead people's stuff. They are called antique sellers.

Even when we go down to the store to buy something, say a necklace, we are really just moving the stuff from the store to our house (or in this case our neck).

Of course, as a software developer, my job is all about moving stuff. I design software to move data from the database to the screen to present to the users. After they type in data from stuff they've collected, I move the stuff into the database where I will move it out again.

That's just the way it is. We are all just moving stuff.

Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value. -Albert Einstein