Thursday, February 18, 2010

We're All Connected: A Passion For Your Craft

This little musical gem has been stuck in my mind and behind my eyeballs for over a day now. In itself, it doesn't relate directly to coding, but is a tribute to some of the greatest minds of our time, coupled with some fun with auto-tune. I'll explain why I'm posting this afterwards, but watch it first, if you haven't. And if you like it, you'll find more like it at Symphony of Science.

While this clip is neat in its own right, it's not the technical or musical aspects of it that gripped me. Instead, it's the men who are starring in it. It is the enthusiasm that they obviously feel for their fields of study, how they seem to be bubbling inside in near euphoria just to be able to speak about this stuff.

This relates in many ways to any craft, science, job or hobby, including software development. If you love what you do, learning how to do it better becomes fun and interesting. It develops into a passion.

I saw Theo Härén, a creativity consultant, speak recently, and his passion is obviously creativity. It was a fascinating talk, but the question that stuck with me was one that our stand-up comic host posed to Mr. Härén after the talk, which was whether a passion for creativity could be learned. And the question seemed to stump our guest speaker.

However, I think passion is something that does develop. That can be learned. Often a passion for something doesn't arise until you learn more about it. As you practice software development and learn to see the intricacies, patterns and structures within software, it is only then you can really begin to appreciate the beauty of a well put-together program in all its ingenuity.

The same could be said for astronomy, gaming, painting, love, parenting or most anything else.

And I don't think you're a success within your craft until you've discovered that passion, because until then, you're only doing a job. In a lifetime, that is bound to get old someday.

So, you may want to ask yourself, does what you do make you all excited and bubbly on the inside? Awesome! And if not, what would?