In the Office

I’m back in the office today. Currently taking a break, writing things into the Filofax, and comparing calendars between home, and work – figuring out what I’m going to miss over the next few weeks if everything happens as planned in a meeting this morning. Who am I kidding? Things never work out as planned, but I’ll make a mess of the calendar section of my Filofax with it all anyway. Maybe I should start writing in pencil?

I’m going to be on the road a lot this summer. I’ll be writing from trains, planes, and lecture theatres – sharing my daily adventures while pretending to sound clever – standing in front of strangers, pointing at projected screens, and boring them to death.

I think I like teaching better than developing – it’s less stressful. I guess it’s worth remembering that I teach grown-ups – I can’t imagine how much more difficult it is to teach teenagers.

When you’re working on a software development project, you’re nearly always up against it – fighting to deliver something that works, that is invariably better than the design specification, and in less time than was estimated. When you’re lecturing a room full of business people you just turn up, bounce around the room enthusiastically for a few days, and go away – there is no end product.

I know lots of teachers. They would be running at me with sharp implements if they read this, because the end product of teaching is of course an educated pupil, armed to go forward with the new tools you have provided them. Here’s the thing though – a classroom pupil doesn’t start screaming on the final day “I’m not paying because I’m no good at this stuff”, or “I’m not paying until next year, because I won’t be using any of this until then” (and by then, they will have forgotten it all, or moved jobs).

I sometimes wonder why I have ended up being “the teacher” among the group of developers I know. Logic would dictate that I’m either better with people, or worse with programming. Or maybe I’m good at both, but being good with people is more useful until you’ve built a relationship with a client? I don’t know.

Of course all these plans could change within a couple of days. I’ll end up setting fire to the Filofax, and questioning the nature of the universe. Imagine if you tried to tell an Amazon Echo “Remind me that I’m travelling all over the place in a few weeks time – not sure when or where yet though”.

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