So many times, it has occured to me that “if you love what you do, you don’t have to work a single day”. I’ve been living under that clause until I came to realize a difference between what we call “hobby” and “work”. Of course, you should really like what you do and be happy with it so that you don’t regret it in the long term. The huge difference between regret and happiness is very evident, if not noticeable by you it would be the people around you who will point it out.
Lately, I’ve been looking into some topics at some IT communities like slashdot and gigaOM and I have bumped some insightful posts about career and work and thus arrived to a conclusion that the IT industry is almost taken for granted. To cite an example for this, some kids the age of 12 or younger are being taught by schools on the basics of computer science or what most of us know, programming. Note that the basics is a must when it comes to the field and not to mention, the fundamentals. Going back to what I have noticed, if you know a bit of coding, can you possibly call yourself a programmer? I mean, without a degree?
An article I’ve read entitled “Is an IT course worth taking at this time of age?”. The gist of this post states that there are already a lot of freelance people doing programming work for several off-shoring industries. Some of these people just code for fun or don’t even have a degree to begin with, they just find joy in coding. The intriguing part is that they’re friggin good at it! In fact, they even best some of the good people I know whom I have worked with.
I have this question upon myself; “work or hobby? which is it?”. I have to accept it, when I code, I have this feeling of satisfaction especially when I solve a very sophisticated problem. Although the problem I experience is just a revisit most of the time, it still pays that I coined the solution without any help from other sources but my own capabilities. There are times however that I don’t feel like coding. It’s like a void inside me that just begins to tick – the urge to do something else. If it was just a hobby then I could have just put it on hold and pursue that something else in mind. But, here it comes! the difference between hobby and work – as for the hobby, yes you may halt it at your own discretion, for work however, you cannot – you absolutely have to do it or somebody else will be upset say, your boss.
Career is more often than not misunderstood. Career is something you’d want to do until you’re less capable than you really are and you still have to continue working on improving regardless. My core definition of career is “you should never get bored while you’re in it”. You’ll always find ways on making it interesting if you really want to pursue it. Working daily at a factory as a rank-and-file or staff would be more interesting if you can be more innovative. Being at the top of the food chain would also be boring, if the time comes. That’s no longer a career, its already a basis for cash – the real question now is, are you still happy?