Buy Headphones

Buy Headphones

An homage to the famous speech written by Mary Schmich, “Wear Sunscreen”…

Buy Headphones Ladies and gentlemen of the IT community, buy headphones
If I could offer you only one tip for your career, great headphones would be it
The ability to block out your chattering neighbor or that guy who won’t silence his phone
Is invaluable – Trust me
The rest of my advice – take it as you will

Know that you will never finish anything
This isn’t your fault – it is the nature of what we do
There will always be a backlog, a new language to learn, a new feature to add
But in thirty years, Inbox Zero means nothing If you didn’t actually live your life

I mean it – walk away. Turn off your phone. Go see your friends & family
Take a mental health day – lie in a hammock in the shade doing nothing
Don’t apologize for being more than your lines of code.
You are more than your lines of code

Learn one new thing every day
Break something
Don’t put up with people who say you shouldn’t
You haven’t done anything real till you’ve broken the build

But always have a backup
Seriously – back everything up
Because when you’re standing in a server room at 3:00 AM
Wondering where the database went – that backup will save you

Don’t be cocky – you are not as good as you think
Ask any Sybase, Silverlight, or Borland developer
What happens when you get cocky
Someone somewhere is hungrier than you are
And a new technology is always around the corner

Don’t be afraid – you are better than you think
Embrace your bugs and your logic errors
Realize that everyone pretends to know more than they do
Even that guy in the meeting who always has the answers

Maybe you’ll write the next viral app, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll found the next Uber, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll quit IT at forty and go back to school
Maybe you’ll retire at 65 after a long and fulfilling career
Whatever happens, don’t worry so much It’s all half chance anyway

Be adventurous in your career – do what scares you
You’ll only remember the interesting days
Work for a large corporation – but quit before it makes you cynical
Work for a startup – but leave before it makes you crazy

Get to know the people who don’t say much
That 55 year old woman in the corner with her pastel sweater
Is cooler than you think
And she probably knows more than you

Speak up, even if you might be wrong
Ask questions – even the dumb ones
The most brilliant people I know never claim to be experts
Those who do are usually full of crap

Take up a hobby
One where you’ll finish something
Hold your creation in your hands
You’ll need this in your life

Take care of your eyes, hands, and brain
They are the tools of your trade
Learn to type properly and
Practice good posture – you’ll thank me in 20 years

Surround yourself with different kinds of people
Find your flow
Argue constructively
Never take it personally

Work somewhere where you’re appreciated
Appreciate those you work with
Say thank you and give credit
Everyone notices the grateful Even if they say nothing

Advice is everywhere
Dispensing it is a way to claim superiority and greater experience
We use it to justify our own choices and paths
But trust me on the headphones.

About the Author:

Audrey Hammonds (blog LinkedIn) is working as a consultant for Innovative Architects in Atlanta. (With her fellow Datachix!) Fourteen years ago, she volunteered for DBA training to escape COBOL, and never looked back. A firm believer that good fundamentals and solid design can save a database professional’s sanity, she has devoted much of her career to designing (hopefully) elegant databases and straightening up others’ not-so-elegant databases. Audrey has run the gamut from Database Developer to Production DBA to Architect.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *