Going through my inbox is becoming an education in itself.
One thing that's come up in conversations lately is my fear of "going into business, " usually phrased as "but I don't want to be a manager." It is an irrational and unexamined fear; I don't know very much about this thing I claim I am afraid of. I have this deep-seated notion that I have to Make Things in order to prove myself as a hacker and an engineer (and I want to be a good hacker, I really do). The train of thought I'm running on says that "businesspeople don't Make Stuff; time you spend on management is time you don't spend hacking, and thus learning more about business will make you a worse hacker."
Erroneous reasoning. Hard to shake nevertheless. Working on it.
Someone once told me that engineers solve the problems others tell them to solve and managers spend more time determining which problems should be solved. They also advised me to try to be both. Ask your own questions. Do something that you are so excited about that you forget to sleep. (I'm not sure they knew just how easy it is for me to get excited enough by something to not sleep on its behalf.)
From an email to a friend:
Some folks are going to have to wade through bureaucracy in order to
allow the really good people to shine and run with projects like they
should be able to. I'm not a fast runner, so I got myself a machete and
started chopping away. You, on the other hand, are a fast runner. [And should run.]
A recurring theme in my life is the need to put aside time and resources for my own learning - try to teach and cultivate my own growth the way I try to teach others. I get around the guilt feelings by trying to find ways to teach other people the things I don't know myself but want to learn, but I want to be able to confront this directly and be selfish for a little while. That's not too much to ask, is it? The ability to be selfish?
Do I actually want it?
Gah. All right. I've got to go through these emails faster. No more posts until I drop below 500. Go.