Caught Between Two Worlds

Posted on: by

Part of me, the younger hacker part of me (Google half), wants to tinker and write applications to fill in the rough spots. The other part of me, the older got to get things done because there is more to life (Apple half), wants things to just be functional and do what I need them to do without much intervention or tinkering from me.

I would love to have one platform that just does what I want so I can get things done. Unfortunately no platform exists that does this, so I end up spending a lot of time cobbling together things to make them do what I want and work the way I want.

Doing this is just a given to me. But I also want to try things and see what works. Is that new OS something I like? Does that new Javascript framework replace an old one or can I lift what it does well and merge it with one I like better?

I will be honest, this drives my wife (and likely my co-workers) crazy.

Most people are like my older Apple half. They have a task, they want it to work and do what they want out of the box. They simply don’t want to spend a lot of time tinkering with things.

I recently did an interview with Mike Elgan on what it is like to be a Digital Nomad for the Breaking Development Podcast. One of the, many, things I took away was how he never once brought up that an app is native or web. He talked about apps in the sense of tasks accomplished.

As developers, we want to embrace our younger Google half because it’s fun to tinker, modify and mash things up. But it is important to understand that those we are writing applications for really just want to solve problem and accomplish the things they need to get done and then they move on.

When we develop, the people we develop for are not like us. Definitely something I need to remind myself of all the time.