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It’s okay to show a *little* confidence

Technically, I said I’d get technical. But there has been a spate of negativity lately and it’s making my rose-coloured glasses tingle. Typically, this causes me to shut down for a little while until it blows over but I’m going to try to spread a little optimism this time instead.

The word "no" has been bandied about for the last week or so. Specifically, "no confidence". And regarding that particular debate, I’m steering clear because I can’t make an informed opinion either way. (I have a strong inclination but it’s based on what others I respect have said rather than my own investigation.)

I don’t want to detract from the efforts of those involved because, like I said, I can’t make an informed opinion. I just don’t like seeing all the pessimistic fallout on both sides. Accusations of negligence, foolishness, ignorance, and community disservice makes me feel awkward.

I’ll admit freely that I’m an optimist. Disproportionately so. Some (including my wife) call it naivete at times. I’m more than happy to assume that the person I’m talking to has my best interests at heart in the absence of evidence to the contrary. And even with evidence, it has to be more than circumstantial.

I admit all of this freely. But here’s the thing: historically, this works for me. Luck, karma, faith, give whatever name to it your religion prefers, generally speaking, I like the results I get from assuming the best. For all the times I got walked upon, there have been a hillbilly family tree’s worth of instances where I’ve come out ahead.

So that’s why I feel all icky when I catch myself reading about hypocrites and backlashes when I know I should just skip over to the next item in my RSS reader. It makes me wonder what went wrong that led to this point.

Now, I’m glad their are people out their who are passionate enough to put themselves out there for their beliefs. And I’m glad people are willing to listen and provide some balance to the debate. I’m even glad for those that prefer to argue with rhetoric rather than facts. I’m not really any of these people (except maybe the last one – it’s more entertaining). Call it a character flaw if you like. All I know is, I’m having a blast doing what I do.

And that’s pretty much the only point I want to make in this post, I guess. That it’s okay to look around once in a while and say, "y’know, for all its flaws, this industry kinda rocks". About a dozen years ago, I abandoned what would likely be a decent career as an actuary to become a software developer because, hey, it looked like fun. And twelve years on, despite these little bumps, I can honestly say, it has been, still is, and shows every sign of continuing to be.

So I’m making a vote of confidence. Not for any side in the debate whose specifics I’ve so pointedly avoided mentioning. But that it will be resolved in a satisfactory manner, for both sides as well as for the industry as a whole.

And if it doesn’t, what’s the worst that could happen?

Kyle the Rhetorical

p.s. I reserve the right to reverse my position if I ever get audited.

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  • Kyle Baley

    Good timing on that comment, Jon. It’s coming just as I’m getting neck spasms from all the head-shaking I’m doing about our industry. Thanks!

  • http://www.geekswithblogs.net/starr Jon


    My first job coming out of college was work as a pension actuary, and it bored me to tears. I really hated most work days as an actuary (even though I was able to pass actuarial exams). I probably make less as a software engineer, but I really like what I do as well…

    Just wanted to second your motion,


  • http://secretGeek.net secretGeek

    nicely said Kyle.

  • Kyle Baley

    @sergio: Oh, I dunno. It’s launched its share of rhetoric but I’d like to think the people that really matter (i.e. Microsoft) are at least paying attention and are willing to incorporate feedback. The heavy hitters on the advisory committee seem to indicate that.

    @Rich D: I can’t really say otherwise I wouldn’t be pointedly avoiding mention of it….oh, all right, it’s the Entity Framework petition. Google it when you have some time to kill.

  • http://devlicio.us/blogs/sergio_pereira/ sergiopereira

    I want nothing to do with that particular debate. Too much mud and very little chance for anything positive coming out of it. I already do more than enough to open my big mouth and make a fool of myself :)
    My optimism comes in waves. High tide in one coast, low tide in others.

  • Rich D.

    What debate are you referring to? It seems there are many at any given moment.

  • John Miller

    Fantastic post! I hope your optimism is contagious to rest of the industry!

  • Jon Masters

    Well said.

    I too have read the petition and I would tend to think they have a point, but since I haven’t any direct usage of the software as of yet, I’ll not be signing it.

  • http://schambers.lostechies.com Sean Chambers

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    I too am an optimist more often than not, and like you stated above you come out feeling a lot better if you adopt an optimistic view.

    Negativity attracts negativity and negativity clouds your thoughts and mind. Avoid it whenever possible.

    I’m sounding like yoda now.