Today is the late Nina Simone’s birthday (1933 – 2003),…
I wanted to share this 45 minute talk from the 2013 LoneStarRuby Conference, an event for those in the software development field (if this isn’t your field don’t get discouraged, read on). While I’ve transcribed the crux of the presentation, I urge you to set aside time to watch the while video. Not only does Sandi Metz, give an intriguing and historical run through of the progression of writing and type, but she also goes deeper into life’s intricacies when it comes to the inevitability of change. More to the point she discusses, quite eloquently, how we should deal with change.
What I loved most about this talk was the human element Sandi brought to her discussion. She highlights the importance of accepting change; and when it comes to your career, moving with that change so that you aren’t left behind.
Again, I’ve transcribed the highlights from the end of her talk, but I’ve also included the video below. I highly recommend you watch the whole thing (roughly 45 minutes):
“And now finally, against 5000 years of the creation of content and the control of information, it’s time for your fortune…
Everything will change, everything. You will die, and everyone you know will die; your grandparents, your parents, all of them. Some will die in quiet peace after a long life well lived, but others will not be so lucky; and their end will come with confusion and pain and with regrets. Others will die too soon, of accidents and terrible disease, or by their own hands; and they will leave you alone in grief and anger and guilt. Regardless of how they go, you will see them pass. And as the generations pass, one by one, you will feel yourself in their footsteps; taking that big step forward in the morality line…These things will come to be.
Next your body will fail you… days of sitting in a chair, frozen behind a keyboard typing, typing, typing – will accumulate. And like drips from a cave ceiling, turn parts of you into stalagmites and stalactites.
Not only will your family and your body change, but your work will change… We live inside this bubble, so it’s hard to remember. But the job you hold today (software development) appeared as suddenly as that of a linotype operator (now an obsolete profession). In the 60’s and 70’s, when phototypesetting arrived, this machine became obsolete almost overnight… So there you go, that’s your future – death, decay and obsolescence.
I admit it sounds bad, but in the arc of your life this is the happy path, these are the things you can depend upon… If your life were an application, you would not ignore this, you would get on this and you’d be working on these features right now. Accepting the truth of this fortune makes it clear what’s important. The MVP’s of the only app’s that matter, are our health, happiness and the world we leave our children.
And I’m going to take advantage of my age and my position on this stage to give you advice. Happiness. Live as if you know you’ll die, do real things, tell them you love them today… Health… Go down fighting, take care of yourself, get an ergonomic keyboard… you can not make up tomorrow for not working out today, and trust me, you are going to want your body later…
Having looked at the past we can predict our future. Change. And by an accident of timing we stand at the vortex of this change, at the intersection of information and technology. Unlike many others we are lucky enough to have choices, and the things we choose now will create the world everyone sees next.
I urge you, choose something big.”
I hope you enjoyed today’s post, Sandi’s video certainly gave me some food for thought.
Finally, I’d probably be a bad girlfriend if I didn’t mention that my partner, Alan Skorkin, also presented at the 2013 LoneStarRuby Conf. I watched his video too, but I have no idea what he was talking about. If you’re a programer you might like it though, his talk was on ‘Why You Should Love The Command-Line And Get Rid of Your Rake Tasks Once and For All’….To everyone else, yeah, I don’t get it either 😛
Hope you enjoyed today’s post. I love reading and responding to everyone’s comments, so feel free to leave a comment of your own.
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Image credit: Brechtbug