I used to fancy myself an artist. I considered becoming a medical illustrator, and held this dream that I could become a fantastically popular (if not talented) comic book artist. I took an advanced figure drawing class my freshman year of college, and got an A. I thought that’s what I really wanted to do. I was sure of it.
What I’ve realized in my 8 years since that year is that I’m not ever going to be a medical illustrator, or a comic book artist in any other arena than my imagination. I still doodle all over my legal pad during meetings, and every once in a while I come up with something worth looking at again. I drew this fat kid in sledding clothes dreaming of snow during a meeting one day. It’s still magnet-attached to my filing cabinet at work.
Dreams die. The dreams of children and teenagers die slow deaths in the journey to adulthood. I don’t want to be an artist now, not really.
I write code. I write code all day long. I write stuff that does fabulous things like return search results in readable formats. I’ve written calendars, message boards, file libraries, databases full of useful information and lots of other widgets and tools. I never dreamed of being a code-writer when I was a child. I wanted to be a mad scientist at one point, and I guess this is close. I love taking things and turning them into products that no one could have imagined them turning into when they were conceived (like Tcl – did you know you can do amazingly Mad things with Tcl? Bet you didn’t).
It’s my dream to build cool stuff. I dream of building the perfect tool. Someone told me of an april fool’s joke they pulled. They worked in an office of lawyers. They were the computer support guy. All the lawyers bitched and moaned about the tools they had. So, on 4/1, this guy put a big red button on everyone’s screen that said “Your Job”. That’s what I want to build… the big red Your Job button. It’ll be in Tcl… just you wait.