Thursday, May 31, 2007

One Thing

Do you ever with you could do just one thing and do it well?

I've been off the blogosphere (I sometimes wonder if Rob and three of his blog readers made this term up all on his own) for a little over a week now and looking at my "To-Do" list of blog ideas. I've missed blogging, but none of my To-Do's have been enough to get me on my duff and writing. Then I came across this post on being inflexible by my friend Mason. This got me really interested in Wil's blog and a little bit envious of the fact that he is a programmer, just a programmer. This is evidenced his response of "OMG none of those words mean anything to me. I just write software." to the following comment.

That is why you do things like TDD - in a sense, you model the use cases, which serve as tests. You can in turn derive the interface contracts from them and then write code that you use - which you can then measure code coverage (for both unit & integration testing).

It's funny because, as a consultant/programmer/project manager/college student leader/blogger/father and whatever else is expected of me, I understood all of that language, what he meant by it all and why it makes sense.

Got me wondering, why do we do so many different things? Why do we attempt to be an expert at so many things? The more I see of the world the more I begin to recognize that the people who focus on just one thing really are the happiest. I see a lot of stay at home moms who are just amazingly happy and excellent parents. I see programmers who do strict programming and, while I have a harder time seeing this as being able to work successfully in our organizations, they can put out some really solid code and understand everything about a program. I see priests who focus on only teaching a good Sunday message and nothing else, who become world-famous speakers.

That's not to say none of these people do anything else. I mean, the great speaker still goes on mission trips. The great mother still has fun without her family and the great programmer may also spend time working with the homeless. But we need to recognize that there can only be one thing we're great at. Why don't we recognize what that one thing is that we're passionate about and then realize, often the harder thing to do, that we won't be great at other things? I may be good, even above average, but I'm not going to be great.

I wonder what my "one thing" is. Any idea what yours is?



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