One of the characteristics of other people that I find the most inspiring is passion. This goes regardless of whether or not they work in the IT industry. Being surrounded by passionate people is both infectious and giving.
I know a lot of passionate people, both in the IT industry as well as outside, and I always love talking with them. Passion tends to breed ideas, and these two combined can make everybody’s day.
Whether there is more passionate people in the IT industry compared to other industries I don’t want to judge. But there is no doubt that there are a lot of extremely passionate people working in the IT industry. People that feel very strongly both about the technology as well as their solutions. There is a reason why the Windows/Linux or the PC/Mac discussions often are called religious discussions.
How is passion expressed then? How can you tell someone with a sincere passion for a specific area, from someone not as passionate? Well, let me start of by saying that I don’t think there are many people working in the IT industry without being somewhat passionate about technology. Not only are a several yearlong education required, you are also required to continuously improve and build on your skills, at the same rate as the technology changes – which is fast! If you don’t feel some kind of passion for technology I believe you will change industry pretty soon.
But still some people come off as being more passionate that others. You can see the spark in their eyes and hear the enthusiasm in their voice as they talk about the solutions they have built. Vertica is a growing company and we continuously interview new potential consultants. Even though a job interview can be a bit of an awkward situation, where two parties should try to learn as much about each other as possible in a rather limited time (and making sure that the candidate knows his/her stuff), telling how passionate a candidate is often quite easy. And as an employer passionate people are what you are looking for. Skills can be thought, but passion cant.
Thinking about it passion is also the predominant reason for my new blog (as I guess is the case for more or less all blogs). I am not claiming that I can out-smart everybody on the Internet, but that is also really not the idea. However, I do love what I’m doing, I do think I’m quite good at it – and I do try to improve every day.
Currently I am trying to arrange some Microsoft Commerce Server training for our eCommerce Team. I’m hoping to have Max Akbar, a former Product Manager at the Commerce Server team, come and do it. I’m not a Commerce Server expect and I have never neither met or written with Max before, but one single line in his email signature already told me a lot about him – including that I would like to meet him: “From cradle to grave in pursuit of knowledge!”. Who wouldn’t want to hire him as a trainer? :o)
I should add that I think passion outside your work is just as important as at work. The ability to become excited is per definition good, and I don’t care if it LINQ or flowers that do it for you.
This also takes me back to the title. It is actually a quote from a friend trying to comfort me as I was complaining about my favorite football club loosing once again. That is approximately one year ago, and AGF relegated that year. Football fans are among the most passionate race there is, without ever thinking about logic, common sense or any other rational argument. This year even more people have come to the stadium and yesterday the promotion back to the best league was a reality :o)
So basically: it you have it you should show it!