If a 2-day workshop on Tidy First? & software design as an exercise in human relationships sounds interesting, see the end of this post for details. “I’m envious of your success.” ”I am aware.” This is me, talking with one of my friends in tech who has “made it”, confessing that I envied their success. Fortunately, because I have good friends, they didn’t take on any of my emotion. Envy was my feeling, for which they had no responsibility.
Kent, I’ve admired you from afar since 1999 when some colleagues came back from OOPSLA. You have always taught me that it’s OK to bring my emotions to software development. Thank you for being so vulnerable in this post; it touched me deeply.
I appreciate your openness.
Good luck with the new book, Kent! Happy to help review or any way I can. For some reason, I mulled over this post a lot, probably because it brings up philosophical questions:
1. What does suppressing emotion mean to you? Sometimes I envy my friends who "made it", but I recognise what they've sacrificed to get there. I rationalise myself to drop that emotion (suppress?). I sometimes fear bouldering, zip lines, etc, but I "suppressed" them, then had a good time.
2. Is envy a form of mimetic desire, is it always useful? I sometimes felt envious (bigger house, more rooms, etc), but then I realised I wanted to copy others. I often discover that they're thin desires, then I ignore these messages.
3. What are your thoughts on this frame of thinking around envy? "The part of the person that we envy doesn't exist without the rest of that person. If we aren't willing to trade places with them completely - their life, their body, their thoughts - then there is nothing to be envious about." (Naval)
As I read this post, I initially felt envious that I have written any books, don't know how to get there, don't have great insights, etc. Then, I quickly drop/suppress all of that. I now wonder if that's a healthy thing to do and what problem it will cause down the line!
Thanks for sharing your situation. I started writing software professionally in 1980 and while I never made it 'big', I have had a very good stable income for my adult life. I have admired your work for many years and hope your new book will be successful.
I deal with my feelings in a very similar way. I try my best to see “good” or “bad” also similarly (tradeoffs)
I thought I was alone in this, it’s comforting to know that I am not.
You are independent and honest in every word you say and write. And that is luxury that few people can afford. I love you man.
Thank You for this sincerity, since i’ve been following you, you’ve considerably improved my way of designing applications through baby steps and testing , you’re a legend