The apprenticeship pattern is another helpful one for the future. It is very similar to the other pattern talked about this week, but unlike the last one this week, Sustainable Motivations, it does not apply to the project we worked on over the last semester. Sustainable Motivations had to do with keeping ones motivation when faced with a task that did not cater to any of the reasons a programmer would be interested in programming. A project that is tedious, vague, or furstrating. This pattern, Nurture Your Passion, has to do with ones working environment instead.
In the real world not only are there hostile projects, but also hostile working environments. Corporations that do not care about you, or software craftsmanship. Ones that have abusive managers, demoralizing hierarchies, cynical coworkers, and project death marches. Things that kill a software craftsman’s passion in the their very craft. Things that can make them into one of the same people that contribute to that environment, even.
How does someone keep up their passion in the face of this? The answer is again looking to the future, as it was for Sustainable Motivations. You must look at the Long Road before you and visualize your road map for the future. You then have to see the conflicts between your current situation and the future one you want, and deal with it.
Your future may not align with the corporations, but you must do what is best for you. Project death marches that kill your passion? Stop playing along, leave early, at normal business hours. Do not fall prey to the hero mentality that will cause you to burn out in a couple of years, this is supposed to be a lifelong journey. Steer cynical conversations to positive and helpful topics. Try and steer unproductive meetings to something productive. Leave abusive ones. Work on making your hostile environment less hostile, and if you can not then leave.
The future they desire is what one should base their decisions on. You should never o off your Long Road unless you want to. Being pushed off of it is something that should be avoided at all costs.