Geeks With Blogs
Caffeinated Coder A Grande, Triple Shot, Non-Fat Core Dump by Russell Ball

I've often heard the phrase "seven year itch" in reference to the inclination of people to become unfaithful after seven years of marriage. I guess seven years has some mystical or mathematical significance when it comes to the human attention span. It's easy to imagine such a milestone leading someone to "climb the stupid tree", as a good friend of mine is fond of saying. However, sometimes I think that this general restlessness can be a positive force in life and help prod us out of a patch of complacency.

Last year I passed my own seven year anniversary as a developer and I definitely felt restless. I partially attribute this to the way I started my programming career, which was with a flash of intensity that gave me very high expectations of what I could accomplish. I am one of those non-CS career switchers who was miserable in their old job and stumbled upon programming as a hobby and immediately became infatuated. After a year of little sleep and a sizable debt incurred from purchasing piles of Wrox books, I had managed to teach myself enough and cobble together enough freebie project experience to actually get a job as a developer. For the first 2-3 years of my programming career, I spent every waking minute in obsessive sponge mode, driven by an eternal gratitude to be finally doing something I loved as well as an inferiority complex derived from my non-technical roots . Looking back now, I cringe at how unbalanced my life was and also how annoying I probably was to those around me. However, I have to admit that I also feel a little nostalgic for the hunger I had to learn that I had somehow lost along the way. I think that feeling of having lost my edge was part of what was driving my 7 year itch.

Luckily, my restlessness led me to do some positive things over the last year that has definitely reinvigorated me to a more balanced, but equally passionate mindset to how I felt when I started. I owe this renewed interest mainly to podcasts (DotNetRocks, HanselMinutes, RunAsRadio, Channel 9) as well as the blogosphere (too many to name).  A year ago, I scoffed at the idea of actually writing a blog. I figured that there was already a deluge of information out there and that I didn't have anything new or worthwhile to say about technology and development. Now, my head often feels like it is about to explode with all the new information swimming around in it and the idea of having a blog an outlet suddenly seems very appealing. I've also come to appreciate the sense of community that you begin to feel as your RSS reader collects more and more subscriptions and you start recognizing all the names at conferences from having read about their thoughts on a daily basis.

Anyways, here I am with my first hello world blog. I'm glad to be here and thank goodness for the seven year itch!

[Original post - June 12, 2007 11:30 PM]

Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 10:01 PM Musings, Rants, and Humor | Back to top

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