A comet flies on by, and out

A response to Leaving the GIS industry: bye for now

Alexey Tereshenkov has done more in 10 years than I have in 27, and what a goodbye gift! There are many quotable sections worth reading and re-reading. Here’s the one speaking strongly to me this morning (paraphrased):

Ad-hoc mentality is very difficult to fight. It is 7 pm. You have a job you have to get done before tomorrow morning. You are adding a missing … to … that … failed to add. Then you are changing … and … You fix, zip the database, and upload it. It is 10 pm, you are tired but happy and are heading off to the bed.

Success! … Or is it? The next thing tomorrow morning you want to document the manual changes introduced yesterday, but you are dragged into some other urgent job, and you never do. Now it is 9 pm again and you are writing some oddly looking script and trying to recalling what have you done. You are in a mess.

Doing what you have done may look natural because you just want to get stuff done. … Not only you, but any colleague of yours should be able to pick up the updates that have been made to any piece of data or a script. So resist the urge to get stuff done, pace yourself, and track your work.

This is a perfect description for where I’ve been for the last few years. There are many markers for this, one standing out right now is my participation in the professional community. Which for me means our internal GIS Knowledgebase and GIS Group, and publicly in GIS Stack Overflow and Yukongis.ca. Stack is nice because it has easily retrievable stats.

2014 – I almost leave my job, decide not to, and a close co-worker takes it instead.
2016 – Our director-manager leaves end of 2015, followed by anchor admin assistant in 2016.

I’ve been too busy putting out fires to attend to professional development. There isn’t a perfect correlation but the trend is unmistakable. It would be interesting to chart by month in conjunction with tasks and projects from our tracking system, but that’d a much bigger exercise, too much for today. (There are fires to put out!)

This is the point in the essay where I’d typically spiral into a depressed funk. However, today I refuse the bait. It’s the inflection point to do something and change flight attitude. Instead of putting out the fire, move it under that ol’ hot air balloon and write it up!

Fill those balloons! (Grenoble, France, 2014)

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