Sunday, October 04, 2009
"As the World Turns": my own focus on my workplace could make me obsolete
Ever notice how a workplace becomes a “world” or a universe. The arcane ways of doing things in your own shop generate controversies, exercises in pickiness and second-guessing, both technically and in terms of office politics.
I can remember all kinds of things that were issues in their day: leaving “DISPLAYS” for safe sleeping in programs even in production, the use of packed unsigned numbers in ALC programs, the proper use of automatic integrity checking in elevation procedures, all the way to the wisdom of using a replication and midtier design to combine the results of various legacy applications for end users at one customer service center.
On the outside, there is only “as the world turns.” Technology marches on, leaving behind workers too focused on the arcane intricacies of their own workplaces, making them valuable only as long as their current operations continue. But business models change, and workers have to change.
My own mode of change was to move into self-publishing, and explore all of the sharp-edged controversies that result in a world where “free entry” is the norm and the previous rules of due diligence are suspended, but maybe not for good. But the freedom for me to do so would be my only way to save myself.
I note also that the world is turning away somewhat from jobs based on individual contribution and precision, toward more involvement with people, something that goes back to a presumption that social orders matter again. I did not have to deal with this until "retiring."