The other day my daughter was playing on my oldest son’s Leapster(®) when she inadvertently deleted his save. From the sound of things, you would have thought she had ruined his life. Amazed at the amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth, I told him to calm down. “It is only a game! It’s not *that* important” His response floored me (but not at first).
“Maybe not in your world, but in my world it IS that important!” he exclaimed through the sobs and tears. It took me only a second to concede defeat and admit that he was correct. To an eight year old, a game (especially a learning game that takes time and thoughtfulness to advance) IS that important.
This actually happened over two months ago, but has been in the back of my mind ever since. I started paying attention to the different worlds I am a part of: family, friends, the fire department, the technical community, Cub Scouts, etc. Turns out I am doing quite a bit of context switching in my life, or at least I should be!
Even if I look at a single one of those “worlds”, there are many sub-worlds within. Think of what we do in development. Recently there was a fairly large flame war over the term “duct tape programming”. I’m not going to take sides, or even state my opinion on the argument, so no opportunity for flaming here. But it does illustrate my son’s point exceptionally well. My world at my current client is very different than my last client. Currently, my world consists of stakeholders and users that don’t want to know any details, they just want to vaguely describe what they are thinking and have it magically appear at the end of the next sprint. This is very different from my last client.
So, take into consideration all of the possible worlds of the people that you deal with in your life, and remember that they are probably very different from your own. If we could all just remember that, we might find a way to just get along!
From my world to yours, Happy coding!