A few years back I worked for a company at which a fellow employee absolutely hated their job and wanted to get out of their job badly. They had lost the drive to learn and mold themselves with the industry, and so lost their ability to compete in a market that thrives on the cutting edge. The particular employer didn’t value creative work or time and only worried about billable time and thus made an environment that was difficult to work in, and products that were sub par to say the least.
One of the things I love about my current job is the freedom to experiment. Trying out new technologies and software to see what we could do better. This is not something that my former employer would afford us. The ability to play with the Web’s latest and greatest is ultimately an asset to the employer as those skills are then utilized on client projects giving the client an overall better Web experience.
I am always pushing myself to learn about what’s new and what’s coming so that I can get on top of it and tackle it head on. I feed even more off what my peers teach me. I am constantly looking for more information to pick up. Often time 15-25 minutes of my mornings at home or at the office (depending on how early I get up) are spend just reading the various Web and tech feeds that I am a subscriber to.
Back at the former employers office I found myself struggling to learn what I needed to know as I tried to drag them kicking and screaming into the true Web developers arena. After realizing that I had failed in being able to do just that I had to make a move out or ultimately end up like that colleague. Trying to even bring on board CSS based design rather then table based design was an ultimately unwinnable battle and so it was time for a change.
This has been a very important factor for me when looking at perspective employers ever since. Creative freedom, expression, and overall enthusiasm and passion for what it is that we as a team have for our jobs. For me to work effectively it is important that the people I surround myself with have the same drive and energy to build things that are top notch when it comes to Web sites or Web applications.
It’s said that you learn from your mistakes and I think that holds true in so many instances including this one. There are so many great things that you can in the world, I don’t understand why it is that people become satisfied with something mediocre.