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The Things You Don’t See

Mark Mzyk | December 14, 2008

There are things you don’t know about me, things that few people do.

For example, the other night I cooked Tuscan ravioli stew for my wife and myself.  Dinner was fun.  I imagined that the ravioli were flying saucers and referenced the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which had been playing on TV earlier.  It made my wife laugh and made me smile.  I’m sure if we had children they would have enjoyed it too.

Strange?  Perhaps, although I doubt I’m the only one who does things like this.  Everyone has their quirks.  Mine is that I love to imagine, all the time, even at times when it seems silly.  I’m lucky in that my wife loves this about me and lets me do it.  I’m looking forward to the day I have a child and can share this fun with them.

If you’re my manager, do you know this about me?  Do you know that I love work that’s creative and challenging?  If you give me a task that I don’t know the answer to, that isn’t rote, that isn’t menial, I’ll let my imagination work until I have an answer.

If you’re my manger and you don’t know this about me, how are you going to figure this out?  How are you going to determine what makes me tick, what motivates me?  How are you going to make sure that I’m not just an average programmer but a great developer?

I don’t want to make ravioli.  I want to make space ships.  How are you going to help me do this, help me to blast some pasta into space or to take a program from an idea to a perfect implementation?

Filed in: Management.