Career contentment

Lately, I’m feeling very content with my career.

For the majority of my life, I’ve been constantly searching for some job that would fulfill me. Like many others working in the tech industry, I had a tendency to hop around from company to company every two years, always switching it up, never allowing myself to settle down. This tactic, of shuffling my career, was somewhat deliberate and strategic in the sense that salaries leap when switching from one company to another. In other words, if you want a substantial increase in your salary, you need to move. Otherwise, your stuck with receiving incremental pay raises that are considered trivial in comparison. For example, when I left Cisco to join Fox Networks, my salary increased by 40% .

In addition to increasing my salary, I had vigilantly switched from one company to the next because I was afraid of intellectually stagnating, as if the company I was working at would potentially hinder my personal development. And this can be true, to a certain degree, since working for a small mom and pop software company will never present the same technical challenges as working for a large, cloud computing company.

Regardless, I no longer feel as though there’s some magical company where I would work on a magical team that writes magical code.  In fact, as much as I enjoy working on new features or new products, I revel in maintaining software and systems.  In short, I realize that I control my technical growth and that regardless of what company I work for, I’ll always strive to improve my craft. Moreover, the more I study computer science, the more problems rise to the surface, problems that I would otherwise dismiss due to my lack of understanding.

Despite my contentment, I’m not saying I’m going to settle down in my current role and current company for the rest of my life. Nobody can predict what’s going to happen in a year (or even tomorrow).  But for the foreseeable future, I see myself staying put, working for Amazon Web Services, developing software and building systems, one byte at a time.