Not ‘Passionate,’ But ‘Moderately Enthusiastic’


I love code. I dream of code. I enjoy code. I find writing high quality code deeply satisfying. I feel the same way about helping others write code they can feel proud of.

But do I feel “strong and barely controllable emotion” about code? Honestly? No.

I feel that way about my kids, certainly. I feel it about many of the tragedies and grave injustices that happen in the world, too. But code? I can’t truthfully compare the way I feel about software to the way I feel about my 1 year old daughter. They aren’t even in the same category.

Avdi Grimm has a blog post up about the scores of job ads he sees looking for programmers who are “passionate about code” which he views as problematic because it’s almost another way of saying, “we want to exploit your lack of boundaries.” From what I’ve seen while working for various tech companies, it’s also often an expectation of, “We want you to be passionate about this—even if it means staying at the office all night/forever” which can be problematic for obvious reasons.

“I’m an enthusiastic and conscientious programmer,” Grimm writes. “I really hope that’s enough.”

Photo: Phil Whitehouse

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