Apprenticeship Pattern – Nurture Your Passion

The apprenticeship pattern Nurture Your Passion refers to the problem in which you feel the environment in which you work in is stifling your passion for the craft. Depending on which aspect of work you feel is doing this there may be different solutions for everyone. For example, if you’re in a situation of constant project death marches that are sapping your time and energy, then you need to set clear boundaries and protect your passion. Whether that means to decline working “culturally pressured” overtime to avoid burning out or not would likely depend on how much you feel these death marches are affecting you.

As someone who hasn’t had much if any experience in the industry, this pattern definitely worries me a little. I’ve heard similar horror stories about project death marches from game developers working in the games industry. People who were filled with passion for their craft entering an industry that commonly abuses that passion with forced overtime until they burn out. Then, once you finish the project you’re working on, you’re laid off in an effort to cut costs by reducing headcount because you’re no longer needed, not because you’ve done anything wrong.

Obviously this isn’t the case with every company and the software development industry likely has many differences when compared to the games industry, but they do bear many similarities as well. This problem can be avoided by finding the right company that offers what you’re looking for, whether that be working overtime on something you believe in and enjoy, or somewhere that offers you good work-life balance. I’m always a little bit worried getting stuck in a situation with poor work-life balance because I’m not sure I would be confident enough to put my foot down, so I’ll have to remember in the future that I should focus on what’s best for me because I’m sure most companies wouldn’t think twice to cut costs whenever they can.

Overall, I agree with what the pattern’s saying and hopefully I’ll remember to nurture my passion even if it means getting passed over for promotions or having to find somewhere else to work.

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