Lately I’ve been focusing on the management aspects of my role at Yet Analytics because I’m the first to admit I’m generally better at dealing with machines than people. But I’ve found some sound guidance along the way, whether it’s Chad Fowler’s personal career advice in The Passionate Programmer, or the managerial advice on building software teams in Managing The Unmanageable.

And although there’s been a lot of whinging about the emphasis on “passion” as a cipher for “unpaid overtime” or Github contributions as unpaid labor cum job requirement…

I was reading all these books and this line from Kerouac’s On The Road lept out at me as describing exactly the developers I want to work with. Not just hire, mind you, but the developers I want to recruit because I want to surround myself with people who will challenge me to be better as well:

They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

Jack Kerouac On The Road

I don’t know, maybe that’s absurd, maybe it’s expecting too much.

But if I wasn’t after that fire, I wouldn’t be doing what I am.