We are always scrimping and saving because our economic models are based on scarcity rather than exuberance. But notice that the economics of nature are allegedly wasteful by our standards, and they are based on exuberance. Many more seeds than are necessary for trees and many more spermatozoa than are necessary for people are produced, and there are many more stars than anybody could conceivably want, with galaxies galore. Nature is a vast celebration of energy.
If you complain about this and say, “Oh dear me, it’s all going to run out,” that only means you are still looking for fulfillment in the future. Essentially you are saying, “If there is not enough future, we won’t get the golden reward we are looking forward to at the end of the line.” – Alan Watts, Still the Mind
I think Alan Watts’ observations apply equally well to software development. Software developers see their craft as creative and take great joy and pride in the act of creation itself. They’re willing to pursue new projects or challenges obsessively – with little concern for the time or energy expended in the pursuit. Developers often have an attitude of abundance rather than scarcity.
And it’s a good thing, too. New technologies rarely take off in their first incarnation. Long before Docker existed, Solaris had Zones, FreeBSD had Jails, and Linux had LXC. But it was Docker that captured folks’ imagination and attention, not Zones, Jails, or LXC – Docker started the current container revolution. It’s hard to tell ahead of time if a new technology will be successful commercially – in fact, most technologies are not. It would be quite depressing for developers if we had to evaluate whether or not to pursue every project or idea based market success. Fewer projects would be started and far fewer would take off. Technological development would suffer.
My personal goal is to spend more time enjoying programming and my other creative activities for their own sakes and less time worrying about whether or not I’m spending my time “wisely.”