I don’t know how it happened. It must have happened so slowly, I didn’t notice. But I came to a realization that absolutely shocked me today.
I’ve become my dad.
Now, this isn’t a bad thing, I love and respect my father more than anything. But, because we’ve always been so different (so I thought), it never occurred to me that our lives would end up almost perfectly parallel. How different are we?
My dad is a stern pessimist. I am a cheery optimist.
My dad is as introverted as I am extroverted.
My dad is a man of few words. Me? well…
My dad is a huge bear of a man. Me? well, many of you have met me.
My dad was a machinist (before CnC); I am a programmer/web developer.
Yet, I look at the unfolding of our lives, and you’d think we were twins.
It’s almost as if I had this pre-defined destiny, and no matter what I thought or did, I would end up fulfilling it. That’s heavy stuff, when you realise that the unfolding of your life is not something you can do anything about.
There have been little clues. Lintilla reminded me just last night, after I told one of the underfoot dogs to “git”, that I sounded just like my father. Sure enough she’s right.
But – y’all bear with me here – what shocked me, what rocked me to my core, was my reaction to the comments for this post at Aunt B’s. I was quite interested in it because at first it was about women & IT, and being knee-deep in Information Technology, I like hearing about these things. But, a the comments weren’t about IT at all, they were about math and science education. All important stuff, but I was sorely disappointed.
I thought it was going to be about the real world.
It ended up being a bunch of academics, talking about academics. Nothing real.
The last two thoughts were brought to you via my blue collar father. Well, actually, they were thoughts that popped into my head – and that’s what shocked me: the moment I realized that I was saying (to myself) a version of something I had heard my father say a million times.
You see, in my industry, people with CS degrees are just like mechanical engineers in my dad’s line of work. They are always drawing up specs have to be re-written by someone who understands how the real work is done – whether it’s slinging code or using a lathe. I have to totally retrain those newbies with CS degrees, because, either what they learned doesn’t fit into our business, or the school taught them 20 year old technology.
Computer Scientists just get in the way of those who do the real work. Especially application architects.
Just as my dad use to say about engineers.
Now, on an intellectual level , I don’t agree with this. But, it’s funny how attitudes are ingrained deep inside; you don’t even know that they are there. How can a man in my position have old time blue collar attitudes? But, there they are.
It’s amazing that our children learn lessons we don’t even know we are teaching. As a dad, I must be careful.
One day, I’ll finish this thought, but I’ve rambled on too long.