Armin Ronacher's Thoughts and Writings

Be Humble

written on Friday, February 5, 2021

2020 was a crazy and challenging year. Millions of people lost their jobs and thousands lost loved ones. But not me. Not just that, I work in an industry where I can safely say that most of us didn't really have such a terrible 2020 all things considered. Yeah, the pandemic sucks and for those of us with kids at home home office was challenging for sure. But really just compare that with the experience people have and had that are not in such a privileged position.

And it's not just that programmers and IT folks in general had very little to complain about when it comes to the pandemic, we're a really, really privileged bunch in general. We get preferred visa treatment which makes us one of the most mobile work forces, our profession is universally recognized even if we did not actually get a degree, we can work from home and we're monetarily compensated in a way that even juniors coming from a few month training will out-earn many studied professions.

With all that money come a lot of inflated egos. This has always been a weird thing but over the last year it has really started to annoy me how tone deaf some folks are about their personal situation. All that money buys you a ton that many can only dream of. You can use that money to retire early, that money buys you the freedom to start your own company, that money is often enough money to get more money from investors.

It's nice that people can do that, but the nonchalant way in which this is presented online really starts to give my profession an awful reputation. Some of you might think that it's great you are all angel investors and serial entrepreneurs who work on dodgy immigration arrangements from different places in the world, who network on the latest and greatest social apps, share their lifestyle in their podcast armed with that fancy latte and craft beer and who are making a brand out of themselves.

I just have one ask: when you do that, be humble and reflect on your situation. Most people are not that lucky.

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