Moving from cowboy coding to agile development

Thursday, September 29, 2005

On Ambition(s)

I believe one of the most important qualities that make a person successful is her ambition. At the worst, ambition can make people lack empathy and only think their own good. However, ambition can also be strongly linked to one's will to succeed without harming others. In such cases it can be a valuable asset to its possessor.

I think there are two kinds of ambition: long-term and short-term. When using the word, people usually think about long-term ambition; I think it's what makes people want to become something. This is a very common feature in people. For example, many dream about becoming rock stars or corporate officers and making loads of money and appealing to large crowds. This kind of ambition is not only equivalent to dreaming, but may actually be a driving force to one's goal.

However, in my opinion, most people lack short-term ambition. I think this is what makes one do every small task as well as one can. Instead of just dreaming of a better future and having distant visions of how to achieve it, the ones with short-term ambition take determined steps toward that future by doing everything they do with premeditated precision. Using biblical expressions, I believe these people are truly the ones who shall inherit the Earth.

So, what does this mean in terms of, for example, software development? This is closely related to the commonly known Broken Window Theory which I already mentioned in my first post; instead of waiting for that beautiful future with a decent software product in one's hands one should start making one's current software project that product - because future is built on what is done right now.

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