It's People Behind The Curtain

Don't worry, everyone else is making it up too.

Magic or Marketing?

When you're younger, you look at some of the feats we've accomplished as a human race, and it sometimes feels fantastic. These people become idols, and their accomplishments become world wonders!

Then you get a peek behind the curtain: Maybe you're hired to join the effort, or you hear some insight from someone involved behind the scenes.

Then you ask: Was that magic just marketing? Are these idolized men and women simply workaholics or lucky?

It's clarifying to look behind the curtain.

Making Stuff Up

Behind the curtain, people are just making stuff up. They're just normal people. Just like you.

There's a great logo on the glass tower. But, swipe your access card and enter the engineering building, and they're just people, drooling at screens.

You clone and run git blame on some files, and they're just people, embarrasing code and all.

Review the list of press releases, and half of those glittering promises have never been close to being delivered, or nobody wanted it when it was released.

Review the intricate architectural diagram, and what you don't see highlighted are the thousands employed to update spreadsheets and pass them around to make the business work.

These people, like you, are also working at break-neck speed, on newly combined teams, with insufficient context, with new and unfamiliar tools and internal and external pressures. Their solutions are products of their times, constraints and contributors. They're just eeking out their living, doing what they can, making it to tomorrow.

Unneeded Intimidation

In the Wizard of Oz, it turns out that the "wizard" was a little man who had a knack for pyrotechnics. He seemed cool and intimidating, until you saw him.

It's the same with us. Before we learn the skill, join the company or read the code, we can feel the same way. And the people before us did as well. They found their way here, and you can too. Don't be intimidated. We're all just wending our way, making it up as we go.

Of course, respect and learn from those who have gone before and figured a lot out. Normal people, working consistently over time can make accomplish something respectable. You stand on their shoulders. But don't feel like you can't join their ranks.