What Are you Passionate About?

When our Tech Lead, Thej, was interviewing candidates to fill our developer position at NextDrop, one of the questions he asked surprised me: Who is your favorite programmer?  The question totally caught me off guard, and I was surprised (mostly because I tend to be ignorant when it comes to such things) that all the people we really liked, had an answer.

It got me thinking- if you are REALLY passionate about something, you’re probably going to have a “favorite”.  A favorite band, a favorite book, a favorite photographer, a favorite athlete, a favorite travel destination.

But that’s the thing- THAT is how you know what you are passionate about.  Not just interested in, but really and truly, I will read about it for fun, follow it in my free time, know everything there is to know about it just because I want to, passionate about something.

Think about it- what “favorites’ do you have? It’s actually kind of tough to answer.  At least for me it was.  Because I LIKE a lot of things.  But actually passionate about it?  Very few.

Following that logic, the short list:

  • Leadership/Management (Yes, I have been reading business books in my free time since I was in high school)
  • Fiction (Again with the books, but I love reading)
  • Basketball (I even have a favorite moment: 2002 Robert Horry’s game winning shot against the Kings)

It surprised me the things that didn’t make the list.  What doesn’t get captured by my neat little algorithm is the fact that I have always wanted to work in India (maybe a corollary to the first point, i.e. leadership/management exercised in a certain field?), but I suppose hacks aren’t supposed to capture the complexity and the nuanced behavior of humanity.  Ces’t la vie.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting, and at the very least, a good springboard to figuring out what makes you happy.

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