I’m a big fan Robert Martin. I’ve read a lot of his books, and have benefited greatly.
The enterprise and business is changing; people are changing; and I want you to keep that in mind because I don’t critique Mr. Martin lightly. Let me say, to no fault of his own, that he’s..wait for it…old guard.
In his book The Clean Coder, he makes statements about owing a certain amount of hours to your employer. I’d like to challenge this notion.
Even if you’re employer is saying that you must work 40 hours a week for them, and there’s paperwork that says that you’re making “so much” an hour, you’re really getting paid for the value you provide. That’s why some people get paid more than others–value.
It’s this thing about the forty hours that we supposedly owe to our employers. if you’re any employee (which I highly recommend against–there I said it). I’ve listened to him give presentations, read books like Clean Coder, and I decided to use him as my target on this subject: you know, to make it more interesting for you. I even think he’s slightly conflicted in his own mind. You can see it start to peek out beyond the pages of Clean Coder when we dives into scenarios where coding isn’t optimal, etc.
Okay, moving on.
Steve Jobs said once in an interview that he loved the idea of amplifying human abilities–that’s what computers did in a lot of ways. He’s talking about human abilities, right, and he starts to talk about inventions and other things that amplified our abilities. He remarked on the industrial revolution: it amplified human sweat. Think about it?
What does this have to do with a forty-hour work week? Everything. Where did we get this notion that human beings were meant to work forty-hours and that’s what a man or woman owed to someone in exchange for there time putting effort into something?
Answer: the industrial revolution.
How else were they going to fill the factories? The white men then realized that they needed these workers to be just educated enough to control; but they couldn’t let this whole education stuff get too carried away (we can’t have these workers thinking for themselves can we?)
Their idea: lets push for a public, government run education system, yes! (I digress again).
Where was I? Back to the forty-hour thing, right.
Do you really get paid for your time?
“Well it says right here on my paycheck that I’m getting paid a certain amount per hour.”
What you have to realize is that the world before the industrial revolution didn’t think primarily on these terms. It’s an entirely new concept brought about to better standardize and monetize western societies’ human sweat.
I’m thirty-five now. I’ve realized that the most precious, the most valuable thing that you have is your time. If you’re giving it away, you’re losing your freedom.
Specifically for software engineers, like myself, we are even more advantaged to reduce the time we invest through the software we create, but the normal behavior of most, unfortunately, is avoiding the use of our mind–to think first and then act.