A Year in Retrospect

This actually has nothing to do with a year ending so much as it does with wondering where I am in my life and where I am headed.

I spent considerable time learning how to do all kinds of things with computers, from understanding concepts of security to programming, databases, managing virtualization environments and all kinds of other things as well.  Despite all of that I work as a Tier 2 Linux Engineer for a massive company; as an employee I generate value for the business and that value translates to a benefit or service to the customers we server but I wonder if that’s really enough to be satisfied with my employment on a personal level.

I know several people who currently program for a living and take part in open source projects and generally contribute to things that lots of people use and derive benefit and profit from.  It seems kind of cliche to even think it but I can’t help but wonder if there is more to it than just being that wheel that never squeaks and gets compensated well for said lack of squeaking.  Part of me yearns to get involved in something for fun, for enjoyment and the sense of contribution to something larger than myself rather than just working 40+ hours a week to get paid, but at the same time I wonder how to balance that desire to do something bigger against the very real need to earn an income to survive.

Maybe its just the fact that I’m trapped at work on a holiday when I could be with friends enjoying a few drinks, maybe its natural sense of an ending of the year that is stirring thoughts that generally don’t get much time on the front of the stove but maybe its time to really consider what I am doing with myself, my career and life.