Am I suffering from the line cook syndrom?
You probably think:"Now he finally went bananas.", but let me explain. I should start with the fact that I consider myself a half way decent hobby cook and I definitely never say no to a decent meal. As a result I also enjoy the occasional culinary literature amongst others Anthony's Bourdain's Kitchen Condidential or my latest read - Bill Buford's Heat. In Heat Bill Buford embarks on a mission to learn the secrets of preparing food by joining a famous chef (Mario Batali) in his New York restaurant. He starts off as a kitchen slave and slowly works himself up to become a line cook. However, he also realizes that there is only so much to learn as a line cook. He produces great food, however always under the constraint that it has to be fast, re-producible and consistent. The love is missing. As he sees several of his working colleagues going to Italy to really learn the art of cooking (Mario's restaurant servers Italian-American food) he decides to join them and go back to the roots. He wants to learn how food is prepared with love, in small restaurants using recipes handed down by generations.
I feel somehow in a similar way. I love working with computers. I choose my career, because I love doing what I am doing. However, working as a consultant I feel more and more as a software line cook. My task is to solve similar problem over and over again using proven recipes. Preferably arriving at the final product faster and faster, increasing productivity. As I do so I feel my passion for the craft more and more disappearing. When was the last time I used one of these beautiful algorithms out of Programming Pearls? A long time ago! Maybe it is time for me to embark on a trip to rediscover the beauty of programming.
So, now you now what a line cook and software developer have in common. Quite a bit :) - and if you are into food I highly recommend Heat.