Giustino Borzacchiello

On interruptions and growth

2017-03-03

Today was a tough day: one of those days when you’re trying to achieve your todo list items, but it just seems that the world is against you. Then I had an epiphany.

As many of you know, I’m a software developer. I always thought that my job was to produce lines of code, to design software systems, to review pull requests, and so on.

So I consider every day that I’m unable to write at least a line of code a wasted day.

“So what is preventing you from doing your job?” I hear you asking.

Interruptions

“Did you wrote this part of the system last year? Can you help me? I have to extend it…”
“Can you help me with this git command?”
“I just wanted your opinion…how would you solve this problem, given these constraints?”

So, today, when I was sitting at my desk for the first time at 4 pm, 8 hours later I entered the office, I was furious to see Slack notifying me yet another “Can you help me with..” message.

But then, it happened.

I realized that, despite the fact that I haven’t produced a single line of code, I enabled more than ten people to continue their work.
I helped all those stuck people to overcome a simple issue that was preventing them from keeping on working.

So, instead of being bothered, I decided to be proud. Instead of being shallow, I decided to give every person the time he needs to understand deeply what he’s asking me.

And I like to think that, as I’m growing as a person, my professional side is also changing, growing and adapting. Taking me to my next challenge.

So, the next time that someone asks you for help, think that they’re helping you grow.