My friend Matt Gemmell has long been known as a prolific Mac developer, public speaker, and selfless contributor of open source code to the Mac community. He’s also a writer. He’s shared his thoughts on subjects ranging from coding well to living well, and in a recent post he makes the broad proclamation that he will give up the profession of programming to become a full-time writer. Making Changes:
Maybe it’s foolish, and from a commercial point of view it certainly looks that way, but I must try. As of this moment, I’m no longer developing software, either for myself or for others. I’m writing full-time.
Folks who read about this daring change of course will likely have one of two reactions: to support him unconditionally, or to condemn him as a fool. Count me among the supporters.
Most people who mutter the disgusting, deplorable phrase: “don’t quit your day job,” do so from a position of ignorance, of envy, or of both. “Quitting one’s day job,” so to speak, is the starting point for any major change in one’s career, and most of us could stand to do a lot more quitting and a lot less settling.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I quit my career of programming and threw all my energy into being a professional musician, interface designer, or … who knows what? I am at once afraid I would be an utter failure in another field, and worried that I might miss my beloved programming too much. But that’s not to say the day won’t come when I lay down my IDE and move on to another life pursuit.
Congratulations to Matt on making a difficult, important decision. Best of luck to him in his new career as a writer.