I went to pick up a pizza yesterday, which we sometimes order from this place that’s about a ten-minute walk away.
As I was waiting to pick it up and pay for it, I was able to see how the pizza was made in the brick-lined wood-fired oven.
There was a very competent woman who was operating this one-person army of pizza making.
Taking the dough, rolling, then spinning it into that big flat shape. Then placing it on this big flat metal board with a long rod that was used to push it all the way in. And later taking it out; all this was happening extremely efficiently.
I had the sudden feeling like this is a person who is actually making something.
We have a lot of this glib talk about “makers” — but then frequently ignore people like this.
I had the following experience recently (hiding names and details because reasons):
I came across a repository implementing something that I found interesting, from a decade ago
The person had long abandoned this were now working at $BigCo at something completely unrelated
I made assumptions about who they were, what they must’ve been doing earlier
Turns out I couldn’t’ve been more wrong!
This person started off with a film and language background
This person worked for many years in various sorts of tech repair and maintenance
This person worked in IT support roles at small businesses
This person eventually joined some Bay Area company, and then joined $BigCo
The innovative exploratory repository that I had come across was something they did in their early period
This person found the time and motivation and interest to do this essentially on their own
I was impressed AF
I was embarrassed, firstly, to remember how frequently I’ve abandoned various lines of thinking or experimentation or making, with the excuse that “this is something that can happen after I do xyz“, or that “I need to learn xyz first, before trying this“
I was embarrassed, secondly, to realize how frequently I had made unconscious assumptions about “the paths that people take“, and what should or shouldn’t be possible at a certain point in time.