Makers of Pizza

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 paid for my pizza and left.

On different paths with similar outcomes

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.

All in all, a good learning experience 🙂