No, not as a person. I kind of know that one; father, husband, son, etc.
I'm talking about my chosen career.
Software Developer, Database Developer, DBA, however it is that I am defined professionally.
What is my purpose as one of those?
I bring this up because I had a great conversation with a friend over the weekend. In discussing all things geeky, he said, "My job is to eliminate the need for me."
That's a paraphrase of course because I believe beer was involved during this discussion.
I about jumped out of my seat though. I had never heard anyone (to my knowledge or memory anyway, though my old boss may jump in and remind me) utter those words. I have uttered those words (but not to my wife apparently, as I called her almost immediately) before. I have said them in interviews, in discussions...but never here.
"My job is to eliminate the need for me."
I strive for that...to build a system that requires virtually no support. I am nowhere close, but I strive for it.
What other role do we serve but a support role (unless we sell software)? IT in just about every instance is a cost center right? We are there to support the business side of the house do their job more effectively and more efficiently. Nothing more, nothing less.
We aren't there to build systems that will require constant care. We aren't there to ensure we have a job in the future. We're hired to build the best application possible and get out of the way.
Of course, there are many factors in our way for doing so. Poor business requirements is probably the number 1 reason. If the business can't describe how can we build it?
The upside of eliminating the need for us is we can move on after a couple of years. We can demand more money up front as they won't need us for 5 or 10 years (still don't know how to sell that one). The idea remains the same though...
So then, how do we build software that will obviate the need for us? I still don't know...but if you do, feel free to comment.