I'm listening to Strikeforce: Diablo's the Albatross and the Architect, which I haven't thought about in years. It's probably been like, 8 or 9 years since I rocked this album. Back then, I was living in shitty out-west apartments, driving a Toyota Celica, playing in a band, in my sophomore year of college, breaking up with my longest-term girlfriend, and just starting what would become the job I am doing now. Little did I know, accepting that internship because I needed a job and cash would get me to the place I am now. And just where is that? Eagerly awaiting to hear if I will be selected as the systems architect for the company. Holy shit.
I'm sure that one of my interview questions for that internship was, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years." I don't remember what I said, but I doubt this was it. I have come far since then. Sometimes I wonder how the hell I did it. Especially when I'm spending my time listening to music and typing out a journal instead of, you know, working. But then I remember all the hard work I have done. All the late nights, long weekends. All the days and nights spent at the library studying for a calculus test, or ssh'd into Phoenix or Archos or whatever it was, hastily trying to get a C program to compile. The long nights spent teaching myself PHP and OpenBSD so I'd be ready when I started my first internship.
That's why I'm here, waiting for the word. It will be one of two responses.
"No. Sorry, we found someone more qualified. Wait a few more years and apply again."
This is a valid response, and I would accept it graciously. The role of Systems Architect is a huge - and I can't overstate that - HUGE responsibility. The company leans on you for technical advice. You don't get to lean on anyone else. You are the last domino. You either stand strong or everyone falls down. Certainly it would make my life easy, if not boring for the next few years. I would likely revert back to studying the market and trying to find success there.
"Yes. After all of our interviews, we have determined you are the best fit for this position. Congratulations!"
In this case, shit gets real. All the things mentioned above about the responsibility officially bears weight, and that weight sits on my shoulders. There are still so many things I don't know! Will I be called out for not being as smart as the other architects? Will I make bad choices? Will I say the wrong things? Will I disappoint my boss? Will I let the company down? I've been in this position before, but the stakes were so much lower. I was an intern, and what could they expect from an intern? I was a brand new employee, and what could they expect from a newbie? But now, I am not new. I've been around the block and a lot can (and should) be expected of me. Fuck up here, and there are serious consequences.
I've weighed all this. It is scary, yet it is a step I must at least attempt. Because without being a little scared (read: motivated), I might as well not even get out of bed.
But as of now, I'm still just waiting on one of those two responses. Will I be the architect, or will I wear the albatross? Time will tell.