Two types of people you often find on software projects are samurai and rice pickers.
Samurai are the ones who:
- say what needs to be said
- call BS when they see it
- laugh in the face of unrealistic schedules and expectations
- tackle all the hard, complex, thorny stuff no one else wants to wade into
- are technically excellent at their craft
- take pride in their work
- and are comfortable in their own skins
They are usually the people you see project managers and companies fist fighting over to get onto their projects.
Every project/team needs a couple samurai.
Then there are the rice pickers.
If samurai are the pioneers, rice pickers are the settlers.
Rice pickers are the people who:
- like to collect a pay cheque, keep their heads down, and quietly go home at the end of the day.
- aren’t necessarily lazy, they would just rather be told what to do and not have to think for themselves.
- have opinions but aren’t big on taking the initiative
- generally they just like to be left alone and are quite happy sitting in the maze nibbling their cheese
- they also form the bulk of our workforce
Now, I’m not saying everyone can or should be a samurai.
The world needs rice pickers and people to keep the lights on.
But if you find you aren’t getting the opportunities, promotions, or things you feel entitled too, take a look in the mirror and honestly ask yourself:
And are you a samurai, or a rice picker?
Thanks to Jason Calacanis for acting as the inspiration behind this post.