To be a successful corporate programmer, you have got to have goals ”conscious goals. To be spectacularly successful as a corporate programmer, you also need audacity ”the willingness to tackle those high-visibility, risky projects that your colleagues are afraid to touch.
Imagine how creative this guy is, says programmer/consultant Dennis Mulcare, shaking his head in awe. Garry s sitting there coding one program with his right hand, coding another program with his left hand, analyzing some other difficult problem in his head, and talking on the phone. There are people in this world who can have four or five thoughts going on in their mind at the same time, and Garry is one of them.
Garry Reinhard is a superb programmer ”the most gifted programmer I have ever met. But it wasn t simply his innate talent that shot him to the top; also required was an inexorable drive toward his goals and the supreme self-confidence that allowed him to achieve those goals.
Very few programmers have Garry s innate ability. But even if your talents are far more modest than his, you can become a highly paid corporate programmer ”as long as (a) your goal is to become one, (b) you have Garry s formidable drive and readiness to keep on learning, and (c) you re willing, as Garry was always willing, to take on the high-visibility projects that your colleagues consider too daunting.
Garry has gone from computer operator to audacious IBM systems engineer to co-developer of a breakthrough software package to ownership of his own firm. Telling Garry s story is, I believe, the best way to illustrate this chapter s theme: setting goals and not being afraid to take risks.