I often wonder what lasting legacy my work will leave. And quite honestly the answer is probably ‘not very much’ or maybe even ‘none at all’.
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying, I’m talking about “lasting legacy”, not simply working software and satisfied users.
But it’s still quite staggering really when you consider the sheer number of hours commuting to work, waiting in line for coffee, attending the daily standup, waiting for Windows updates, building the Linux kernel, fixing compiler errors, trawling stack overflow, reading .Net class definitions on MSDN, writing confluence pages.
I think two applications I worked on directly have made it to their 10+ year production anniversary (thank you ICMS and eAsy), many others didn’t. And in another 10 years, probably none of them will likely still be around. Some won’t even be retrievable from the storage medium, others no longer compilable.
Perhaps not quite a legacy, but something that does live on is the memory of the time spent with my coworkers. Some of those memories still feel like yesterday. It’s funny how even the difficult people and difficult situations start to become remembered more favourably with the passage of time. Things to remember and laugh about on the rare occasion you catch up with a cherished former colleague.
And whilst these memories are only fleeting in the grand scheme of things, they are a lasting legacy for as long as I’m alive. And perhaps that’s all that matters really.