I’ve recently finished reading the biography of Steve Jobs, and I found it a fascinating read in many ways.
I always find it stirring to read about the early days of personal computing. From Woz and Jobs in their garage, to the social and technological changes that were factors in producing progress that we now take for granted- it seems a special time: a heroic time.
Your experiences make you
A very strong theme throughout the book was that Steve believed in nurture rather than nature. The man he turned out to be was influenced by key experiences and relationships in his past. From his father who believed in crafting the back of chest of drawers, to being kicked out of Apple in the 80s- without these things we would not have had the special Apple products of today. This is how Jobs liked to think about it, and it comes across in the book.
I can see it in myself too- we had a Commodore PET as our first computer, and my childish fascination with it is the root of where I am today.
Art enhancing technology- and technology as art
The other theme of the book is how Steve Jobs sat on the intersection between art and technology. I firmly believe there is a place for the engineering type in IT- I am one myself, and without all of us proud geeks and nerds there would be no IT industry at all. But it is very true that artists are needed, or at least people who can see how to apply technology in creative and innovative ways.
Even when not intended as such, technology can be beautiful and moving, as this post from Brent Ozar proves 🙂