Rory Primrose

Learn from my mistakes, you don't have time to make them yourself

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Opinionated or Passionate?

There are several things that I mark up as me being passionate about. From a technical point of view, these include coding, OOP, .Net, VB, great looking UI, controls, smart clients and so on and so forth (always wanted to say that but it is a bit long, should now be referred to as ASOASF).

Outside of these things that I am passionate about, there are several things that I have always considered as me being opinionated about. Coming up with the best design for something, be it an application, component or a control is probably the one that sticks out most and tends to get me into the most disagreements in the workplace. I can’t stand poor design (even though I probably come up with enough of them myself). I am often discussing/fighting for the best design with other people, regardless of whether they are workmates or my managers. It doesn’t matter to me. I think it is more important to do a good job and get the most appropriate design than be a ‘yes’ man. I will explain my position and argue the point until I a) get what I want; b) get an acceptable compromise or c) someone pulls rank and outbids me.

The point here is that because I put my opinion out there, I considered myself opinionated. I saw it in a negative light. I guess this was because I was disagreeing with other people’s ideas. That is until yesterday.

I was discussing some issues with the lead of a build team and someone else at work. I was giving one of my opinions and I tried to ease the opinion into the discussion by saying ‘…., but I am just opinionated’. The build team lead corrected me by saying that I was passionate, not opinionated. I thought about this for a second. It’s true. I haven’t been opinionated for these last six or seven years in the industry. I have been passionate. I want the best results.

The other guy in the conversation replied with ‘in your opinion…’

Written on November 10, 2005