I like to rebuild ICT applications. Looking at a component of such an application and how its pieces fit together. Making a mental model of how it works, of what its responsibilities are today. Welcoming intuitions about how its structure can be more simple and clear, more consistent, easier to maintain and extend.

Subsequently pondering about the extra responsibilities that the component should get. How they might fit into the existing structure, what then needs to be changed, or needs to work differently. Letting ideas mature about an adapted structure that unites and supports both old and new responsibilities. About how to test that the new whole fulfils all expectations.

And then start working, like an artist with ICT materials, by rewriting that component of the application. Finding that the existing structure is more brittle than initially suspected. Strengthen it where that is required, and possibly redistribute some of its tasks. Patiently applying change after change, careful to keep the old responsibilities intact. Gradually building in the new responsibilities, with an eye for being able to test them afterwards. Discovering with a big surprise that some of the existing pieces have unexpected dependencies to the outside, and skilfully untangle those without breaking anything.

When the tests show that expectations are not yet met, I continue to adjust or possibly even rework some parts. During this phase, I enjoy intensely discovering step by step the new structure, that ultimately shines brightly, fits thoroughly together, and yet is easily adaptable. I don’t mind starting with an ugly structure (although I will moan a bit about that) because I love to pass on a more beautiful structure. I love to create (a bit of) order in the chaos, and I invest all of my skills in that endeavour.

This is the form in which Life expresses itself in me: working within the reality of my environment, to build something that is more clear, sturdy and more adapted to what we need as human beings. This is my way of serving my groups and our society as a whole. This is my way of living, and it makes me deeply happy.