Unusual boat story: practical advice to unlock your Career

By Bruno Souza | life

Oct 08

My company does not use new tech.
My boss does not give me time to learn things.
My colleagues don’t do their part, I can’t do mine either!
My family activities take too much time, I can’t focus on my career.

Are you always stuck because others don’t do their part? Do you have great potential but it is never unleashed because someone else is not doing something? Maybe what they are doing prevents you from growing?

An old Taoist parable about a crash of boats in the river can help us think about our careers.

It originally talks about anger.

But I think it is all about responsibility.

And what better moment to think about that than riding a boat on the seashore of Florida’s Jacksonville, the following day of JaxJUG meetup?

What can YOU do — even if something small — that would be YOUR responsibility, that would move YOU forward?

What can YOU stop blaming on others, that could get YOUR career going in the right direction?

Do you have something that you can’t see a way out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll help you find a way to get moving again!

Video transcript:

[00:00:01.520] I’m here in Jacksonville, Florida, with a bunch of very cool people. Hey, everyone says hello! And right here at this amazing boat, amazing scenery, everything. I was thinking about your career. And the things that we have to think about in our career. And there’s a story that goes more or less like this.

[00:00:27.620] The guy was going up the river and there’s a boat coming towards him.

[00:00:33.000] And he saw… Oh that boat’s going to hit me. So he starts to yell at the boat, get out, move to another direction. You gonna hit me. And the boat just kept coming in his direction. So he kept yelling out, get out of here, you stupid. You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re going to hit me. And the boat just came towards him and, he kept yelling and complaining and the boat just came and hit him.

[00:00:57.010] So he was really mad. And he jumped at the other boat like, No, you guys are crazy. You hit me!

[00:01:02.300] He looked around and the boat was empty.

[00:01:05.410] So that’s one thing for you. The boat is always empty. You can’t just complain about life and think other people should be doing it. Should change their course, should do anything. You are the one in control. Go ahead. Do whatever you can. Move your boat, go do your stuff.

[00:01:28.240] And if other people can help you out, that’s great. But it is your responsibility.

[00:01:32.890] So careers are always like this. It’s our responsibility to get our career moving.

[00:01:38.170] This is Bruno Souza directly from Jacksonville. And we are here talking about the developer career. Thanks.

About the Author

Software developers have a huge impact in the world, and can effectively improve the planet. This is why Bruno Souza is passionate about developer communities and has dedicate his life to help developers worldwide reach their true potential. The "Brazilian JavaMan" is a Java Developer at Summa Technologies, and a Cloud Specialist at ToolsCloud, where he participated in some of the largest Java projects in Brazil. President of SouJava and Director at the Open Source Initiative, Bruno believes Java and Open Source to be the path to career excellency for developers everywhere, and that taking responsibility for delivering software is the mark of great developers.

Ulisses Oliveira Soares last year

I’ve come here because of TDC, maybe you remind me of Mentoring Track, and I just would like to say again THANK YOU for all mindblowing insights I’m having in the last days. And also, for this opportunity of practicing my English skills.

    Bruno Souza 9 months ago

    Thanks Ulisses! Lets find a way to continue talking 🙂

Helder 11 months ago


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