What would you do if you weren’t in development/design job?

August 6, 2009

I am sure we all sometimes ask ourselves this question, usually when we’re tired of our work and everyday things. I constantly question my work and goals. As developer, designer and solutions architect it’s really hard for me keep up with all the work. Sometimes I just wish I became a painter or cook.

I like to paint, I have been painting since I was 12. And the older I get, the more I realize it’s a pitty I did’t take that path. But it’s never too late. What would I do in my retirement anyway? Creating diagrams through UML? No way!

I also like to cook. I know I will never be as good as my wife, but I love to do that. It’s also creative with endless possibilities. By the way, are there any crazy meals that you would recommend me to try?

Let’s hear your thoughts! What would you do if you weren’t in development/design job (well, IT in general)?

I discuss these topics on twitter too. In case you feel nostalgic, my RSS feed is still working.


  • Justin (August 6, 2009)

    Since I am only 16, my paths are still open.

    I always wanted to do either web design or underwater photography.
    I love web design and I love SCUBA diving so I would be pretty much set.

  • JetSetWilly (August 6, 2009)

    I’d be a photographer for sure :)

  • Jin (August 6, 2009)

    Hey Janko, looks like we share more interests than I thought! I love to cook(I’m a better cook than my wife). I also like to draw, and wish I kept up with it. Now i’m so rusty.

    If I weren’t in web design biz, I think I’d love to be a film director, or a photographer.

  • Janko (August 6, 2009)

    Justin: Underwater photography sounds very interesting. If you ever take some underwater photos please share!

    JetSetWilly: Great photos of Belgrade you have, should have them more.

    Jin: I’m glad we share similar interests (I also like bacon, you know :)) You’d be a great photographer, I really like your photos.

  • Muhammad Mosa (August 6, 2009)

    Well Janko, you are lucky, because at least you have one other thing you are good at PAINTING. Myself, I don’t know other paths for myself.

    Being able to Paint is cool, because I think if I was able to do that I feel the art that I am doing I think I would live in peace at least with myself.

    I am just as you, maybe you are a bit older, but man I am 28 years old and white hear start growing widly all over my head.

    I wish that tweeting would made me make money, because I would retire and do 3 things, work on some fun open source project, bloging and tweeting for food :)

  • Iva (August 7, 2009)

    After 9 years in web design, five of which I’d spent in the professional field, I think I’m out of words whenever someone asks me this. Heck, I even left my original major for this and I doubt I’d ever be back to studying that.

  • Tim (August 7, 2009)

    hmmm….. I have always wanted to be the guy that looks after the gardens of a golf course. Spend all day outside manicuring lawns and greens, trimming hedges, designing flower beds ect. If that doesnt work out I could always be a gigolo.

  • Amy (August 7, 2009)

    I’d be chasing supercell storms across the Midwest, recording awesome tornado footage!

  • David (August 7, 2009)

    Something in either sales or photography.

  • Josip (August 7, 2009)

    That’s actually a great question – never really thought of it before :)

    I’d like to say carpentry, don’t really have that much experience with wood but I enjoy building things. Probably carpentry or toolworking (metal), something in those lines.

  • Janko (August 7, 2009)

    Muhammad: In my opinion paths are to be discovered. It’s great if you do it early, but it can be more fun if you do that with white hair :)

    Iva: Yep, 9 years is long enough to start question your paths.

    Tim: I like that :)

    Amy: That is very interesting, I enjoy watching storm chasers on Discovery.

    David: Since photography is (in some way) related to web design I guess it would be easy to switch. Too bad I suck in making photos!

    Josip: That’s a good one. My father love to do carpentry in free time. And, as a kid, I loved to "help" him. That’s creative!

  • Duppy Ocio (August 7, 2009)

    Musician and/or Photographer.
    a PIMP

  • Pawel (August 7, 2009)

    Great :)

  • nemke (August 7, 2009)

    I’d be planting organic food and enjoying in nature away from the city crowd. Also would spending lot of time biking and snowboarding.

  • Davide Espertini (August 7, 2009)

    I think I’d be a naturalistic photoreporter, photographer or mmm.. really I don’t know… suggestion?!?!

  • iongion (August 7, 2009)

    Cooking for sure.
    So far I am cooking far better than any of the girlfriends i had until now.

    As for giving you a crazy recipe, especially if you are not a big meat eater.


    – sunflower oil
    – onion (2 onions)
    – eggplant (4 eggplants)

    Barbecue the eggplants, without any preparation, just wash them and put the on the barbecue until they get barbecued (they will reduce their size a lot and become really moist)

    After being barbecued, remove the skin (watch out because the water inside them can burn you), and keep only the content (has green look-and-feel :P)

    Chop the onions really well into very small cubes.

    Put the content of the eggplants in a boll and use a mixer to make it like a paste, add 200 ml of oil while still mixing (mix in only one direction). You can chop the content of the eggplants before placing them in the mixer, it would reduce the time of mixing.

    Add salt (1 teaspon), add the onion and that’s it.

    Have some nice slices of bread and place the mix on top, this can be eaten at any temperature (cold is the preferred)

    recipe 2)

    another way to cook the eggplants is to chop them horizontally (round slices) and then put them in a mixture of eggs and flower and then baked in the pancake (with lots of hot oil), keep them there until they get a brown look and they become crispy, like french fries, remove them quickly on a paper towel bed (to absorbe the excess of oil)

    Prepare chopped garlic (really well chopped and pressed until it becomes a paste), after this add water and salt.

    Eat the eggplants with bread and the garlic watery sauce (a taste very close to meat)

  • Janko (August 7, 2009)

    Duppy Ocio: pimp? that’s interesting

    nemke: Wow, that’s good idea and nice business. I especially like the fact you’d be faaar away from city crowd.

    Davide: You do photography in free time?

    iongion: The recipe is awesome, I will try it definitively! Thanks!!!

  • liz (August 8, 2009)

    if i wasnt a web designer, id be a mermaid.

  • Linda (August 10, 2009)

    In my younger years I wanted to be a Penguin… But when my ymother talked me out of that, I wanted to be a pencil artist in a zoo!
    Nou I’m a graphic designer. And at my work it looks sometimes like a zoo! ;-)

  • Lucas Goodwin (August 10, 2009)

    Heh, funny how so many of us started as artists or have a background in some art form.

    For me, web development was something I just fell into. First internship at Microsoft had me deving internal tools that interfaced via ASP3 front-ends.

    How ever, I’ve been a Mechanical Engineer, a Drafter, a Machinist, a Welder, a Metal Polisher, even a Janitor. Always seem to come back to this in the end though.

    I do recommend that if you can, every 5 years leave the field and do something completely different for atleast 6 months. You won’t really be that far behind in the technology and you’ll either comeback refreshed and in love with the work, or you wont come back (which could be a good thing too).

  • Janko (August 10, 2009)

    Liy, Linda: Mermaid, penguin.. it reminds me to the days I wanted to be a bird and be able to fly :) Pencil artist at zoo sounds great, I can see myself there. I love to paint animals.

    Lucas: Yes, it’s also funny that many webdesigners are good in photography. Interesting thoughts you have and I agree with you. Many people probably don’t have a possibility to leave the field and do something else, but that would be a great experience.

  • Nicolas Pascual (August 10, 2009)

    Hard question Janko..
    I guess that cook could be my another option…

  • Ronny (August 11, 2009)

    I’m a web developer now, but if I had to choose something that’s not based on computers, I would be a truck driver. It’s awesome driving huge 18-wheelers!

  • Tim Wright (August 11, 2009)

    I think I would have kicked around in sales for a while then started either painting or construction

  • Timothy Long (August 11, 2009)

    I think I’d retreat to something mildly dissimilar from what I normally do. Like perhaps serving coffee instead of just consuming it.

  • Luke (August 11, 2009)

    i would propably be dead.
    but if i managed to stay alive … i would be Luke Skywalker saving my princess from the ever lasting evil. Picking up bad friends and hairy beasts on the way, and learning the ways of the force.
    and when i wake up, i would be an very expensive photographer.

  • Wouter Tinbergen (August 11, 2009)

    I would be shooting photos and be teaching physics in highschool!
    There are just so many nice things to do…

  • Mišel Gošić (August 11, 2009)

    I would like to own a bar, but not any bar – a Blues bar. Something small, with a corner where a live band can play and room for approx 50-75 guests. I hope that I will have it one day.

  • dave (August 11, 2009)

    I would be retired. :) seriously, that’s my life goal.

    Janko – if you want to try something different, buy an inexpensive smoker and try your hand at (real) barbecue. it’s hard to screw up and is some of the best food available.

  • iFadey (August 11, 2009)

    I love cars so I may have become a race driver or test driver for some automaker (specially for some German automaker). But still I always try to learn test driver skills by my own :)

    The 2nd thing (other than designing/development) which I love is soldier.

    The 3rd option would be a teacher. I love to teach programming and some other Computer Science subjects.

  • Naveed Ahmad (August 11, 2009)

    hmmm thats an interesting post

    well i would love to explore the world would love to travel all over look at different cultures and if not this then would surely teach art/design related subject or if not that then would love to do some volunteer work in Global Red Crescent Organization :)

  • John McCollum (August 11, 2009)

    Hm, good question. :)

    I love to cook too, and I’m not as good as my wife either. :) My favourite recipe is this one for potato and lentil curry. It’s very easy but very tasty! (another meat free recipe as I’m vegetarian)


    What would I be if I wasn’t in IT? No idea, but I always fancied joining the police as a teenager. Other than that, no idea.

  • Waqar Ali (August 11, 2009)

    I would have been a manager… ofcourse because i wouldn’t have known anything else… (thats the rule of capitalism, who knows nothing, he’s the leader, bcz he never has the time to do anything)

  • Can Berkol (August 11, 2009)

    I would be a photographer for sure.

  • Nanda (August 12, 2009)

    I would go back to my country and do what my folks have done all along…farming.

  • Harry (August 13, 2009)

    I would like go to gym and trip for longer time, :)

  • paki (August 13, 2009)

    Cook, for sure :) I’m 2 hours late for for work preparing ‘lazy’ apple pie!

    Blues bar is my second choise :)

  • Maxu’ (August 15, 2009)

    After over 7 years in web design, I’d go for web design. I gave up the academic studies for it, and don’t regret a single day.

    But, if really, a EMP were to kill all the PCs, I’d go for … carpenter, seems to me to have similar requirements from the author, and less crossromm compatibility issues.

    Music producer, as the next best thing, in no EMP is involved :)

  • Marc (August 17, 2009)

    Web developper/IT. But with no other options:

    Photographer or cook. It’s at the top of my hobby list. And I love doing stuff I enjoy, that’s why I’ a web dev ;)

  • thejonz (August 18, 2009)

    My dad switched from professional baseball pitcher to a fulltime professional Artist in his 30’s. He never had an art lesson until he was over 30 years old. It’s never too late to change (changing to Art sure pays a lot less though otherwise I’d concider it too).

    his site: http://www.buckpaulson.com

  • Jimmy Strony (August 19, 2009)

    I always dreamed of being a pirate :) But that is not possible… Well, maybe not impossible at all, but not that kind of pirate that kidnapps huge tankers for ransom but those romantic short panted gentlemen with sword and gun in hand. I could become an actor and play one, but that is not an option, I’m afraid. I’m left with some dreams again, because Internet piracy is also not a thing that I would like to try ;)

  • Santhos Webdesign (August 19, 2009)

    Well to be hounest… I really wouldn’t know…. lol
    Maybe a musician!!

  • MJ Stapleford Corporate Identity (August 21, 2009)

    Yeah musician would be good. Was also looking at dry stone walling once. You get to spend lots of time outdoors. That would be nice.

  • Pauli Østerø (August 21, 2009)

    Interesting of you to mention cooking! i’ve been working in developing for 10 years now, but my dream is to one day open my own restaurant!

    About crazy meals i can recommend something from the greenlandic or faroese cousine. Musxox, reindeer and dried whalemeat and fish is very good!

  • Nepu (August 26, 2009)

    Farmer or Social Activist

  • aravind (August 27, 2009)

    interesting question Janko!
    well in my case my other choices were
    to be a movie director or an editor.
    or to be a fashion photographer

  • Janko (September 4, 2009)

    Thanks everyone for the comments! It’s great to see so much differences even though we’re all in similar businesses.

  • Sarfraz Ahmed (September 17, 2009)

    i would have been banker or accountant probably !!

  • RobertbBRavery (September 30, 2009)

    I too love cooking, and did some painting earlier on in life. I also fancy photography. So I guess I would love to do that.
    I am also a lay preacher at our local Baptist Church, so probably would do that as well.
    But hard to imagine life without IT, programming, development or the internet.

  • KreCi (November 26, 2009)

    I would be a photographer… I have even tried a little in this subject and I really enjoyed it…. But web development is my first love… :)