This used to be fun.
"Everyone Wants a Piece of the Pie, Nobody Wants to Bake" - Very few are willing to bake. It's not easy, the path of least resistance has been the slow poison of corporations for decades. This is not a shocking at all.
There a is gradual decay of credibility of competence in the ecosystem because the incentives of the system is no longer based on solving hard and valuable customer problems and the over indexing of hypes and fads and low hanging fruits.
This is the no free lunch theorem and garbage in garbage out in action. We are all working with the same constraints of infrastructure resources, programming paradigms. Ultimately without great product, people will resort these type of underhanded tactics.
There are folks working on reforming their circle of influence and those who are willing to bake. Sadly, It is extremely hard to differentiate those that are willing to solve hard problems diligently versus those who are over selling the snake oil of ease and convenience that does not solve the core problems.
lovely piece. i felt it was wonderfully balanced; like some nostalgia, but also embracing practical reality. i dont have an answer, i just wanted to make a comment to say how much i appreciated that you put this vague feeling people have in to words.
I’ve been feeling the same way. I think of it as the honeymoon phase with dbt ending ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’ve found fun in commiserating with an old coworker turned data engineer, reading anything and everything from Benn Stancil and contributing lightly to open source (need to figure out a place and way to contribute meaningfully).
I, too, pine for the times when not everything was content marketing and branding conferences.
Abhi recently shared this article with me (https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/a-cyclic-theory-of-subcultures) which I found useful in mapping and understanding my experience of data over the past few years. As with all things there's nuance and some misalignment, but it's a helpful mental model. But it doesn't answer the question "so what do we do now?"
For me the answer just comes back to fundamental truths and value propositions. "Treat others the way you want to be treated." "Be the change you want to see it the world." "Put in more than you get out." Yeah, we're all in this system of capitalism together and the enshittification of things is happening constantly, but we're still human and can push back against the entropy of the world. We can't do it all the time and sometimes we need a break so that another may carry the torch for a bit. But giving in to cynicism has never solved or really even improved anything. Blind optimism isn't the answer but we can take the good and ignore the rest and still choose how we show up every day. Kids are a great reminder that things are fun when you, individually, are having fun.
So fuck the haters - they'll be pissed off anyways so might as well have fun!
All this to say I'll just keep doing data things because data is still fun and there are some really cool tools and datasets out there. And also, unfunny tweets still need to get tweeted because how else are people going to exhale a bit harder through their nose?
Thanks for writing and sharing, Pedram.
I think maybe there is solace to be found in the security world? That is, the world where peoples jobs are "things related to cyber security". It's not a community I was ever quite a part of, but they have, I think, been dealing with the "everyone's a marketer" problem for decades now. The community has even created good, community oriented, educational conferences to coincide with the big annual bad conferences: http://www.securitybsides.com/w/page/12194138/BSides