Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to catch someone else’s vision in a project. You try and try, but at some point it becomes apparent to you that you just don’t see the project the way the other person does. You simply have not been able to catch their vision.
It doesn’t mean you give up, but it does mean that as you work together, you will continue to have struggles within yourself over goals and methods and means. Normally, if you cannot catch another person’s vision for the project, it’s because you actually see a different vision of your own – which reflects your interests and reasons for becoming involved in the project to begin with.
Recently, I joined a new project to produce a new kind of linux distribution. But as it turns out – this distribution never plans to have a user release of it’s own – but only to serve as a core for others to build their own distributions on. That is actually a very cool idea. The others involved have a very strong vision of why they are doing it this way and how it should all work. Everyone is friendly and very competent and things look really bright for the project.
But I was brought in after all these decisions were made. I had no input as to what the project should be about. That’s no big deal. But as it turns out, my vision for why I joined is a bit different from that of the mainstream project members. So I labor with some internal conflict.
Many of the goals, plans, choices, and reasoning are developer-directed rather than end-user directed. I am an end-user person. I look at things with the eye of the end-user, and thus my input is often not in line with everyone else’s vision of where we are going. There is an old expression – “Whistling in The Wind” – and it refers to ‘doing something that is a brave attempt, but a futile endeavor.‘ For example, if you whistle in the wind, no one is able to hear it. So you are basically making a futile attempt. That is kind of how it feels to have a different vision from everyone else in a project.
I will stay and work through all this because I hope my vision can contribute a little something to the project that will make it just a bit more end-user oriented. I doubt I will fully catch their vision for all this … but I hope they will catch at least a little of mine. It’s how we all learn, and grow.