I have come to realise that in my professional life I am an Ironist.
In ‘Contingency, Irony and Solidarity’ Richard Rorty described 3 conditions of an ironist:
(1) She has radical and continuing doubts about the final vocabulary she currently uses, because she has been impressed by other vocabularies, vocabularies taken as final by people or books she has encountered;
(2) she realizes that arguments phrased in her present vocabulary can neither underwrite nor dissolve these doubts;
(3) insofar as she philosophizes about her situation, she does not think that her vocabulary is closer to reality than others, that it is in touch with a power not herself.
How do I think this applies to me?:
I was once a SQL Server DBA but i could see the merits of other relational and non-relational databases. it was the best vocabulary I had at the time.
I was once a C# .net developer but I could see the merits of other languages and the limits of the tools i used. It was the best vocabulary I had at the time.
I was once a scrum master but i could see the merits of other approaches and the limits of scrum. It was the best vocabulary I had at the time, it has become part of my vocabulary.
I am an Enterprise Architect, my approach is based loosely on TOGAF, but I can see the merits of other approaches and the limits of TOGAF and Enterprise Architecture as a discipline. It has become part of my vocabulary.
I continue to explore new (to me) approaches e.g. Service Design and Coaching. I can see the merits of other approaches and the limits of Service Design and Coaching, it is becoming part of my vocabulary.
My vocabulary will change. The context in which i use my vocabulary will change.
My challenge is to always make my vocabulary the best vocabulary it can be, whilst knowing that it will never be the best vocabulary.
I doubt therefore I am an Ironist 🙂