How killing raid bosses made me better colleague

OK, some of you won’t even know that a raid boss is, and those who know won’t probably see any relation; so let’s start from the beginning.

MMO is a genre inside video games, and it’s principal characteristic (I’m my opinion) is having a huge number of players working together for the same goal. The most famous example is probably World of Warcraft. One of the activities most of these games offer are Raids, which are challenges for a considerable number of players (10-25 usually) that need to be accomplished through coordination, proper leadership and fast reacting. And I’ve just spoiled you.

In order to succeed on them, I had to commit to a time schedule, build some relationship with my guild mates, learn some strategy or, in the funniest of the cases, worked it out with my friends failure after failure. There were some days when we spent hours retrying a hard challenge without beating it, even if we achieved small improvements (and learnt some mechanics). I really remember those experiences and feel so lucky. If you don’t know how it feels, or you just want to remember it, malukah’s beautiful post is for you.

And now, back to our business. OK, we know what a raid boss is, and how can it affect my career? I truly believe that every single of your experiences sculpts you, to a greater or lesser extent. I think those were the first times when I had to meet people’s expectations (and it was completely volunteer) while learning how to handle them. I had to commit my time, spent my energies keeping the moral up, convinced stakeholders to try another approach, decided when to take a break… Do these skills sound familiar to you? And, for me, the most important thing was that I was enjoying my team while learning because I was just trying my best to beat the challenge.

Years later, when I spent some time raiding again in another video game, I was the one explaining to the team the different approaches people are trying online so we can build our own with those premises. It was my duty due to my insane obsession with knowledge and efficiency that forced me to surf the net understanding the challenges. It also forced me to talk over a mic with Swedish, German and Polish people. Believe me, if make fun of me now because of my English, it was a huge step for me talking with those guys back then.

And this why I believe that every single of your experiences makes you the person (and professional) you are right now. For me, that was the time when I started building some of the skills I am proud about now.

Remember it when you start yelling at your child for wasting too much time playing video games. It’s not a completely waste of time!

May the force be with you.
Good luck & Have fun,