I was sitting hacking away on my ride into work (I ride the bus/train so I can get a solid hour of work in before I ever get to the office). I was dorking around with a bash script I’d recently written that was taking the place of a file watcher.
At the same time I was toying around with keywords and such on a watcher that watches twitter, and stumbled onto @poornima’s tweet.
What Happens When You Don’t Acknowledge Your Accomplishments: By Poornima Vijayashanker Earlier this week I me… https://t.co/OG1wdcPAZi— poornima (@poornima) December 16, 2015
At first I just read the article, but then I thought it would be a good idea to actually write up what I’d accomplished for this year too. Especially being that 2015 has been an exceptional and very different year for me.
First however, a little context of why 2015 was an exceptional year. 2013 ended in a ridiculous way. I’d just finished 2+ years working as a tech evangelist and product manager & coder for AppFog, Tier 3, and then Basho while writing with the Orchestrate.io Team. I’d however gotten ridiculously burned out by the end of 2013, so I literally took time to sit on my porch, have a beer, and watch the trees blow in the breeze.
To recover from my burn out I kicked off 2014 by co-founding a start with a friend, Aaron. We proved out a lot of things, for one that 40 hour work weeks are utter bullshit. The whole startup work yourself to the bone is also bullshit. We accomplished a ton of things and built a system with barely any capital whatsoever. I was impressed, and when I showed others they were impressed.
Then at the end of that, I realized I hadn’t resolved my burn out, it had just abated while I lived the startup life. So I started 2015 off by not doing anything. That’s right, I didn’t do a damn thing. However many in the industry thought I was still working, I still dropped into a meetup here or there, but otherwise I was pretty sick of the whole tech industry. At least, I felt I was sick of it.
By February I had landed a gig helping out Strongloop put together its curriculum and training material. I even went and delivered some of the training. It was good, but that wasn’t really the exact thing I wanted to do either (it didn’t help that it was all in the suburbs, and that’s another whole point of burn out I have - I’m done with suburbia).
But as I wrapped that up I put together some more training material and worked on a few side jobs. I realized something at this time, I’d removed so many of my expenses that I was doing fine even without working much at all. I learned that I didn’t need to have the “American Life“ with a noose around my neck of debt and other nonsense. I was, in essence, debt free, mortgage free, loan free, and I didn’t owe anybody a thing.
So April rolled around and .NET Fringe happened. That was interesting because I started getting interested in technology again in a huge way. Oddly, not particularly .NET, but just in languages and systems in general. I started digging in again to things that made me curious that I wanted to implement.
Again, not working but just learning. Then I started working on a contract at CDK Global, helped some interns put together a hackathon team, and generally just enjoyed being in the field and getting things done. Without any tie downs or nooses anywhere to be seen.
Then I realized, “Holy shit Adron, you’d gotten burned out because of things - often just daily nonsense - that was tying you down and when you’re free and don’t have to live at the whim of managers, loans, money and others you’re happy…”
At that moment I realized the real accomplishment in 2015. I learned what I need to stay happy in the industry. That’s what I’m doing today, at a strategic level, is staying happy with my work. On a tactical level I’ve been slowly working toward that and the fruits of that work will be self-evident in 2016.
I hope 2015 kick ass for you, enjoy Star Wars, and see you all in 2016!