Where Are All the Fun Software Engineer Jobs?
My mother called me today and inquired about my week. As usual, I try to steer the conversation toward more exciting topics and away from my occupation. I start out with a, “Yeah mom, I’m preparing for this fight in my Muay Thai class tonight.” Or something like, “Guess what Mom? I found ultra cheap tickets to London.” Without fail though, she always comes back to the dreaded, “That’s nice dear, so how’s working going?
The Four Types of Business Ideas
Correct me if I’m wrong, but all business ideas seem to originate from a finite group of categories; each having an unique trajectory to fruition. I would arbitrarily describe these categories as A, B, C and D.
Category A - Solve a known problem A client comes to you with a problem, and you solve it in exchange for compensation. There is little to no guesswork as to whether there are paying customers or anyone who actually wants what you’re building.
How to Make Effective small talk
Listening to the Jordan Harbinger podcast, I learned a tip about making effective small talk; the F.E.W. approach. Facts, Emotions and Why.
Facts: Start with asking a fact. “Where do you work?” Emotion: Follow up with an emotion. “How do you like working there?” Why: Dig a little deeper “What made you choose the career path?” It’s important to mix this up with statements of your own in-between the questions so you don’t sound like a robot.
I Only Live for the Weekend
Everyone tells me, “Dave, you shouldn’t be living just for the weekend!” But I wonder, how do people who work in a typical 9-5 corporate environment avoid lusting over the liberty and excitement that the weekend brings. Two whole days to do what you want to do; spending time with family or friends, traveling, working on side projects, gaming, etc. For me, it means two whole days where I don’t have to be in a windowless room coding in front of a computer screen for eight hours.
What's bad about coding? You can work for hours with nothing to show for it
Last Saturday, I spent several hours working on my website’s code. I added some new meta tags to lazy load images, tried to remove JQuery dependencies from my scripts, added enhancements for accessibility and structured data, and even created a pull request for the theme that I am using (Beautiful Hugo).
Basically, five hours of my day were eaten up by completing those tasks. Although this was another example of getting too absorbed in your side projects, I was actually proud of myself.
I Can't Do Anything for Fun Anymore; Every Hobby Is an Attempt to Make Money
When I was a kid, it was easy to merrily invest myself in any activity that I found interesting. Building robots, learning to play guitar, and making short films were things that I would work on after school everyday. I did all those things simply because I enjoyed doing them.
Now, as a young adult, I feel like I completely lost that spontaneity and simple mindset. Every project which I take up has become an attempt to make money.
Success from Things You Don't Care About
I had just finished a YouTube that I spent a week working on; a couple of days working on the graphics, a day of voice recording, and a few more hours coming up with a nice thumbnail. I uploaded it, and eagerly awaited the YouTube algorithm to award my quality work with a burst of views and watch time. I sat and waited in anticipation. Hour one went by, nothing. Okay, maybe it’s just a little slow today.
Learning to Declutter and Clear Your Mind
I’m a mental hoarder. If you were to look inside my head, you would find all types of mental clutter. Boxes labeled “random shower thoughts”, trashcans full of personal bullshit, and a closet overflowing with reminders, ideas and useless information. This creates a negative impact on my ability to recall and recollect. I often find myself in this awkward situation where this was something I know I took a mental note of, but I just can’t remember what it was.
I Want to Do Everything so I Do Nothing
One of the most challenging areas of self discipline in life is time management. I often find myself in situations where I do not have enough time to complete all the things that I want to do. And it’s not because I am procrastinating; the second I get home from work I jump right into some new side project or video. The problem is that there are simply too many things that I want to do right now, and learning the personal discipline to say no to myself is challenging.
Complacency After College
Up until graduation day, everything made sense. I’ll go to class, get good grades, then land a decent paying job so that I can move out of my parents and “start my life”. Amazingly, all of that happened fresh out of college at 22 years old. Back then, a couple of my peers have told me, “Damn dude, you’re living the dream.” In reality, I felt like I was far from it.