The Times And I Are Changing

Yesterday I went hiking at Lake Cuyamaca and took some pictures. Let's look at them as we discuss something I've been wanting to write for a long time.

Geese on the Lake

The Past

When this blog began in 2012 I was in the very early days of learning to code. In fact I built this site back then exactly for the purpose of teaching myself how websites (and the internet) actually worked. Back then I was in school to become an Aerospace Engineer (a subject I never really liked) and I found myself both excelling at and being interested in web development.

For the next almost-decade I hopped between jobs, built several apps and services, joined a startup, founded more than one company, and worked as a contractor. Then, as go most stories in our present era: 2020 happened.

It was a very strange time. I was unemployed for a while with nothing but my side projects to occupy my time. I built a bunch of new things—and even wrote a book about how to build things. I was perhaps the most productive developer I've ever been. To this day there are times when I wax nostalgic for those days (just without the 2020-current-events part).

But when things finally settled down I found myself working full-time, finally, for my own company: SkyRocket Software, doing software contracting. I'm decent enough at the work that I suspect I'll be fine professionally for some time, but during all the 2020/21 craziness something changed. Not just with the world, but with me.

Mustard Grass with a Mountain Behind

The Present

My thirties came and with that my interests began to shift dramatically. I still love coding and I still do it for a living, but it's not something I obsess over anymore. It's not something I want to do much outside of work (though this isn't universally true). I still run my own servers and all that, but I've stopped dreaming up new projects and instead I've begun to consider shutting most of my existing ones down. As time has gone on I've even found that I care less and less about tech in general. I still exist within this world, but I don't feel anymore that I live in it. As well I feel the industry has drifted away from the things I'm personally interested in—or I'm just getting cranky and old. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Either way something has changed.

These days I'm far more interested in reading, writing, and music than coding. I read more books now than I have at any point in my life and I write a lot as well (yes by hand). In part this change hasn't been reflected much in this blog because I haven't wanted to write this very post explaining the shift. This is that attempt.

I've spent a fair bit of time over these past four or five years now thinking about this experience I've had, and I've kept coming back to one particular method of describing what I mean when I say something has changed.

In short, when I think about myself and what I call myself that definition has changed. I used to say I was a software developer who did a bunch of other stuff too. These days, I don't much feel like a developer. I still am of course, but I don't see myself through that lens anymore. My self-conception has changed.

The Future

This blog has always been a general-purpose place where I could write about anything that interests me, but it's always had a technical bent. That is very likely to change in the months and years to come. I have a lot of things on my mind (and a few new projects I'm working on) and while some of those are tech-related, most are not—as such the subject matter on this blog is going to reflect that shift.1

I hope everyone reading this will stick around and see what's coming. I'm very excited about the future and I'm excited to have a space here where I'll be more willing to write about the things I'm doing these days. It should be fun.


1If you follow my Mastodon account, you've seen a preview of what's coming.

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