First off, welcome to the newsletter thing. Somehow this feels more appropriate than blogging because you’re, you know, interested enough to click a “subscribe” button or whatever. You’re invested more than someone who just finds a blog post via a search engine or something. At least that’s my thinking on it.
Secondly, maybe I should give you a rundown of what I see this newsletter as being. Yes, there’s a description and stuff when you signed up, but it’s pretty vague:
Thoughts, links, and ramblings from a long-time software engineer, teacher, speaker, and conference organizer.
Yeah, see, that doesn’t really say anything. Just, like, “hey, I’m gonna write things.” Well, lucky for you, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, write things. I’m hoping that doing a somewhat regular newsletter will get me back into the swing of writing stuff so I can start some projects I’ve been putting off for a couple of years. Consider yourselves therapists, of a sort!
I plan to write something at least monthly but I’d love to do something every week. That said, I’m not going to write if I don’t have something worth writing about, so don’t worry that I’m going to send you a newsletter that’s just full of links or banal quips or anything. You get half-decent content or nothing!
Third, as this is the first newsletter, I feel I should introduce myself somewhat. Many/most of you probably already know me, but those that don’t would probably like a little more context.
Currently I’m a software engineer. I’ve been involved in creating software for about 20 years now, professionally, and a few more years as a hobby/interest in high school (shout-out to HTML for Dummies, which I taught myself HTML from when I was like 15). I spent about 4 years teaching programming instead of doing it all the time, but I don’t feel like that was really a break from programming.
But I kinda don’t want to do it anymore.
I still enjoy the art of programming. I love teaching it to people. I still get a big kick out of working on open source. And, honestly, I don’t hate the job I have by any means. But I don’t have the strong desire to write code that I did 5 or 10 years ago. It’s a means to a end.
Toward that end, I’m finding myself very interested in getting into managing technical people. I’ve had a bit of experience with this running an on-boarding team and really enjoyed it. I also consider my time co-chairing a conference (DjangoCon US 2018), and co-organizing Django Girls Portland, as experience in management. But I’ve never had the actual title (I’ve also never held a “senior” title before).
Things at work seem to be moving in this direction, so that’s a comfort. Will I have any idea what I’m doing when I get there, though? Will I balk at the responsibility? Will I ruin everyone’s career progression? “No”, “maybe”, and “probably not” are the answers I have for myself so far. Let me know if you agree/disagree.
Are there aspects to your life that you don’t love anymore but keep doing? What would you change if you could? How can you start to move toward that change?
I don’t want to go too much further down this path in this issue. I’d love to know your thoughts, feelings, and answers to the questions in this issue. Feel free to reply and introduce yourselves to me, too!
Finally, here’s the best link I have for this issue, the MEpearlA YouTube channel.
Thanks for reading! 💖