So its been a while since I last updated this blog. Apart from a single entry last week its been four months since I have written anything here. The reason for this is simple, I have been too busy to write anything. In fact the only reason I have time to write this today is because I am out sick from work.
The last year has been eventful for me, I have experienced a lot of changes in my life, some good some bad. My divorce came through, bought my first new car ever, found a new girlfriend, formed some really great friendships and went to work for a new company for a short time.
It is that new job which has given me pause to reflect on where I am and where I am going...
New job, new insights
A few months ago I was given the opportunity to go work for an amazing company doing some amazing work for big name clients. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. I wish now that I hadn't. Now don't get me wrong. The company and the people were amazing. They really are top of the game in terms of development. The problem was me.
When I worked for LocoSoftware I was constantly being pushed to learn new things. To push the envelope and expand my skills beyond what I thought possible. Since leaving them I have tried to continue to push myself to learn. However my current job is very maintenance heavy and this in part has played a big part I think in stunting my learning of new skills.
I really hate to admit it but between a job that has a lot of repetitive maintenance tasks, my personal time being taken up with a lot of similar side work and a generally busy social life, my skills have stagnated.
This is why when I started the new job I realized I had been left in the dark ages and my skills were not up to snuff. I found this personally devastating. To know that I was no longer as good as I used to be.
In the weeks since then I have been trying to figure out what I want from my life and figure out where to go from here. I have come up with a new plan for myself that I will start implementing from this weekend onward.
No New Side Work
I am a work-a-holic. While a good work ethic is important, all the side work I end up doing inevitably involves maintaining existing systems and old code bases. This takes away from the time I should be spending learning new skills. Until such time as I can get my skills current again I need to take a break from the side work.
Regular Work Hours
In my current job I have had a tendency to work well past the hours required of me. This has been detrimental to my health and sapped any energy I would have used on growing my skills. When I went back to my old company I insisted that they give me some help to carry out the day to day maintenance tasks so I could have a more regular work week and have time to invest in upskilling.
It is up to me to get back up to speed and nobody else.
My website still has a lot of holes in it. Incomplete sections that I have never made public. A poorly implemented twitter integration that needs to be updated for the new api and tidied up. As well as doing some work on making the design look better.
I have a lot of ideas for personal projects that I have sketched down and then put aside for the one day I have time. That one day has never come and the ideas sit unimplemented in my side stand drawer.
Well if I am going to learn new skills I need to actually use them. So I might as well kill to birds with one stone and practice the new skills I plan to learn by getting on with it and starting to implement some of my ideas.
I am giving myself 12 months to get back up to snuff. No excuses. I have to do this and I will do this.