Author: Steven Neiland
Published:

Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

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.

New Goals

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.

Upskilling

I have accounts with online training sites such as codeschool and treehouse which I have not been making proper use of. From now on I will set aside time each week to learn something new from them.

It is up to me to get back up to speed and nobody else.

Update website

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.

Personal Projects

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.

One Year

I am giving myself 12 months to get back up to snuff. No excuses. I have to do this and I will do this.

What Do You Think?

Reader Comments

Sam Farmer's Gravatar
Sam Farmer
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 5:13:50 PM EDT

Good luck Steven. What are you looking to learn?

Steven Neiland's Gravatar
Steven Neiland
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 12:17:22 PM EDT

Mostly client side technologies. Backbone,ember,angularjs. Probably some mobile technologies too.

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