Caption: Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Since the last three weeks I've been on a continuous work ride. My wrists hurt from typing too fast too much, my eyes are baggy, I lose track of when days go by to the point where I don't recognise when the week has passed. I haven't seen my face in the mirror for a long time. I'm pushing myself to learn because my efforts will directly affect the code quality and standards of the project I'm working on. If I don't it'll still be okay, because how the product looks and if it generally works is all that matters at the end of the day. But how would that be any different from the kind of work that I've done in the past?
To be honest, I've been having mixed feelings about the pace of the learning I have had to pick up lately. The amount of tech literature I've read in the last three weeks astonishes me. I've also finished a big Typescript book, knowing more about Typescript than I've ever had. At the same time I haven't been getting enough sleep. This week, I didn't sleep for two nights. If you were with me for a work day you might say,
What are you talking about? This is doable, manageable work
And I'd tell you back that I don't want things just working. I want my team to grow and learn while making things work in the best possible way. That I don't want to make ends meet. I want to thrive.
To set a culture in a team is a tough job. Especially when you have to find ways to keep people – including yourself – motivated. I'm banking on the thrill of learning as the number one contender. Because I'm the biggest complainer I know, and even though I'd have liked a job which pays well but doesn't demand so much – enables work life balance, the learning that I'm having is not letting me complain. I have to find a way to share this feeling of learning acting as a life safer and satisfaction and motive giver to the team. Starting tomorrow I've decided to invest time to take the team over on short calls over the week to help share the knowledge as I learn.
For years, I've been wanting
In the next company, more than anything, I want tech mentors and people much smarter than me, who still code.
I've always had that itch to get a practical hands on mentor because the lack of one has followed since college. There'd be these tenured professors who were caught copying material from different research papers and collating in a smart way so as to not get caught for plagiarism, to write their mandatory annual research paper, just because it was a requirement.
And then you get to hear about these amazing professors out of the country, who work with the students as actively as students do. It's natural to have a longing to work with people who are smarter than you. After deciding that I didn't want to go for higher education, because the cost didn't make sense to me, the only way I could get mentors I wanted was by getting good jobs, like perhaps at Netflix, my dream company. So far I have not had much luck, primarily because of lack of effort and career planning.
I've also realised that working solo is a skill that every company cherishes, especially my dream company. So the things that are happening workwise are perfect to tap into working solo, share knowledge across the team, make things work. So in a way going forward, hopefully, I'd be able to balance things better, and take care of my health as well. Otherwise there's no sustenance of mind and body with this kind of work load.
I've finally started to give good thought about what kind of work I'd want to do in the long term. It boils down to two options
Learn, build, teach, like many people I follow on the internet have done – made a career out of learning, building and then teaching. Kent C Dodds and Josh Comeau come to mind.
Push to keep learning like I'm doing now, so that I'd have enough experience and knowledge to be able to go work at a company like Netflix.
But sometimes when the work load is off the charts, one can't help but wonder, what's the meaning of it all. I keep asking myself again and again
For how long will I keep working like this day and night? For how long will I keep coding for companies?
And as much as I ask, I'm inspired to keep doing what I'm doing so that slowly, but surely, I'd make way to get myself out of corporate world, to give more time to my friends, family, writing, reading, something I've not been able to do ever.