My Soft Reboot

If you enjoyed one of my newer essays and decided to dig into the archives, you'll find a lot of technical stuff about programming. I want to talk about why I've shifted away.

Look at the timestamps of those old essays and you'll notice longer and longer gaps starting in the mid 2010's. Back then, I told myself I just didn't have time, but in hindsight I know that I'd run out of interesting things to say. I built up my identity as a developer, but no longer had any programming concepts I felt strongly about or piqued my interest to the point I wanted to spend a Sunday afternoon writing.

I'm glad I put it to rest rather than go full thought leader, churning content for the sake of content. Maybe somewhere in the multiverse I'm running corporate workshops on the latest programming fad while tweeting the worst advice to young developers, but that's not me, and I thank my subconscious for its revolt by way of procrastination.

It was weird that I grew bored with code minutiae, because when I worked as a developer at large companies, I never understood why anyone would go into management. I loved getting my hands dirty solving hard technical problems, and when I stopped working for other people and started building products of my own, there was nobody stopping me from experimenting on new things and writing about it.

While I'm proud of what I built and what I wrote during that time, looking back gives me Ozymandias vibes. As I watch once-hot technology fade away, I'm disheartened that underlying advice, a lot of which still good, will be lost. I considered going back and updating those articles to the latest tech, but that feels like a personal regression.

I'm incredibly lucky that my products turned into a successful business, and on that journey I've learned a lot of lessons that transcend the latest tech fads. I've developed a better understanding the genuine obstacles when building stuff, and I'd rank economics, marketing, incentive alignment, usability— hell, another dozen factors— way above the current technology du jour. I also think I've expanded my horizons as a human, and might even have a lesson or two that don't involve tech.

I want to write about things that hold my interest and help people, so I'm writing at a higher level for the foreseeable future. I'm still the developer coding my company's apps. I still dirty my hands with hard problems, but I go out of my way to avoid fads and focus my energy on science. I even read research papers! I might post about it here and there on Mastodon, the leading platform for that stuff.

If you want insight into more universal stuff, I'll try that here for a while. Not all the time, because I'm still running a business, but if I focus on things that interest me, I think I'll make time.

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