2013 Dies, 2014 Lives… To a New Year!

My feelings on new years resolutions is pretty dry. Namely, I think they’re rather stupid. The main reason being this, if one is only checking their life, place and accomplishments once a year they’re forgetting most of them and remembering little if any accomplishments. It reminds me of the hierarchical nonsense of western European derived management culture. Something that is horribly out of space, time and element in today’s world. It has really shown it’s age but refuses to let go and disappear.

But, in humor of the past, to humor the age old hierarchical notions of the past, present and future. He’s my cheers to 2013 as it dies and my cheers to 2014 and what may come. First, what’s been done. As I was saying, I’m not a fan of wait a whole year to review things, and I’ve done plenty of reviewing over the last year. That’s include making hard decisions and kicking some serious ass. I’ve made huge changes, not just in my life, but in the direction I’m heading in my career (if you’d even call what I do a career, there isn’t exactly a defined path).

Accomplishments

I haven’t worked for a company in 4 months. I’d want to stop doing that for many months and strike out and try something of my own. Run a startup, build a startup, work as a purely individual contractor and contributor or something. Something were I wasn’t collecting a set pay check by a set company that could at whim do whatever it wanted with me, the project and such. I wanted a truly greenfield effort and a greenfield gig. So what did I do?

Beer

I sat on my porch for 2 months, enjoyed the waning summer and drank a few beers. Amazing and tasty brews from local brewers in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and a few other locations. Most of them, from right here in the beer capital of the world Portland, Oregon. I spent a few evening just hanging out with friends, fellow coders, metal heads and musicians at heart at Bailey’s Tap Room. A lot of hanging out there, but it went further then that. I jammed with a multitude of street musicians, hoodie donned and pulled to. It was very enjoyable.

During all of this time I didn’t really throw a lick of code. I didn’t implement anything. I didn’t even really think that much about stuff. I read a few things here and there and did study a little bit. But mostly I just did a lot of hanging out, sitting, chilling and introspecting about what I wanted to do next.

The Changes: Change #1 a Calendar

After that 2 months of getting all fat and happy. Just enjoying life and pondering all that is the first big change happened. It’s kind of stupid, but it is a huge change for me. I updated my calendar to actually reflect what the hell I’m doing. I’ve made a point in the last 2 plus months to keep it up to date too. It’s amazing how much easier the day to day is when the calendar is up to date. It seems like a small thing. Something of the “well no shit Sherlock” category of obvious. But it has indeed shifted the way I work and the way I stay organized for the better.

The Changes: Change #2 Fukkit, OS-X & All the OSs it must be. Windows is officially dead to me.

With the last few months at Basho I’d bought an X1 Carbon, using mostly with Ubuntu but also having Windows 8 loaded on it. Windows 8 I grew to not just dislike, but loathed the horridness of so many things. It was Windows 7, with a nasty UI and stupid UX thrown on top. It took decades of UI know how and turned everything upside down.

So I killed it. I killed it dead. Ubuntu was the only US for me at that point but I wanted more. I wanted a high res screen (minimum of 1920×1080 work space at least) that I could do video editing and video rendering on. The Ubuntu and Carbon wasn’t cutting it for that. I wanted to be able to write OS-X, iOS, Windows or whatever code I wanted being able to switch between whichever OS on an efficient OS. The only one that enables all of that is OS-X with VMware Fusion loaded on it (or maybe Parallels or such). So I said to myself, screw it, get back on board that Apple wagon. I still had a Mac Book Air, but it wouldn’t cut it for all the needs, so I upgraded to a Mac Book Pro Retina with 16GB RAM and an i7. This sucker screams and does every single things I want. Change #2, easy, just plunked down a giant chunk of money and it was done. Whew.

The Changes: Change #3 Hedge My Work Decision, Then Decide on Something.

The final decision of this year was the biggest I’ve made in some time. I started doing some contract writing for blogs, all while checking into a few cool companies around Portland. I also started discussions with Aaron Gray about a prospective business. While looking at becoming the Vice President of Engineering for one company with an exciting product, writing blog entries and working with startups to help determine their paths, and looking at just doing simple contract work building out some large scale systems something came up.

Aaron and I decided to kick off Deconstructed.io. Yup, I’m co-founding a startup with Aaron Gray. Do you know him? Follow him on the tweetersphere @agray.

The Changes: Change #4 Yup, I’ve changed my blog theme again. It’s not a big deal, but it should be much more readable.

Happy new year to all, keep kicking ass and putting up the good fight.   \m/  \m/