Scattered notes from leaving a job (Weeknotes to 5th June 2021)

A catch up on some fragmented journal entries…

Weds 19 May – Buildings

First time of not being in a team member’s annual review. Not my team member any more. Whoa.

Finishing the day with a glass of wine, and this feeling that I’ve built something. Built a codebase. Built a product. Built a company. Built careers, lives. I don’t think its the wine or the covid jab making me feel giddy there, but maybe I’m getting some brain space back and actually realising just what has happened in the last decade – what has always been driving me on, and where it’s got to.

Would I go through it again? Sure, why not?

Tues 25 May – The Codes

I am mostly handed over now. My last code commits are probably in place. I’ve dumped as much of my brain as is feasible. All 1-1 notes are reassigned and I’ve had final chats with all of my own team. I still have a few hundred emails to go through, but I’m pretty sure most of them are irrelevant. Just clearing out some files and saying goodbyes after that, I guess.

I jokingly made a comment that handing over control of the git repos would be the most emotional part.

But it was only half a joke. The code I’ve written and that the team has built up is probably what I’m most proud of.

It is sometimes beautiful, often messy, but here are all these magic words powering what we do everyday. Each finger press of a keyboard key has contributed to people going about their jobs in a different way.

It translates into client training, user feedback, policy shifts and lifelong careers. It’s been amazing fun building that up, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to do something like that again. Who knows…

Thurs 27 May – Journeys

9pm after signing out signing out. Seaford sea front with the sun hitting the hills and radio masts along the shore. The smallest waves collapse leisurely into the pebbles, throwing up the laziest spray, while the ferry wanders along out at sea, way past the buoys. I guess I’m here. A day after a full moon (the biggest, brightest and reddest of the year) and that’s me done?

To be honest, I’m feeling a little bit anticlimactic rn, and I don’t know if that’s a delayed reaction, good preparation, right timing, or a forlorn sense of stoicism stemming from all that damned meditation. Or all of that. Everything feels… “in place”, as much as it can ever be.

I have no regret, no major concerns, and an eternal sense of pride, of appreciation, and of satisfaction. Things have momentum now, and can be left to their own devices. Maybe I’ve not been needed so much the last few months, or maybe “need” is a subjective perception, but either way it’s all planned and played out about as well as I could have hoped, and for now I’m pleased about where it leaves me, others, and the world.

The ferry drifts from one buoy to the next. Its next stop is the sanctity of the harbour, and the off-ramp that leads home.

casting a rod
into a flat calm sea
sunset colours

Wed 2nd June – Fututes

Day two of being un/self-employed, although among all the traffic jams and family time, it’s been hard to tell.

One thing I’m really excited about is, for maybe the first time in my life, being able to set out a personal dream and turning into action. I’ve been thinking a bit about why I want to do anything, and Phil retweeted this thread from Vinay Gupta about the political and cultural narratives that Bitcoin and Ethereum are going through, or trying to go through:

”But if we don’t change the culture to focus on CREATING VALUE rather than just making the magic numbers dance up and down, one day people will tire of the hope of an infinite future, stabilised by smart contracts, and the speculative capital will dry up never to return.”

At OCSI (and before that, and in other parts of my life), I have to be careful in separating out professional activity from personal beliefs. I’ll still need to do that, but it feels, at least, that it’s much more up to me to decide where that line gets drawn. I can “invest” something very different into nt immediate future, something much more personal I think.

I’m excited about being able to weave together engineering with art and creative aspects more – while I have some aims for “building things” with an eye on computers and metrics, I’m finding it difficult to ignore broader questions and stories about what work is for – both for clients, and for myself. What’s it ultimately aiming to achieve? How does the nature of working compare to (overlap with, reinforce, block) the ideal outputs of the work itself? Can we actually separate how we work from why and what we do? All that kind of stuff.

Anyway, I’m going to drink Prosecco from a kid’s owl-emblazoned glass while I sport a natty Batman-logo temporary tattoo on the inside of my right arm now.

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