SabbaticalNovember 5, 2020
After almost 4 years, I resigned from my job at Haiku to start a 6-month sabbatical.
Unlike the more technical-oriented content that I usually post, this is a personal update (which makes it very hard to write).
I want to convey with words what I'm feeling, what are my reasons for taking this decision, and what are the plans for the future, primarily to keep me accountable. I promise more technical content coming soon!
Life at a startup is exciting and hard, especially in small teams. You get to wear a lot of hats, try different technologies, learn new things, and more importantly you have to work as a team to accomplish goals.
You also have the "thrill of the fight", building things is fun and giving everything you have to make things work is a marvelous energy booster.
All of this comes with a tax: family time, personal projects, and hobbies usually pay the cost, and you can't escape the taxman.
Particularly, the breaking point came because of a small set of problems:
- My mom and brothers live in a very old house that needs repairs. I haven't had the time to help them with that, and as time passes by, the situation gets progressively worse and their quality of life decays.
- COVID-19 hitting hard in the area where I live was a good reminder of how short, ephemeral, and unguaranteed is our existence.
- I'm a self-taught developer that had the luck of being mentored by very technical and smart people from the very beginning of my career. This helped me to build a strong intuition, but I believe that time as come to do a real level up and learn the core concepts of Computer Science to gain deeper understanding.
The whole reason to take a sabbatical is to fix these problems, recharge batteries, and get back to doing what I love: solving problems with software.
For this, I have set three (ambitious) main goals, along with three rules.
- I have a list of critical house repairs in order of priority. Fix all of them.
- Go through the first 4 subjects of knowledge listed at teachyourselfcs.com
- Find projects, games, outdoor activities, or whatever to spend more time with my family.
- Don't lie to myself. Really accomplishing the goals will be hard, don't take shortcuts unless they are planned or really make sense.
- Aim for completeness. It's better to fulfill a single goal than to do one third of each goal.