jgt's blog

Posted Sat 13 February 2021

What I do and do not want to do

So I'm thinking a lot lately about my next job. My plan with this job was hang around until my I was fully vested, then make a decision about what's next. I'm 3/5ths through that plan, so I figure it's time to start trying to puzzle out "what's next" really means.

The thing I know I want is remote. 100% or generous "flex". I am not opposed to going into an office, especially for certain collaborations or meetings, but there is no good reason to be in traffic for an hour or two one way just to huff other people's farts and eat the free Doritos. There is nothing good about the pandemic but I used the time as wisely as I could, and in the end, it helped. I'm in good shape again, the house is running along smoothly, and most of all, I know how to work remotely.

The one thing I know I don't want anything to do with is front-end. I have realized, finally, that I am not particularly good at it. I like plain text interfaces; I like simple color schemes; I like minimalism to a point that, really, it's not good for me to go into a situation where I need to "excite and delight" users. I can do the work, but I don't think it's the best use of my skills.

One troublesome aspect of job-hunting is my background as a generalist. I went with breadth, not depth; although I do know a few topics relatively in-depth (and probably more than I give myself credit for).

Godawful title notwithstanding - I am neither short nor fat, thank you very much - this piece really kinda sums me up. I'm sort-of T-shaped, a "technical craftsperson".

That, combined with my advanced age - I'm 47 - can be a hard sell for some places, I think. Especially for places that want to pretend they're a hip startup; which is to say, they want to work the college kids to death and have them think it's a good thing. I'm old enough to know better.

The last thing I'm thinking a lot about is the prospect of rounds of technical interviews. I just don't keep a lot of algorithms in my head. What I keep in my head is the rules of when to use certain algorithms. The implementation I can look up. I think "just memorize them for the interview" is, in a way, dishonest. It's dumb gatekeeping. If that shit worked, /r/badcode wouldn't need to exist.

So the long and the short of it is, I just don't know. I want a slower pace and some more thoughtful work. I want enough structure to "keep me honest" and enough looseness that I don't have to insert a fresh stick up my ass every morning. I'd like to stay close to the "cool toys" without having to stay on the goddamned framework-of-the-week treadmill.

Category: personal
Tags: work