The One where I'm Off on Holiday

Oops. Long time no blog post. Two reasons: I got a bit self-conscious about how I write on here and who reads this after two people said something about this blog / my learning path that irritated me. And I actually slacked off a bit with my structured learning plan. I wanted to read some book chapters that I did not get around to because implementing and deploying features was more interesting. I wanted to spend some time on my learning project but thinking and talking about real problems seemed to be more useful.

But I did learn a lot. Last week both of our senior devs were away on vacation, so our team’s backend team consisted of two people with very little experience with Ruby, Rails and our application. But we survived. We tried to help each other out when one got stuck (mostly by doing parallel searches and then seeing if that fixed something), we released several small things, we investigated some Heroku/PostgreSQL weirdness with the help of two devs from other teams and we stayed on top of updating our dependencies. So amongst some smaller stuff about Ruby data types, ActiveRecord migrations, Depfu pull requests and gaps in auto-incremented sequences, the most important thing I learned from this was: I can manage. I don’t need a babysitter. I don’t need a big, strong man to tell me what to do. I can do a lot on my own and I know where to find help if I need it. And I have fun doing it. And being in charge does not stress me out even the tiniest bit. Yay.

I do know that a more structured approach is useful to me, though. Having a rough plan what I want to do in a week, reflecting on this shortly at the end of each day and then a bit more at the end of the week, and putting some of these reflections into publishable words means that I get much more out of what I’m doing. I plan on getting back to this after my holiday. And I am going to be using my holiday to think a bit more about focussing, goals and future plans in general, I think. There might be more posts on this after I’m back.

Other things that happened in the past weeks:

  • I was pretty under the weather for almost three weeks. For someone who is rarely ill at all, two weeks of barely being able to breathe and a pretty nasty UTI with some annoying antibiotics side effects can be really irritating.
  • I had an interesting Slack conversation about setting goals vs. overcoming fears, in the middle of the night while I could not sleep due to UTI pains. No idea why my coworker was up and online though. But it was great.
  • I started working on the statistics/analytics part of my learning application but my flu-damaged brain refuses to connect to the concepts of d3.js right now. Or maybe my problem is the bad memories of the time when we did d3.js at university?
  • I had a very productive café-brainstorming session about how to approach this from the Phoenix side though. I should do more out-of-office meetings.
  • My application for a psychosomatic rehabilitation was approved and I got my admission day from an awesome-looking clinic: January 2, what a great way to start into a new year.
  • I booked a trip to Berlin for next week and then realised that I’m there during KanDDDinsky, so I decided to get a ticket to go there. And then some other colleagues decided to join me and now there’s five of us going.
  • I learned about RockstarLang. Wow.

And now I’m off. With an honest intention of really using this time to relax and not think about work too much, aside from when I’m at the conference.