2022-11 Release Notes

Date: 2022-11-30 | reflections | release-notes


In November 2022, I left my job as a software engineer at Instagram (Create), played video games like it was my job (Observe), and stuck to the simple path to wealth during a sketchy market (Reflect).

Observe

I've been thoroughly enjoying my time off since leaving Instagram (and the time leading up to it) by doing absolutely nothing in particular. I'm a fairly goal-oriented person so I rarely allow myself to wade through life without intent but that was my intent this November. I wanted to give myself space to reset before I jumped into my next job.

Now my official time off has been a bit shorter than I'd originally wanted for a number of rational reasons stemming from the unclear state of the economy:

  • local minimum market prices (opportunity to buy low)
  • large influx of high tech talent into market (potential for higher supply / lower demand -> worse job packages)
  • Upcoming bonuses (good return on time)
  • USA's broken healthcare industry (risk of high out of pocket costs)

But I was very transparent with my team and created a 4+ week offboard plan which helped me ease into the full time off mindset.

Adventure

I've been playing a lot of video games. In the first 5 days since leaving Instagram, I logged 40 hours on Cyberpunk 2077 - basically my new job.

I bought the new Steam Deck and had some fun with that but ultimately felt it wasn't the best interface for my kind of gaming. If anyone's interested I'd be happy to detail more of how I game these days but basically it's efficient utilitarian gaming - Bare metal / cloud hybrid utilizing Steam and Microsoft cloud to play anywhere.

Obviously this amount of focus on video games isn't quite ideal but I've had a good time and that's what matters.

Connection

I've been trying to reconnect at home - spending time with people in NY and family in Atlanta.

Throughout this year I've felt myself becoming way more comfortable just being myself. For the most part this is a good thing but also has had some potentially unintended side effects.

In modern literature this mindset shift is called - "giving no fucks". It typically hits around 30 but I guess I got my grays a bit early.

Anyway it's good in the sense that typically it means doing more things you actually care about and removing things you don't. But what I've increasingly found is that this often means going out to bars / clubs less which historically has been where I've done most of my socializing so the unintentional side effect has been less socializing.

So I'm working on the socializing part cause that's important but I'm not willing to pay the cost of bars / clubs as that's not aligned with my current self. Currently trying to find a balance.

  • Halloween - NY, NY
    • I dressed up as a SEV - which is basically a problem in Big Tech speak
  • David Chapelle exhibit @ Fotografiska - NY, NY
    • Still one of my fave museums in NY even if a bit pricey. This is the second time we've gone with Pranit - we'll go to a different one next time - promise!
  • Brunches / dinners / drinks / friendsgivings - NY, NY
  • Home for Thanksgiving - Atlanta, GA
    • First Thanksgiving with the Greene + Saha households

Research

If I'm honest, most of my Research has been into how to play my video games more efficiently - like the best cyberware builds for Netrunners in Cyberpunk 2077.

But I have modularized and streamlined my research systems quite a lot this year and I'm already seeing that pay massive dividends:

  • Better Organization -> easier retrieval after the fact
  • Streamlined template to stay on task (and ensure we know what the task actually is)
  • Better ways to compare options
  • Much, much faster business idea validation

Measuring the impact of this is hard as research for the sake of research really isn't that useful so we have to resort to proxies. My data is:

  • I purchased much more effective solutions to my problems on Black Friday / Cyber Monday / Capitalist Holidays
  • I validated potential business were bad in < 1 hour

The only thing I haven't been able to do with this yet is validate a "good" business. But I've been trying and failing at this for years so may take some time.

Create

The biggest update here is in my Create Career - I left my job at Instagram after 3+ years. As I've been spending most of my time playing video games (see Adventure) there's only a few other updates to share.

Business

I've been thinking about how to further tighten my project feedback loops as this is a big factor in iteration speed. One lever I've been experimenting with is through better landing pages, esp those with contact / feedback methods.

I've now implemented this in CloudSeed and Genspo and expect to continue this in new project going forward.

CTECH

I've been a big bored creatively lately. I wanted to do something to promote voting in this year's midterms but just never built up the motivation to build the kinds of things I wanted.

But I still thought it was important so I opted to go with an MVE - something I could get out in a few hours and got me 80% of the way there. I ended up building Marquee - a simple text scroller in p5js.

It's not pretty but it's built and it did its job - giving me something to post to remind people to vote.

Shares

Shares has shown the most progress this month, mostly from compound returns of actually being consistent - both in posting schedule and topic domain. I've been really focusing in on the kinds of topics I want to talk about and I think it's "Build better Software" with a focus on my favorite technologies - currently F# / .NET, SvelteKit, and anything I'm building right now.

This is basically the same as what I was doing before just with a narrower range of technologies which has allowed for greater synergy from Share to Share.

The biggest datapoint for progress here has been increased engagement from particular communities - esp from the F# and SvelteKit communities. It's led to a lot of discussion, organic reshares, and increased viewership of my creations.

The above Tweet was reshared and discussed by Don Syme - the architect and designer for F#. I've been fanboying for the past few days /hairflip

A lot of this progress has been unlocked by simplifying many of my shares systems in the past few months. It's significantly lowered the total cost of a share and stabilized the quality of each iteration.

Reflect

Finance

2022 has been a terrible year for the markets. But I've been sticking to my simple path to wealth so while the numbers don't look good I'm confident that in a few years' time these investments will prove to be some of the best I've ever purchased.

Of course I could do better on my Savings Commitment Rate by buying less on capitalist holidays and maybe purchasing less lottery tickets but I'm #funemployed so if there was ever a time to do it I guess this would be the worst.

I'll share out my data / graphs and stuff for the year next month so stay tuned for that.

Fulfillment

Overall I've been enjoying my reset. But it's become clear to me that my current day-to-day is not optimal.

I think I need to be a bit more intentional with my time and ensure that my actions are laddering up into an overall goal / purpose. I think this will self-correct a bit as I readjust from #funemployed life but a useful data point in finding that balance going forward.

Health

There are a few core satisfactions I have that I'm always pleasantly surprised by yet consistently forget about. Exercise / running is one of them.

Overall I'm probably less fit than I've been in years but I'm also better rested / smarter than I've been in years so I think my overall health is prob about the same as it's been in the past few years. Which is a good thing all things considered.

Ham

I'll be doing a more in-depth reflection next month as part of my 2022 Year in Review. Check back for stats, rants, and graphs about the state of Ham.