I'm quitting my job to work on open source. Developers dream about doing this but for some reason, it never seems to happen. But I've left my apartment, given notice at the company I worked for, and bought a ticket to Thailand.
In many ways, it's almost crazy for me not to do this. The cost of living abroad in many of the fabulous places in the world is incredibly low. For about 4 times the cost of a parking space in downtown SF near the office, I could live for a month in Pai, Prague, Hanoi, or Sofia. Once the idea had crept into my head, it was hard to leave sites like nomadlist.io behind.
When I talked with my fiancee about the idea, she loved it. She was just finishing up grad school and taking a little break seemed like a lovely idea. When we started planning the trip, we really couldn't come up with a better time than now. So, I talked with my boss, who was incredible understanding. In my mind the conversation would be some incredibly tumultuous and confrontational conversation, but it was really incredibly easy. My boss was nothing but understanding and went to bat for me to try to get me a leave of absence so I wouldn't even need to technically leave the company. While that not ended up being mechanically possible, I have every intent of returning to Climate.
But now I'm coming up on my last week at the Climate Corporation for a while, and while I'm incredibly sad to be leaving such a good group of friends and coworkers, I'm also excited for the future.
'What are you going to do while you're in Thailand?' is by far the most common question. There's a few things that are on the for sure list:
Drop the weight I've put on post college. A commute and a regular 9 hours of work really ate into my time for myself at the gym. I'm sure a lot of developers feel this, but it really seems like you have to be constantly working on honing your technical skills. I spent more time then I should have trying to learn more about development and technology, and it impacted my health. When I left college, I was running a 6:30 mile and now I'd struggle to run a 10 minute mile. The quite solid weight lifting numbers I used to put up are quite mediocre now, and I think I've slipped out of the thousand pound club and then get my running speed/distance up.
Contribute full time to an open source project. I'm currently ramping up ok contributing ot rust. Contributing more seriously to open source is something that I've wanted to do for a long time. I'm only able to make the living I do today and work in the wonderful job I have because of the hundreds of thousands of person hours that have been contributed to open source projects. Rust is a language that really does seem to
change the way I thinkand that definitely makes it worth working on for me. I also think it has the potential to really replace both much of what C and Ruby do, which live in wildly different domains, and that really excites me.
Spend more time with my fiancee. Why this is awesome should be self evident.
Spend more time writing. At some point, I got signicantly worse at writing. Maybe there's something about taking only two classes outside of Engineering/Science/Math in college, one of which was economics, that can lead to a little atrophy of the writing muscles. Much of the writing I do is technical now, and that's because it's been easy to justify to myself. An online blogging presence naturally improves my job prospects in the future. But I don't really write to clarify my thoughts or just because anymore, and I'm going to try and fix that.
Follow what I'm doing
The first rust project I'm working on is farce a parser combinator library for rust. It's modeled after the scala-parser-combinator library, but will start with less ambitious goals with respect to generics. I realized that two things I wanted to do in this time, work on the rust compiler and write an http server from scratch, both heavily depend on parsing. I've used the scala parser combinators library in a couple of personal projects, and I really feel like having something similar in rust would be helpful for both myself and the rest of the community. It's also a great way to force myself to understand generics better.
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