Before COVID hit I was about three years into working at a pretty cool company as an iOS engineer. I joined the company before the product launched and had a great time. But like things do, sometimes you grow apart when the company gets bigger and priorities change. So at the point everyone started working from home full time it became increasingly more difficult and I decided to leave the company. My plan was the lockdown would only last a few months, and once people started going back to their offices I’d get a new role somewhere.
We all know that didn’t happen.
Luckily I’ve had some opportunities to do some short term gigs in the past year with a great agency who have been very kind to me. But I’ve found this completely disconnected and isolated approach to work as a short-term contractor to be very difficult for me. Starting new jobs or projects is always a confusing time and you rely on the people around you to get up to speed. I’ve had nobody around me for a year, and I’ve never met a single person I’ve been helping with projects outside of Zoom calls. This detached way of working on a project is incompatible with how I work. I need to be a part of a team working on a shared goal, not to be a left alone in my tiny apartment adrift for a year.
Right now I find myself ending a project again soon. And this time I’m thinking maybe it’s best to get a full time job, as a part of a team, somewhere. It still won’t be easy working from home, but maybe being a part of a team would be a little bit better than being a contractor right now.
Most of the past year I’ve been away from doing paid work so it gave me an opportunity to focus on something that matters to me, Owncast. But after a year of Owncast and sporadic work I don’t actually know what role even makes sense for me anymore. I had previously focused on iOS development for over 10 years, but after a year of only doing a small bit of it, I no longer feel like an iOS engineer. And while I’ve been doing some Android contract work, I certainly don’t feel like an Android developer either.
I feel most at home doing whatever it is I do for Owncast. I want to build cool shit for people without saying I only do mobile, or I only do backend, or whatever. But unfortunately there’s not really room at a company for a “do whatever is cool” role.
It seems like I need to start a new chapter, but I don’t really know what that chapter is.