Speaking In Tongues To Recruiters.

Grim JoyRecruiters still reach out to me. To be fair, my digital shadow is still on numerous job sites, and I should endeavor to clean that up so that I no longer get their emails, but even where it is cleaned up I still get recruiters contacting me.

You see, despite what you might see as a grim appearance, I am content. I did my time in the Code Mines, in meetings where mediocrity ran supreme, talking to bosses more interested in the shiny than the needed infrastructure. I have tales I might write as I laugh about how I seem to have traded my time and frustration for the pittances paid me and the insulting raises.

Despite my description, I’m not bitter. That’s on me. That was the mistake of my youth.

And if these recruiters warrant a response, if they pique my interest enough for me to take a look at what they have to offer me, I imagine them reading it and wondering whether I’m sane. That they might stare at their monitor and wonder who gave them such a response. The odds are better that they don’t even read it and just scan it, so I toss in keywords like ‘telecommuting’ and ‘part-time’ so that they know where to file it.

In their minds, I suppose, I’m an alien. A layperson in sociology might consider me a GenXer tired of a world that didn’t reward despite my experience and abilities, often overshadowed by the more passionate and sometimes even smarter kids growing up – but being ‘smarter’ or more passionate doesn’t bring the real world experience needed for good projects. In fact, more often than not, it results in failures that bleed a company or have catastrophic results. For me, it’s often akin to watching a bus being steered off a bridge all while you’re shouting from the back, “No, no, no!”

Life is funny that way, and I thank every company I’ve worked for and with for that. Those experiences proved to me that I’m not an idiot; they proved to me that I could do better, and in some instances – few but there – I was completely wrong and learned those lessons. Lessons I paid for with my time, with my health, with my youth.

I cannot get my youth back, but I can keep my time and better my health. If I don’t have to sit behind a desk 14 hours a day fixing other people’s messes, I find my health improves significantly. Life is funny that way.

Now my time is worth more to me. This is alien to recruiters, those people who broker careers on commission, and companies that think that they’re all going to save the world. A word to those aspiring to be wise: Your company won’t save the world. You won’t save the world. It might change things, and maybe things will be better because of your efforts. Maybe.

If you want my time or help, it’s now on my terms. And that’s just alien to recruiters, particularly when there are people who would jump at what they think are opportunities – and which well could be for other people.

I didn’t apply for that jobs the recruiters are writing me about. I have my life to do, and if your problem is interesting enough and you meet my basic requirements, I might help you out.

Reinvention, Recursive.

Art evolvesWarning: This is kind of long and is a rant-ble. The short of it is that I’m not on the market anymore.

It’s time to evolve again.1

No, this is not the announcement of some Silicon Valley startup that will make you better elbows to stick in your ears or, heaven forbid, something useful.

No, this is about the site, myself, and the career path. To cut to the chase, I’m no longer looking for work or contracts in technology.

There’s a few reasons for this.

  • After 2 and a half decades, it gets boring when done right and annoyingly exciting when done wrong. More often than not in most companies, it’s being done wrong and it’s no fun getting excited for the wrong reasons.
  • Everyone wants a specialist and I’m a generalist.
  • Management doesn’t like me wandering around outside the building. They don’t think I’m working just because of the GIS coordinates of my body during thought.
  • AI is gonna take over at least some programming jobs (advances in programming in the past have had the reverse effect, broadening the field – something else for another time). It will only take one programmer who will because s/he can, and then an ecosystem to evolve it.
  • Did I mention I’m bored?
  • I have other options.

Plugging tech together can only be done in so many permutations. It’s a mathematical fact if you factor in that the geometric progression is necessary for evolution through the permutations.  

I’m not sure I like how the ecosystem is plugging tech together. Frankly, while it’s nice that the iFart application created a few jobs (don’t be the guy with the microphone), and while it will be seen as invaluable to those who pay for it, it’s crap and really doesn’t advance anything but a paycheck. Because, really, money got mistaken for something of value somewhere in the history of mankind.

Because I don’t like the way things are getting plugged together, to work means to evolve again, and the value of working on things I increasingly don’t like is… silly in a human and financial perspective. I’ve always believed that people should do what they want to, then later understood that people should do what they want to only if they’re good at it. I’m still good at it, but I don’t want to think about that too much.

There are other things I’m good at, and it’s time to go do them. It’s not that I’m becoming a Luddite – far from, you should see this heap of silicon I just bought – but that it’s not a career for me, at least for a few years. I’ll be using tech in other endeavors, and a great way to spend time waiting on others is to solve problems: Write code, design systems, or make a better mousetrap. But it’s not my main thrust, and oddly, I’ve been telling kids starting college not to do tech but to do other things with tech.

And in the meanwhile, things that I put my own sweat equity into over 5 years ago are paying, and require some attention.

1 Now there’s a marketing line…