Parting with Bocoup: the Best Place to Shape the Future
Last year Bocoup offered me my dream job. I was trepidatious at first, my company had just gone under, I felt disconnceted from my personal life and I wasn't about to rush into something new. I needed time to recover. So I took it slow, asked a ton of questions, and worked with them to develop a beautiful proposal. Create a practice that develops software for the physical world. I'd be joining Rick Waldron, a friend and creator of Johnny-Five, and we'd work to develop "what's next". We had a lot of knowledge and practice that we developed with our community and we'd find where that fit in industry and use that to fund further development of our practice.
The interview processes was straightforward, a day of interviews covering tech, culture, experience and working with others with a presentation at the end. During that process I got to learn a lot about them too. Who they are, their history, their goals. Their mission statement is "To move the open web forward." I didn't know it at the time, but they've been part of many major advances on the web. The people I worked with explore and discover the limits of current technology and and make the advancements necessary to keep going. And they do it all open source, because it's not a marketing gimmick to them, it's how we get the future we want, it's how we stay free when technology runs our lives.
You don't get this kind of opportunity all that often. I took it.
I've spend the last year working this dream. I met hundreds of amazing people doing amazing things, I traveled around the country, I sat on massive conference calls talking people I didn't know trying to convince them to go beyond the status quo, to adopt our philosophies, to consider making making open standards, to work with communities. I can't say it was all very easy, but we did alright.
One thing I didn't do very much of was create. The project I ran were amazing, I'm really happy with what came out of that. And the projects we developed during sales were great, but you only get to develop a few of those. I found myself not being able to explore "what's next" and instead trying to figure out "what's the next sale?" I'm a much better engineer than I am a salesperson. That difference between my work and my passions weighed on me and I got sad. I felt like I was a problem and I doubted my abilities. Even though the people at Bocoup were very supportive, I didn't know what to do.
And then one day, with my wedding fast approaching, I realized I didn't feel happy, I didn't feel much at all. That scared me. I knew I had to change. On the advice of a friend I took some time off to consider my options. I tried to figure out how to keep working in role while enjoying my job. I wanted to keep supporting the cause I've devoted a large part of my life and career to. I mean how could I stop working on that? How could I give up? At the same time I needed to find a path that would be sustainable for both myself and the business.
It reluctantly dawned on me that maybe I wasn't the right person for my role, or the role wasn't the right job for me. I talked it over at home, at work, and then I resigned.
When I got married I fully felt and enjoyed every moment of it. It was the happiest day of my life.
It's been a few weeks. I've got a weight lifted off my shoulders that is indescribable. I believe I staved off burnout. (probably not "brownout") I'm glad I have the freedom and agency to find a role that I'm better suited for. I'm about to sart a role where I get to concentrate on people and engineering. The two things I care about most, the two things that keep me happy in my career.