The Bigger Picture

There’s a lot of directions I want to go in –a lot to learn and master– which has made it difficult to focus on any particular path or feel dedicated to any one track.

I have a list of skills or hobbies I would like to keep and some I want to expand. To put it simply, I want to be creative and I want to lead teams.

A short list of what I want to do:

  • continue my software engineering journey
  • work on games
  • be creative with art and music
  • lead and organize my teams
  • become a better teacher and mentor
  • do some streaming

The Pull

Do you remember that feeling when something you’re interested and passionate about pulls you in and keeps you motivated?

With some things, I’m not feeling the pull of interest and enthusiasm that I did a few years ago.

This could be because I had a pretty rough year in 2019 that zapped all my focus and energy, and more recently a big personal change this year while in the midsts of a pandemic.

Turmoil and uncertainty aren’t good motivators.

The Strain

One problem I’m running into is I’m already being pulled in a couple directions at work that takes time from my personal life.

Because I spend most of my time during the day managing projects and planning work for my team to pick up, I catch up on technologies while at home.

In trying to right this, I’ve made a change where I dedicate a percentage of my week towards engineering, however I end up putting that towards learning/understanding new technology so that it can be passed down or streamlining our deployment pipeline (I really want to improve our build process).

This change to time allocation has helped a bit, but I still find it difficult to fit in game development and languages, such as C++ and C# (because none of them fit into the scope of my day job).

Another contributor to this problem is web technologies and surrounding processes have blown up and are frequently changing. This affects both the web side of things and game development.

For example, Unity has grown a lot over the last couple years and continues to improve and add to its list of features.

A Plan

Writing this down and spending some time has helped me a bit, and has given me an idea to help align the different factors/elements that are causing me to feel strain.

I think the first step is dedicate some time through the weeks and months towards the things I want to do. At the moment it’s really on a whim.

The larger idea I have to help realign myself combines web development, games, and teaching into one ongoing effort. Why not make a game out of learning?

I have an idea for some interactive tutorials that I want to put together. It would have mini-games.

Revisiting my main gails mentioned at the beginning of this post:

  • continue my software engineering journey
  • work on games
  • be creative with art and music
  • lead and organize my teams
  • become a better teacher and mentor
  • do some streaming

I will be able to touch on each of my long term goals through smaller mini-games or smaller projects that align with the larger idea.

I spent some time this last week putting my ideas on brainstorming boards to work on the foundation of the tutorials and mini-games.

I would like to also tie this into streaming and art, both of which I’ve dabbled with in the past. With streaming in particular, our move put that on pause, but we’re done with moving now.

Conclusion

First I must say I’m amazed I was actually able to put structure to this delima. It was pretty befuddled in my head. (I also had to cut out several asides)

I’m hoping this project will help me stay on top of technologies I need to keep current on at work that are constantly changing, but also expand my knowledge and experience with other things I want to pick up.

So far I’ve been outlining what I want the tutorials/lessons to cover and working out the details.

I can tell that it will be easy to get lost in planning and not actually produce anything, so it’s likely I’ll start off with some simple streaming lessons/sessions to start off with and feel things out.

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