I am scaling down my projects and this is why

Posted on 2021-09-26 byVlad Călin

Reading time of 1 minutes

I missed the last Bi-Weekly update due to the lack of time, and this made me think about how to deal with the increasing day-to-day responsibilities, increasing work amount with Vuuh and having to juggle more in less time.

I had a number of projects that I tried out and actively invested time in. They took most of my free time, and now I am forced to scale them down, giving up on some of them entirely and I'm going to write about the reasons, one by one.

The bi-weekly updates

I wanted to create some sort of online journal on the progress I was doing with my side-projects, whole also (hopefully) improving my writing skills. Unfortunately, The last few updates contained nothing of substance, because I didn't have enough time to invest in my side projects, so that I would have something notable to tell.

The progress was slow, and I managed to do just some very small and trivial tasks that were not worthy of mentioning. And they would have not made any sense without the proper context. After all, bugfixes and automatizing certain dull and repetitive tasks are not that impressive to talk about. They can be mentioned, but I wouldn't have had anything more interesting to talk about them without diving too deep into the technical details.

In the past weeks, my coding efforts were concentrating on growing Vuuh, and unfortunately I can not dive too deep into these details either, because it involves proprietary code, secret sauces and very specific domain knowledge.

Therefore, I am giving up on the bi-weekly updates series. I will still post updates, but not on a fixed schedule. I'll post them only when I would actually have something interesting to say on that topic, so it won't feel forced.

The mentorship

I am giving up on the mentorship programme, because of multiple reasons:

  • I managed to help a single person to get into the software development industry, making the switch from a non-programming job to a frontend developer internship. I consider that my job there is done, that was the main focus of the mentorship programme.
  • People who say they want to switch they career and get into programming actually don't want to program and learn. They are in for other reasons (mostly because of the expectation of a higher salary). This was a bitter realization, but unfortunately that's the reality. If you don't have a few hours each week to fully dedicate yourself to learning how to write code and think algorithmically, a software development job is not for you.
  • People are not willing to put in the effort. To my surprise, some of the people who got accepted in my mentorship programme, gave up either instantly or after a while, due to the fact that what I was teaching them was too advanced. That might've been my fault as well, because I expected too much. Most of them jumped ship after the first few algorithmic exercises, meaning that they had a lot more to learn until they would have gotten a software development job.
  • People are not willing (or able?) to follow simple instructions and advice. This was by far my biggest surprise. During the interviews, I met a lot of people whose LinkedIn profiles or CVs were chaotic, which were dragging them down rather than boosting them, with things like enumerating a lot of random Udemy courses, listing a lot of very trivial 20 lines of code projects, having irrelevant job experience listed, applying for React jobs but their profiles didn't mention React once, giving off vibes of trying too hard, etc. For each one of them I told them exactly what they need to do to improve their chances of landing an internship, because their knowledge was there. A few months later, after revisiting their LinkedIn profiles and viewing their updated CVs, they didn't change at all. What happened? Who knows... All the advice I gave them went over their head and most of them seem to be still looking for that internship. When you are actively ignoring the hiring advice a person who is actively responsible for all the hiring in a company gives you, then there is nothing else I can do.

As the popular saying

You can't help somebody who doesn't want to be helped.

C'est la vie. Maybe in the future I will try again, but I'd rather take some juniors and help them speed up their learning rather than trying to turn non-techies into programmers.

I know it came off a bit "ranty", but I was very surprised on the outcome, especially given how many applications I got. I started with the impression that there were a lot of people who are willing to put in the effort to learn to better their lives. But the reality was that a lot of those people were either looking for an easy way in or they didn't expect to have so much more to learn before becoming a programmer.

Other coding side-projects

Things like Amethyst Platform are put on hold until further notice, but when I have the time I still put in some code here and there. I am still experimenting with new tech and ideas from time to time because that's just who I am and I want to keep my skills sharp.

But my focus won't be anymore in launching my own business sometime soon, but on growing Vuuh. Having your focus split between multiple projects will lead to those projects come out with a lesser quality than it would have if you would fully focus on one.

Conclusion

Due to the increasing responsibilities in my personal life (and professional), now I have less free time and energy to put into side-gigs. Therefore, I need to scale back a little so I avoid burnout and to be able to fully focus on the fewer things that really matter.

Remember, it's easier to prevent burnout than overcoming it. Take breaks now and then, don't push you too hard and take care of your mental health. That's a fact we recognize here at Vuuh, and we put high value on work-life balance.