After three months I almost felt like a human being again. That feeling was gone 2 days into the new job.
Then there's a ruggedized telepresence robot with enough flexibility that it can be used for inspection and troubleshooting on remote sites, so you don't need a person physically present. It would also let systems maintainers 'teleport' to a remote site for troubleshooting without having to lose a day to plane flights and paperwork. This might even be my next commercial project.
No-one's done a self contained drone 'airport' yet which can hold a few small drones and launch / retrieve / recharge them. It'd be useful for a whole bunch of remote observation and monitoring applications, eg. early bushfire detection. This will be tougher to commercialize due to large incumbent drone operators trying to increase red tape to prevent new players entering the market.
Another idea is a lawn weeding robot, using computer vision to detect weeds and some kind of claw to physically rip them out of the lawn. A few people have done hobby style builds but I don't think one's been commercialized yet.
And then there's a few fun non-commercial project ideas like a license-plate reader based automatic opener for our front gate, facial recognition doorbell / automatic lock for the front door, and a couple of game ideas.
(Before anyone thinks I am saying you won't also love your kids: that's not how it works.)
Fortunately my current employer is very understanding, I work from home at least one day a week or more if I need it. I can tone down the act a little here, which is very helpful. Unfortunately I can't completely turn it off (I wouldn't be able to function that way). If it were up to me I wouldn't leave the house at all, unfortunately I need to eat, pay the mortgage, etc.
> Work can suck, but it shouldn't be that soul crushing.
Every job is soul crushing. Not because of the work, but because of the fact that you have to do it. The fact you have zero say in how you spend your time. The fact that you have to interact with human beings. etc. There's no way around it.
I disagree that every job is soul crushing, though. At least not intrinsically so. Different jobs are good or bad based on the situation of the one performing it. We do have a choice in that we can choose not to perform that job (although for many that isn't really a true choice).
In any case, I hope your current and future employers recognize your needs. There are too many hard-ass managers with a "business mindset" that would rather avoid working with perfectly productive individuals such as yourself.
So far I have mainly worked for small startups in R&D type of roles, which suits me well. The problems start when the company starts to grow.
At my current job I was the only developer when I started, now we’re at a dozen developers and they are talking about hiring a scrum master. That’s kind of my sign to start looking, which is a bit sad because this employer has been really good to me. Experience has shown me, however, that sticking around too long when a company gets over a certain size is not a good idea.
> I hope your current and future employers recognize your needs.
They do. Honestly they’ve been great about it, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
It really isn't for everyone. If I decided to pack it in tomorrow, I'd still do a lot of the same things I do today albeit with more pure pure leisure mixed in. I realize I'm in a privileged position in that regard but nonetheless that's how it is for me.
Same here. The problem is not the core of the job, I love writing software. What kills me is meetings, having to sit in an office surrounded by humans (the sound of people talking especially easily causes sensory overload), having to work during the day (I'm a night person by nature and bright light is problematic for me), having to stay in the office for 8 hours even though I'm spent after 5, bullshit social events (I usually skip them, but you can't skip all of them), having to work with others (sometimes I spend more time convincing others of how I want things done than actually doing them).
Programming is great, having a job isn't.
If you ask me after the two months, I most likely caught up on Westworld.
If I don't have to worry about my unemployment, then for two months I would spend more time with my family and on personal interests that refresh my mind and spirit.
Otherwise, I would spend the two months networking and interviewing toward the next job. A job hunt IS a full-time job. Quite frankly, a more time-consuming and stressful job than being a computer programmer is.
Somewhat annoyingly (but not really), the one time I had 6 weeks or so off I did spend it job hunting. [This was during dot-bomb by way of context.] Somewhat annoyingly because the conversation I had with a company owner I knew literally about a couple of days after I was laid off led to an eventual job offer at the small company. But, of course, I didn't know that at the time.
And the job after that was the usual case of "How soon can you start?"
If I knew I'd have a couple months off, I'd quickly book tickets to someplace I wanted to take an extended vacation to.
That's when I would normally say that I've been planning a trip so I can start in 2 months. Then you can relax with your next role lined up.
It actually works really well for negotiation too. While interviewing say that you've been planning a trip/something else and that you weren't even really looking for a job but the position you're talking about was so interesting you thought it was worth exploring.
That helps because it gives the appearance of:
1. Not being under financial pressure
2. Having many options for employment that you can choose at will
Both are very helpful when negotiating. High end individuals usually won't have to rush into a new job right away and will often do some intercontinental travel or large personal project between roles.
And I did somewhat split the difference. I had drawn up a short list of vacation spots and, as soon as I got confirmation of the offer, I booked a trip for 2-3 weeks.So it's not like I started the next day. (I also needed to ramp down in my then current position.)
If it was with another job lined up, and I had money... oh I’d travel (still dream about Hawaii most nights since visiting. Ridiculous.), read, learn something, visit my family (rural ON), visit my girlfriends family (BC/the island), exercise and sleep long. Probably indulge in video games because I don’t often.
Yeah. Now I’m dreaming about two months off. If money’s not a problem, then enjoy your reclaimed time OP.
But the thing that was most satisfying was committing to volunteer work every single week. People complain so much about social injustice and how we should tax this and that... Very few will open their pockets or put the time in to actually make a difference.
Just uninstall all your social media apps!
My Python knowledge was non-existent, so I spent most of my time sleeping in, and working my way through a set of Python books. I worked through Learn Python The Hard Way, and Data Structures and Algorithms in Python, and although I've not done much Python this year it gave me the best of both worlds. I was able to relax through the two months off, but keep my mind in code and get over the initial impostor syndrome I'd get from joining an established team with zero experience of their tools in anger.
Frankly, I still feel like my Ruby and Python skills are beginner-level, at best, but those two months helped me hit the ground running at my new job, and nearly a year later I've come to appreciate different languages as similar in many ways. I feel that I can start a new non-trivial project and (if given enough time) I can write working code in either to achieve a task - something I didn't feel before, which I put down to the two months holiday I took.
Personally, I have trouble not being productive (or at least feeling productive). Often this leads me to pick up a news skill (eg cooking Indian cuisine, leaning Haskell, installing a news Linux district, etc).
Last time I had two months off I wrote a website to help you invest by tacking insiders at companies who speak publically: https://projectpiglet.com/
Incidentally, I'll likely be taking a month or so off shortly to just clean the garage and build a couple pieces of furniture. Along with taking care of my son (preturnity leave, but plan to leave him in day care a couple days a week).
Looks really cool! About to signup for the beta.
Enjoy your time off!
Between 11am and 4pm, I'd find some "work" to take care of - mostly home-related and some favors for family members. I kept saying I'd do something audacious - join an open source project, write an app, yadda-yadda - but this would just bring me down.
I can't be motivated to excel until I'm absolutely comfortable where I am. Sometimes it takes a few days of freedom to remember that.
I often have long periods of time off - that's the nature of contracting. You only need to work all the time if you want toys. So right now I'm learning, training, and giving back.
One thing I've typically done is a breadth-first search of interests at that point in time, so I know how to direct my activities to get fulfillment out of life for the next few years. I've mainly been able to do that through reading a lot (nonfiction mostly). It's hard to do when you're full-time working.
Alternatively, I would take a hardcore tech break. Rent out a cabin in a remote area and just relax, write and hike all day. Maybe pick archery back up.
I have a year off between jobs right now (finance non compete) and I'm using the time to bootstrap a company
I wish I had traveled more, but laziness and monitor addiction is real :)
I would find a nice fiction novel to read, and I would try to build a habit of working out each day.
Catch up on health (posture, sight, diet). Catch up with family. Sort out any outstanding paperwork (tax declarations, pension related). Sleep long. Read.