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Be kind to yourself

There’s just been a lot going on. That’s what I feel like I tell myself every day. Whether it’s day job challenges, family stuff, or something else. Life always has times of fast pace and slow downs. Ups and downs there’s nothing unique really most people have this. But I think there is something a little different and I feel like people who have passion projects or multiple ones. Often have their mind taken up by them. Even if they’re not actively working on the project they often have their minds working on it. That’s how I feel with my apps, this blog, and other things.

I often think of people in my life and how after the day job they just relax. And as they should I’m not saying I don’t need time to decompress too. But my mind is always thinking of my side projects. I end up feeling behind when I can’t work on them. I know this is probably an unhealthy feeling but I can’t help myself. Even for how little I post here I still think about the blog a lot. If I’m not working on my app Bridges I’m using it day to day and thinking about it. To get to the end of the day and just relax just focusing on family or hobbies is really nice. Sometimes I think I would be happier if I did just that. But in order to have the day job I want the opportunities I want I need to make some trade offs. Even so family and other things come first.

We always share things online though social media or otherwise. But there’s always personal things that are kept private. For me the last 3 months have had numerous things taking my attention and time. Planning a family trip to the Dominican Republic, applying for an iOS developer job, and working on my app Bridges.

There was an opportunity for an iOS developer job that I thought I would be a good fit for. So I applied and went through the process. They’re an amazing team and I had met the lead developer in person while at DeepDishSwift. We hit it off and got along really well. There was no way I wouldn’t try to join their team with an open spot coming up. These roles often take months to see through in the hiring process. So I applied and went through multiple interviews.

I have been through a few iOS developer job interviews they are similar but differ in how they test your coding skills. I am comfortable talking about my apps and thought process. But I think my weakness is in some technical knowledge. When you’re self taught and you’re building apps by yourself it’s easy to let high level concepts fall through. You kind of have to have your own apps and also prepare separately for the coding challenges or take home projects. It’s still programing but different skills. In the first three interviews I felt I had a strong chance to get my dream job. I was able to showcase my passion for being a developer, talk about my apps, and my other side projects like podcast editing.

I knew that the coding challenge was coming so I was trying my best to prepare myself. I found different free API’s and built apps around them trying to practice network calls. I went through some of Paul Hudson’s iOS developer job prep questions. I wasn’t sure if it would be a live coding challenge or a take home project. I had done a take home project once but this one was a live coding challenge which was new to me. I was very nervous and luckily before there was some questions that were more conversational topics. So I began with those and felt like I was able to answer most of them. But when it did come time to do the live coding I was having a hard time. I gave it my all and there was no way I wouldn’t try my hardest. But ultimately I didn’t get the job.

I was really bummed I didn’t get it but I knew after the last interview I probably still wasn’t ready. It taught me the things I need to learn and for that it was an invaluable experience. Getting to the end of the process was tough but rewarding. After the dust settled I started to think wait when did I send in my application. To my surprise it was 3 months ago. It kind of put into perspective to me how long this had been on my mind and that mental burden. In some ways it was freeing to let it go. Before the coding challenge I reminded myself making my apps and all the knowledge I have is my skill. I think of being an Apple Developer as a personal lifestyle. No matter that outcome I wasn’t going to loose that and I will need to move forward no matter what.

So now that my family trip is over and the job process is over things are calming down. Well almost because unexpectedly after I got back from the trip my wife came down with Covid and my car got hit. Luckily she’s not showing any symptoms and is feeling okay. So it could be much much worse. Oddly enough it was from a coworker not by traveling. And my car has a nice cosmetic blemish but luckily it’s not serious. Nonetheless life will throw you unexpected twists. When you have your side projects or hobbies they’re never getting your full time. There is a few lucky ones that turn those into their day job I hope to be one of those people one day.

So as I sit here now getting to write about my life recently. I am trying to take to heart the very true phrase. “Be kind to yourself”. It can be hard to step back and put things into perspective but it’s such a good mental reminder. You are probably going through a lot right now. Be kind to yourself, don’t make yourself feel bad for not being productive. It’s better to ship that app months after you intended instead of not at all. It’s better to spend time with your significant other or family than all your time on your side projects. Just remember be kind to yourself.