Just hours from opening the doors on a track cycling event, we saw a huddle of branded t-shirts and lanyards in the “track center” area in the middle of the velodrome. Having seen the news, experienced the bizarre beginnings of “social distancing” and watched as many of our future jobs vanished from our calendars: we knew what was coming.
And that was it. We packed the lights back into their boxes, and put them back on the truck. We said our goodbyes (elbow bumps and all) and went home. That was 130 days ago. Since then, I have managed to scrape 3 days of teaching, and a 1.5 day site visit. Not quite enough to put food on the table, but I am unbelievably lucky to have a wife in full time employment who, despite only just returning from an 8 month maternity leave, has managed to flip from stay-at-home-mum to provider-of-everything in a few short weeks. Not to say it’s been easy adjusting (it has not, for either of us) but I am well aware of our absolutely priviliged position.
I have a wonderful little boy, now 13 months old, who has kept me company in my unemployment. Getting so much time with him as he has grown from 9mo to 13mo has been amazing and something I would never have had without this situation, so I am very grateful for that.
I have been coding and making on-and-off my whole life. Starting with my Dad showing me how to make a little game where you move an object around a screen when I was very small, through to “kids programming” like Lego Mindstorms and then on to Arduino and other microcontroller programming for electronics projects throughout my 20s. I’d never been especially brilliant at it - often stumbling on projects when the copy/paste of a chunk of code suggested on a tutorial just didn’t work! I’d had it in my mind for some time that I wanted to start taking it more seriously and learn to develop things “properly” rather than just fumbling my way through a project to get to a poorly engineered but usually fairly functional result.
I am hoping that this simple blog will serve as an outlet for some critical reflection on my work and learning. I don’t know what shape my future in development is going to take - it all depends on how well the lighting industry comes back to life and what work is available. I like to think I may be able to fill a niche as someone who has a lot of very in-depth experience of a wide range of events, but also knows their way around a tech stack.
We shall see!