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People Over Pixels: A Personal Journey in Technology

An intimate account of shifting values in a tech-driven career, from being an enthusiast to an experienced engineer and finally an entrepreneur, with a renewed focus on human impact.

Embarking on the Entrepreneurial Journey

I don’t work a regular job currently. I’m attempting this whole entrepreneur thing, or at least have been claiming to do so for several months now. I don’t have funding, a team, or a product. I barely have the attention span to stick to a roadmap.

However, I have been making progress each day. Each day I get closer to my dreams, each day I get closer to my goals, each day I feel like I’m living more aligned with the values I have for myself and the world around me.

This didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t even happen in the several months of me working towards this. Not in the several years my mind has been in entrepreneur mode. Not in the 8 years of my career.

A Lifetime of Experiences

This is a combination of an entire life’s worth of experiences. I joined the corporate technology industry at 18 years old. Prior to that I had played video games for 3 years straight. Not the general story of a high schooler playing video games either, one of a person who had left school and was doing nothing else.

During the early portions of my career I was doing IT and passionate about everything I could get my hands on. Technology wasn’t just a job, it was a life saver. It was the first coping skill I learned when I left high school due to depression and it continued to be a strong one long into adulthood.

One of the best parts of working in IT early on was having the ability to solve other people’s problems. Technology was natural to me; I was able to pick up new concepts or tools really quickly. I never said no when someone asked if I could help them. I simply asked them to show me what’s going on and We can try and find a way to overcome their pain points.

Shifting Focus: From Technology to People

As my career advanced so did technological complexity. My desire to solve bigger technology problems and have more career responsibility grew as well. Over time I felt I evolved from a technology enthusiast into an engineer. And then from an engineer into an experienced engineer. It was great fun to solve complex problems, but I lost a big part of myself when I lost sight of the people I once helped early on in my career. Over time and reflection I realized that technology is not my calling, people are.

When I first started pondering startup ideas I was completely focused on the product. Every day that went by was a different problem being solved with technology in my mind. Pricing structure, profitability, architecture, market fit, scalability, 10 year product forecasts, integration into current workflows, processes utilized to make it work. I was deep in technology in my primary role, so my startup mind was deep in technology as well.

As I regained my focus towards my core values of humans, my wandering mind shifted as well. I still ran through the entire startup process in my mind each and every day. I still went down every rabbit hole of thought possible. But I was focused on the human impact products could make instead.

Entering the Tech Internet

Now to jump back to the last several months, where I’ve been claiming to be an entrepreneur; I’ve done one thing drastically different than I did the rest of my career. I walked out of the dark matter of enterprise engineering and into the tech internet. A place full of hot takes, tweeters, content creators, and consumers with strong opinions.

I started as a twitch viewer and found people streaming software engineering. I eventually made a twitter account. I learned really quickly that I was supposed to have unwavering opinions on what programming language I enjoy and don’t. I laughed alongside what I know now are some of the best jokers in the business, and I had the pleasure of doing so live.

Moving Forward: Streaming, Coding, and Engaging

I’m now streaming myself writing code and exploring tech; apparently writing blog posts live on stream too. I’m not at the point in my journey yet where I can say what I’ll be working on each day, But I can say I will be building it live and focusing on humans while I do so. Check my links and follow, good things are cooking ;)

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