Enough

First, let me apologize if you have found the content and the quality of it here a bit sub-par lately; however, I hope I’ve gotten back on track with my posts this week. This post is about things that have gone too far…

As of Friday December 15th I had 63 hours of overtime, in December alone. Simply put, the reason for this is that I have been involved in a crazy project as a consultant for a client where the release date and budget was set without consulting any web developer at all what time it would actually take to achieve everything they wished for. I won’t, and can’t, share any of the details with you here, but suffice to say, I’ve had enough.

Last Thursday I had a short meeting with their manager that’s responsible for my assignment, and I told him that I wish to discontinue it. I’m probably burning bridges with my decision, but at least he seemed to understand and respect my stance. On the other hand, I probably burned them already when I refused to launch a web site where the text of every link was “Read more”…

If I had been younger and single, maybe I could’ve dealt with it, but now I have a family. I don’t want to be away from home 15+ hours per day, never seeing my girlfriend or daughter except for when they’re asleep. My top priority isn’t work anymore. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I love working with the web, but that lust has slowly been drained ounce by ounce lately… And I don’t want to lose that, it’s given me a lot of joy and interesting opportunities. Therefore, I decided I had to move on.

Another thing I’ve decided to stop wasting my time on is narrow-minded people who aren’t willing to learn. If they just want to keep on developing web sites the way it was done many many years ago, no desire to evolve whatsoever, that’s fine with me. On the other hand, people who don’t know how to do it, but are open to discussing web standards, CSS, unobtrusive JavaScript, accessibility etc are more than welcome to come and talk with me! It’s all about attitude and ambition.

I just hope one day that the ones that don’t care about those things mentioned above will realize that they have to evolve to be able to survive in this line of business…

Lastly, I will stop wasting my time trying to get recognized by the famous names in the Internet business. I’m not sure if it actually is like that, but sometimes I get the feeling that all I see is the same names, promoting each other all over, and there’s a hard struggle to get into that group. Or maybe it’s just me. Whichever, I have decided to solely focus on what I’m writing here, not lobbying to get mentioned elsewhere. If people like what I write and want to mention it, I couldn’t be happier. But it won’t be talked about just because I beg of them to do that.

Now I will try to focus more on writing helpful articles and hopefully funny and interesting anecdotes, and if I decide to criticize anything, to then do it in a respectful and constructive manner (something I think I did with my post JavaScript animations). Time to let content and quality be king. Enough of wasting my life on the wrong things.

19 Comments

  • Bob says:

    Why dont you work at home in your home office and do the computer work there?

  • sculder says:

    Some time ago, I finally learned how important is to refuse from time to time projects, that you don't really like.

    Takk, Jeg leser deg førsiktigt.

  • AJP says:

    I'm in the exact same boat. Freelancing in addition to a full-time job was killing me. Literally. High blood pressure, stress, and caffeine induced heart palpatations. The coordinator on my project, finally saw where I was coming from, and allowed the launch to be pushed to January. Last time I get involved in a project without contract guidelines to protect me better.

  • Marco says:

    Maybe you're just sick of doing pure web development yourself? I I surely am. I've discovered I really need to 'spread my wings' very soon or I'll get completely bored and maybe even annoyed with web development. This is why my plans for 2006 are either to go freelance or to get a team lead position in a nice company. I guess I'm totally fed up with the tiny details when it comes to projects. Time for the bigger picture I guess.

  • Smo says:

    We all had these moments!

    Have a nice holidays, enjoy the time with your family!

    And forget about bad clients, remmeber the good ones πŸ™‚

  • Sumeet says:

    Sounds like a good plan… But I thought you were one of those famous names on the internet. Maybe I need to pay more attention.

    Anyways, what part of making websites is the most interesting to you? That's a question I've had to think about a lot lately – as I'm also working on a team now where my role is pretty specific. Definitely different from freelancing, to which I'm more accustomed.

  • Hey, we all get busy – so don't sweat it, and it sounds like you've made the right choices for the future πŸ˜€

    And as far as I'm concerned, you ARE one of the famous names!?

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Thanks for your nice words!

    If you want to read something good and similar, I higly recommend Martin Sutherland's post Net.pressure.

    Bob,

    Unfortunately, that's not an option. Otherwise, that would be the first thing to do.

    Sculder,

    Me too, now. Apparently. And that's some scary translation to something that looks like Danish (as opposed to my first language, Swedish). But I appreciate the sentiment! πŸ™‚

    AJP,

    Last time I get involved in a project without contract guidelines to protect me better.

    I hear you, I hear you very well!

    Marco,

    Well, I don't think so, I like doing web stuff otherwise, when it doesn't take over my whole life. But I understand what you're talking about, aren't we all dreaming about doing other stuff from time to time?

    Smo,

    Thank you! And nice holidays to you too!

    Sumeet,

    Nah, I wouldn't regard myself as a big name, but if you want to do that, I won't stop you! πŸ™‚

    Overall, I prefer developing web interfaces, where JavaScript is ten times funnier than, for instance, CSS. JavaScript is about logic and doing some constructive, CSS is fun but way too much time goes into covering up for bugs. But I do like specific roles, as long as they're not having too narrow boundaries.

    Steve,

    Thank you, very kind of you! πŸ™‚

  • Hakan Bilgin says:

    Robert, I am convinced that many are sharing your feelings and thoughts in this subject. In addition to work related stress (that can bring one into a negative state of mind), the weather and atmosphere augments them here in Sweden.

    We are exposed to a small amount of sun rays, during a small amount of time. I think this type of surrounding attributes affects us more than we can imagine. This applies probably everyone experiencing wintertime.

    About work related issues; as many agrees, the web technology has evolved a lot, and there is many "right solutions" for a certain problem. This conveys easily in mini-conflicts that add up and the fact that unexperienced people don't see or ignore the big picture, results in frustration.

    I have also felt bored lately; the contributing factors has been many but I'll solve it by taking a last minut trip to the sun and forget ones and "zeros" πŸ˜‰ and relax. If you have the possibility, something similar might be a solutions.

    To cheer you up; many appreciates you and your knowledge. This state of mind will pass and you will re-enjoy unleashing your work.

    Kudos…

  • Kalle Wibeck says:

    Great decision Robert!

    Unfourtunantly most employers and clients will (ab)use your will to please until there's nothing left of the original Robert.

    But, as I'm a consultant myself, I know that your employer might use an "unpleasing attitude" against you in a Court of Law (meaning next salary negotiation ;). I really do hope that this wont happen to you…

    Regarding the famous names I think this might depend on which part of the web you refer to, the part represented in my RSS reader absolute rates you as a "big name" ; )

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    P.S I felt I should share this horrible example of an HTML tutorial with you, just to remind us all about that many, many people out there just don't have clue, at least not an updated one ; )

    Their slogan "Global Network Experience Since 1989" might need a change into "Global Network Experience From 1989"

  • Kristin says:

    Good Robert. Put down your fot and say no. Your family and your own life is more important than any clients webpage.

    Because – it´s not only this project, it is almost every singel project that is in a hurry… I wonder if and when the IT-branch will be stabilized.

    (sorry for my bad english )

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Hakan,

    Thank you for your very nice comment!

    Yes, the weather probably does its part as well, but as long as there's snow on the ground I'm happy! πŸ™‚

    And I definitely agree, there's usually a lot of factors bundled together that pushes you over the brink. No trip for me/us right now, but at least I look forward to having some time off over the holidays.

    Kalle,

    Thanks!

    Unfortunately I think you're right, most managers/clients present it to you as standing up and doing that little extra for a friend. But it isn't a friend, it's just a job! I have no problem with doing a good job per se, but not devoting your life to it.

    And thanks for the compliment, but at least I think I'm very far from a big name. πŸ™‚

    Merry Christmas to you too, but hold that feeling, there will be a Christmas post on Friday! πŸ™‚

    Oh, and thanks for the interesting link.

    Kristin,

    Thank you!

    Yes, this whole business really needs to get a bit more stable.

  • sculder says:

    Sorry, I had only norwegian layout and wrote automatically in that language. I rememeber, you're Swede. I just though it'd be understandable anyway.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    sculder,

    No problem at all, I got it! πŸ™‚

    Thanks!

  • Hmmm, well…

    <blockquote cite="http://www.robertnyman.com/2005/12/20/enough/#more-291"&gt;…I get the feeling that all I see is the same names, promoting each other all over, and there's a hard struggle to get into that group.

    It's actually relatively easy to get into that "group" but you are correct in thinking that most of them are into ego-rubbing each other so much they have lost sight of the true "web ethos".

    Why do you think people like Tommy Olsson, decided he'd rather stop now, rather than end-up being assimilated by those who were so self-obsessed with web-fame they cannot see beyond their own noses.

    He who pursues fame at the risk of losing his self is not a scholar.

  • Well, I cannot even markup blockquote today correctly, but I think the message is clear; be yourself.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Robert W,

    Well, I'm not in that group so I guess I'm fine then! πŸ™‚

    And I do hope that I'm true to being myself. If I start drifting, let me know…

  • I’m not sure if it actually is like that, but sometimes I get the feeling that all I see is the same names, promoting each other all over, and there’s a hard struggle to get into that group. Or maybe it’s just me.

    Not to belittle anybody's contribution, but you're right about this observation—there's a bit of communal padding on the back going on among the "big names", as you say. It's all relative and subjective what constitutes a "big name." Somehow you see less of it in the .NET community. There are "superstars" but there's no A-list.

    I stopped listing feeds on my site as "favorite reads", and instead provide an OPML file with all feeds I subscribe to. In fact, I enjoy finding people who have valuable blogs, but are unrecognized. This search helps me compile my list carefully.

    There's no need to seek recognition by "famous names in the Internet business" if your sincere goal is to educate others and use your blog as a medium to push conventional ideas beyond, well… convention.

    One thing I've learned with my blog is you don't need to apologize for content *if* your posts reflect something you really care about. One might disagree with me on issues of education, unions, faith, technology, war on terror and common sense, Bush, illegal immigration, etc, but I deeply care about these subjects, and talking about them openly makes the web an interesting place. Just make sure you present your thoughts in a passionate way for others to see, and no apology would be needed. πŸ˜‰

    Keep it up your good work!

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Milan,

    Thank you!

    I know there's no need to seek recognition, but still I've wasted some time on it; probably just to get to hear that I know what I'm writing about…

    But no more.

    I agree with you that what I (and you and every other blogger) write about should be concerning topics I'm/we're interested in, not something that gets published just to generate padding on the back and/or linkage.

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