Charity Majors @mipsytipsy CTO @honeycombio, ex-Parse, Facebook, Linden Lab; cowrote Database Reliability Engineering; loves whiskey, rainbows. I test in production and so do you. 🌈🖤 Jan. 21, 2019 2 min read

I've been processing 2018 a lot these past few weeks. More than most years. Actually, feels more like I'm finally batch processing years 2013-2018, since 2013 was the last time I really loved what I was doing and felt a sense of agency about it.

(that was as an engineer at Parse, pre-acquisition, for those of you trying to do the math)

FB was a soul killer. I stuck it out for the money, the experience, the pedigree, most of all the team. I don't regret it and it was the right thing to do,

but when it ended (and it ended horribly) I was...not in a good space.

Part of the reason I did a startup was because I was so desperate to put my headphones on for a year or three and write code and make things and *heal*.

Remember the terraform blog posts? So much fun. 

That felt like blood returning to my frozen limbs. I was soooo excited to build the tech (and regain my self respect as an engineer) before building a team out.

I haven't really talked about it much, because friendships and feelings, but the original partnership for honeycomb dissolved four months in, leaving just me and Cyen.

Which is how I accidentally ended up in the one role I *aggressively* did not want, ceo.

Which is such a whiny bitch ass thing to complain about, you know? Ugh. But I cried every day for the first year, and *then* the real shit parts of building a business hit like a mack truck, and I was traveling constantly and doing badly at _everything_.

But homeostasis is some powerful shit, and I think my brain's reward mechanisms are finally catching up.

Plus, we are building something stupid cool with the right people who can do those things well. I kinda owe it to myself to start enjoying the ride.

I started experimenting with my schedule. I find the weekly meeting cadence of same person, same place, same time utterly deadening, so I... quit.

Now I only have regular meetings on alternating weeks. My EA guards my calendar. Turns out you can just DO THAT.

My mood improved radically as soon as I saw those big empty stretches in my calendar. 🥰

I am a very ad hoc person, I need empty space to process and create when inspiration strikes. Apparently.

There are lots of things about this job that are non negotiable, like any job, but I look forward to bumping up against those obstacles with my face per usual.

Agency, man.

I have regular nightmares about never being hirable again as an engineer.

I tell myself someday honeycomb will be humming along and I can spend 3 contiguous months a year building things or fixing things

This might be a lie. I'm extremely motivated by doing what MUST be done, not by doing what seems interesting.

Which is a personal pathology that I have leveraged very successfully in my career, but would like to outgrow. I want to learn to build things for the fun of it.

Anyway, that's enough navel gazing for now. I have a few more thoughts that may trickle out over the next week or two. Thanks for reading, twitterfolk, and happy MLK day to you all. 🌷

You can follow @mipsytipsy.


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