June 2021 Retro

A bittersweet ending.

Following on from last month's retro , I made the biggest decision of my career (thus far) by quitting my full-time dev job of 4 years. Now all I needed to do was facilitate a smooth handover and let go of my assumed responsibilities (more about that below).

Main events

My final month of employment

This past month felt like a mad rush of closing open threads and upskilling a new employee.

The main goal was to clear the tasks / projects off my plate by either getting it done or handing it over. This included code reviews, bug fixes, new product features, and onboarding.

Things get really difficult near the end. Both workload-wise and emotionally (but that only comes later).


Coding into the night. Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

June ended up being a great month for getting code reviewed & deployed. Our completed Jira story points went through the roof 😌.

Onboarding a new employee while also handing over 4 years of acquired knowledge about the job is kind of an impossible task. This did highlight our documentation shortcomings. It also made me extremely grateful that we invested in hiring engineers over 2 years ago, that are now in their productivity-sweetspot. I filled in the lacking documentation, but for everything else I'm happy to have left things in capable hands.

The last day of work is when the feels hit you.

You realise that time has run out.

Whatever is incomplete will have to stay that way.

Any TODO s you left for yourself in the code, will not be done by you. The roadmap is no longer your concern.

It's done now.

Let it go.

The day ended off with a video call from my boss. It was the perfect capstone to my time at the company. We reminisced about the past, shared our appreciation for each other, and imagined what the future might look like. A truly bittersweet ending.

Plan a fashion photoshoot for my eCom clothing brand

I've come to the conclusion that my biggest obstacle to launching an eCommerce store is getting high quality photos of the merchandise. It requires the most planning & coordination and lies the farthest outside my circle of competence .

So it's one of the first things I wanted to solve.

I decided to swallow my pride and DIY the photoshoot. Risking looking like an idiot in the process — an almost guaranteed outcome.

Knowing how busy June was going to be, I scheduled the photoshoot for Friday 2nd of July. At least by then I'd be done with work and have time for photoshoot related activities.

However, shit hit the fan when our model called to say that one of her family members got Covid and now she's also in quarantine.

Sorry, no more photoshoot. At least not yet.

I don't want this photoshoot to delay my progress. In my mind the entire website hinges on having high quality photos of a person wearing the brand. It still does, but it shouldn't stop me from building out the rest of the site.

I plan to take still photos of the clothing (as a backup) and continue with getting the store online.

Once the model has been cleared and healthy, I'll set another date.

Last month's goals

  1. Decide on the details of the photoshoot (DIY it or hire professionals) and lockdown a damn date.

    Final grade: 🦠

  2. Facilitate a smooth handover at my day job.

    Final grade: 🥲

Next month's goals

  1. Shift my night-time freelancing to day-time freelancing. The plan was always to fit any work I do into "normal" working hours. Long-term, I am also curious to discover what my shape of real work looks like.
  2. Build an ecommerce store that is ready to be launched. This includes the printing of clothing labels, taking still photos, writing copy, and general website admin.
  3. Take a fucking break. I'm tired of the long goodbyes and feeling sad about a future that will no longer be. I need to reset my mind.

Thanks for making it this far. If you're interested in what happens next, I'll email it to you next month 👇