One of the unexpected circumstances of trudging through burnout and anxiety unaided is draining love for earlier passions. One of these victims has been the joy I used to get from my career. Following 2 months of daily panic attacks, often in the morning, I get nauseous when I sit at my computer. An obvious issue, given that this is how I earn my living as a software developer.
This is why for the next 30 days I’ve committed myself to the daily exploration of an activity that reminds me of why I loved software.
Today is the first day, and so I explored 2 things; clearing my YouTube Watch Later playlist and getting my blog up to date. Here’s what I’ve enjoyed about each activity respectively:
Clearing my YouTube Watch later
In the past, all it took to clear your YouTube WL playlist was 4 steps. Select the first video, scroll to the bottom of the playlist, press shift while selecting the last video, then select delete and confirm. YouTube removed this ability, resulting in having to delete each video one at a time. An unapproachable task if you have more than a handful of videos; I had over a thousand videos.
Enter my saving grace, automation; automation is the grandmother of computing. As the name implies, automation is about making a task automatic, or in our case having a computer perform the task with minimal human intervention. This lead me to find a script which I could enter into my Chrome console which would do all the clicking and accepting for me.
The magic of all this is that I could copy, paste and run this command and save myself hours of work. This simple concept is one of the things that made me fall in love with software. By codifying mindless and repetitive tasks, we open up hours of creative and fun work for ourselves, or simply buy ourselves time to sit and watch YouTube videos.
Once I had the energy flowing from my YouTube triumph I decided to do something a bit less fun, but oh so impactful, I performed some sysadmin tasks on my blog. My blog is built atop the Ghost platform and runs on a Digital Ocean droplet, and it costs on average $15 per month. For the low cost of free, I can use the software provided by the Ghost team to operate my blog, thank you open-source software, and only pay $15 to Digital Ocean for the machine that runs the software for me.
In case that was unclear, I only need to have $15 dollars and the ability to run a few commands to operate a system that can easily reach over 100 000 people per month. That level of reach would have required over $100 000 a few decades ago.
Software is a master multiplayer of effort and resources! Many modern miracles we take advantage I powered by it, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.
If you would like to follow along on my 30-day journey, just keep an eye on this Twitter thread — talk to you soon; be you, be great!