Dan Willoughby・ Nov 29, 2019・5 min read
I'm writing to inform you, Perfect, that it's over. You've kept me from live code streaming, releasing side projects, and doing what I want. That ends today. You've shot down too many of my good ideas saying, "that could never work", "your style looks horrible", or "that's boring". I felt so free before you came along and lately you have consumed my life. Well today all of that changes because I'm leaving you. I'm ready for a new chapter in my life, where I can put myself out there, try new things, and not worry so much about what others will think.
You've held me back
I've been obsessed over you for several years and it feels like I can never get anything done. This blog, for example, I've thinking about doing for a long time, but every time I tried you start, I'd hear you whisper in my ear saying I need to research more until I find the best possible way to do it. So I tried to keep you happy and I researched and I researched. I felt like at one point we were getting along, but then you'd come in and say, "that's not good enough". I never actually started because I just knew you wouldn't approve of my decisions. Even now, I'm thinking, what a dumb title for a blog post and what a silly thing to write about. So I kept putting things off, thinking that someday, I'll have enough time to finish something you'd like.
Another thing you kept me from is live stream coding. You wanted everything to be, well, perfect. You said, "You can't stream unless you have a good microphone." Then after I bought the microphone, you said, "You can't stream until you have a green screen background. You can't stream until you have better lighting. You can't stream unless you have great content." You made me feel like I needed to make everything perfect from day one.. And for the better part of a year, I listened to you.
I've spent so much time on you, but you never let me finish. You always seem to find things at the last possible moment that must be fixed. With my project Pushback, you kept leading me on for years, saying "after this it'll be done", but then you'd just turn around and say, "the margin is off", "that functionality is wrong", or quite possible the worst "that will never scale". So I'd fix the margin, I'd redo the functionality, I even made it so it could scale. I poured time into it thinking it was all for you. I thought in the end you'd be satisified. I thought it would all be worth it, but it wasn't..
It hasn't been worth it
So much time has passed and I have no blog to show for it. While I was doing research, I knew any kind of blog would have been good. I used jekyll while in school and it was great. I used hugo at work and that would have been just fine. Even a popular blogging site like Medium or WordPress would be better than nothing.
My project Pushback was left in limbo for years even though it was ready for users. Instead of releasing and showing it to the world, I rewrote it from golang to rails. I started with Go because I wanted it to be able to scale well and because you told me, Perfect, rails wouldn't be good enough. After months of writing it in Go, I discovered how painfully verbose and terrible Go was for making CRUD applications. I already knew it wasn't an ideal language to make prototypes and test ideas with, but I kept trudging on thinking it was for the best. Go has a purpose but making things with minimal developer time is not one of them. Even after I was happy with the rewrite, somehow you still convinced me I needed it to scale. So off I went and changed my deployment to be managed by kubernetes. The whole time I knew I didn't need to do any of these things, but something you kept telling me was that it needed to be perfect.
It wasn't all bad
Looking back, not eventhing has been a complete waste. I now know more than I probably wanted to about static site generators. I even spent enough time with them that I could go back and use any one of them easily. At least, I got to learn a new language and deepen my understanding about how it works. I increased my skills as a sysadmin and got my feet wet with kubernetes. That has helped me with my career and made me a better developer. Hey, I even got to buy a nice microphone. All these things are good and I'm glad I was able to do them, but it wasn't what I really wanted. I allowed myself to get distracted by you Perfect, but I'm not going to do that anymore.
I'm moving on
You know what, Pefect, I'm moving on without you.
I don't care that my blog post title is dumb, I'm posting it anyway.
I don't care that I don't have a green screen or my lighting is bad I'm streaming anyway.
Things haven't been perfect
I'm not completely satisfied with the look of my blog. I'm sure my SEO is messed up or I've spelled something wrong.
When I posted Pushback on hackernews, it got very little traction. It didn't need to scale at all, in fact, it has been over provisioned with servers for months. Instead of spending all that time making sure it could scale, I could have been doing some market research or iterating on my landing page.
My first stream was yesterday and some things got messed up but thats okay. I wasn't at my house because of it being Thanksgiving weekend, so I couldn't use my microphone I bought. So I was face to face with you, Perfect, telling me I had to wait before I could do it. I had listened to you so much in the past, but yesterday I didn't. I streamed without it being perfect. In fact, my microphone input got messed up and half of my first stream had a terrible static noise. The old me would have deleted the video, but I'm leaving it. I'm leaving it to show you Perfect, that's it's over. I'm moving on. I'm putting myself out there, trying new things, and I'm not gonna worry about it.