“We are in the middle of a global pandemic, and you still write about technology?!?” - Noone of you, dear readers, asked that (yet), but I will now answer it anyway…
Almost over night, everything was different. It is OK to worry, to be scared. But for me, now is also the time to try things. To move closer together, all across the globe, while keeping a physical distance.
Let me explain what I mean…
Almost over night, everything was different.
And things were unfolding quickly. Of all the things that are different now, let me just name a few.
A little more than a week ago, I tought a TDD class together with Jon Reid and Rene Pirringer. On Monday, we were sure we could do it - we’d just be a little bit more careful and provide lots of hand sanitizer. On Wednesday, we saw that people were reluctant to come, so we offered to refund tickets. On Thirsday and Friday, we did the training with the remaining attendees, but it was obvious that COVID-19 was always at the back of everyone’s head. A few days later, our country was essentially under lockdown.
My biggest client wants almost everyone to work from home now. But the office / video studio that I normally use is in a house where people-at-ristk live. So, I am working from my flat, where I do not have a real desk. I am working at the kitchen table, which is OK, but not good for my neck pain.
Schools are closed, so the kids are at home. While it’s great to have them around and be able to spend more time with them, we also see that they are not used to being stuck at home. They fight more and cry more than usual (but they are coping very well overall).
Before the lockdown, I did a raffle where people could win paper-back copies of my new book (If you need something to read right now, the PDF version can be downloaded for free here: Quick Glance At: Agile Engineering Practices - Part 1: Writing Software). I spent hours writing ten hand-written notes to the winners, signing the books and packing them. And now they will by lying around until who-knows-when.
And those are just a few random things that are different now. Maybe life will never be the same as it was a month ago.
It is OK to worry, to be scared.
How long will this take?
Is my country’s response enough? Will people I know get sick or die?
Will we survive financially in the coming recession? I am a freelance consultant, coach and trainer. Right now, I cannot do in-person coaching and training. I already had to cancel paid trainings and talks. Will I be able to keep existing clients and find new clients in the near future? Will I have a steady income stream - that might be much lower than usual - through all of this? If not, do I have enough reserves?
How can we make sure that we do not forget the other crisis we are facing - the climate emergency?
How will our life be different when all of this is over?
Your worries will be different than mine. But that’s OK. Just don’t let them drown you.
For me, now is also the time to try things.
How do I not let my worries drown me? By doing stuff. We already cleaned some cupboards and worked a lot in the garden. We are plaing and learning with the children. And I am experimenting with and writing about technology.
And while I am super-interested in everything about COVID-19, I also enjoy reading news that are not related to the pandemic. People posting their nature pics, people writing about cooking or art or whatever. And the cool things people still do with technology.
“We are in the middle of a global pandemic, and you still write about technology?!?” - Hell yeah!
Now that I am working from home, I
waste spend less time for commuting. That means that I have more time to try out things and have more time to spend with my family.
So, expect a few more blog posts about the things I’m experimenting with in the near future. Right now, I am trying to use ReactJS as a template engine for Spring Boot. Next week, it might be something else.
But there is more that we could try, that I want to try…
Move closer together, all across the globe.
I did not mention one more thing that has changed over night. We are using video conferencing more - much more.
At that one client, we are finally learning to work together remotely. We are experimenting and trying things. We, as a team, are not very good at it yet, because remote work was forbidden by the company in most cases so far. But I have some experience from working on distributed teams in the past, and everyone is eager to try things and learn, and we are getting better.
And in one week, I also had coffee / beer video conferences with friends and family that I usually only see every couple of months. I am actually seeing some people more often, but not in-person.
We are moving closer together while keeping a physical distance.
And I have also decided to offer “virtual office hours” again. I had that offering some time ago, but stopped because I thought I did not have the time for it.
The idea: Everyone can have a 30-minute video call with me. And as long as I have the time and energy, I will offer those vitual office hours for FREE (at least the first few calls per person). Get more info here (TL;DR: Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule and appointment).
Now is the time to try things. Now is the time to network globally. To move closer together while keeping a physical distance.