Tomorrow, 22nd December 2021, is my last day at JetBrains.
I can't believe I've been here a whole seven years! I've never stayed anywhere even half that amount of time, I usually jump jobs every 1-2 years. I spent 4 years at LMAX, but I did have a tiny break in the middle to go and work for ThoughtWorks for 3 months.
Although I have grown a lot as a professional over these seven years, particularly as a developer advocate, this time has been much more defined by my personal life than my professional. I've stayed at JetBrains for so long precisely because it is the type of place where you can grow professionally and they take care of you as a person.
Since I joined in 2015, I have:
- Had two children
- Got married (nearly forgot that one)
- Moved house
- Lost my Mum to cancer
- Been promoted to team lead
- Recruited and grown the Java Developer Advocacy team
I am now approaching my mid-40s and have become some sort of grown-up! Which is kinda terrifying.
Because I'm a developer advocate, I put together a slide deck of the stats of what I've achieved/produced over the last 7 years
I just have to take this moment to say I am so happy I never have to do another What's New in IntelliJ IDEA video ever again! These are by far the most difficult videos to produce: technologies I don't always know; with features I haven't used before; in a nightly build of the product (not the most stable!); with (usually) no existing code samples or documentation (although Irina's EAP blog posts have been extremely helpful); and a hard deadline. I didn't produce one for 2021.3 because I was sick over the two weeks I had to do it and after the deadline had passed I simply could not face going through all of that and trying to deal with the other backlog of work that had built up.
The thing I'm most proud of is more difficult to quantify. I'm so pleased I got to work with Mala, Dalia and Helen, this was an outstanding team, with a very different working relationship than any other team I've been a part of. It was an honour to build and lead this team.
Now you may be asking, if JetBrains has been so amazing to me, why am I leaving? The honest answer is I'm burnt out. I've been running at full speed for so long now that I'm exhausted. It's not just from work, or even from adding extra-curricula activities (although working on two books at the same time is not helping!). Trying to blend work, my interests, staying fit, taking care of the family, combined with the pressure we're all facing with the pandemic, and not being able to travel to see friends and family to decompress.... well, it's all a bit much. An opportunity came up that relieved me of the immediate requirement to take a monthly salary, and so I snatched it with both hands and handed in my notice.
I am going to take 2022 to recharge. Well, actually that's not true. First, I need to finish the edits I'm making to Head First Java 3rd Edition. I started talking to Bert about this project back in 2014, and I was invited late this year to push it past the finish line. Stubborn as I am, despite how burnt out I feel, I am determined to get this done. Yes, this might be how I got burnt out in the first place.
Then there's another project I'm doing with Helen Scott, which I hope I can share more details on soon. No, both of us leaving JetBrains at the same time is not related. Although I have to say I did feel pretty jealous of her getting new and exciting opportunities!
Then after all that I'll be decompressing and taking a break. Ish. If you have kids, you know there's really no such thing. How do working parents get anything done? Even with the kids at school all day, taking care of everything they need is basically a full time job, and I'm kinda hoping not to fall into the trap of letting that absorb all my so-called free time next year.
Obviously with me and Helen leaving, there are opportunities to join the advocacy team at JetBrains (I've written a bit about what the job looks like before, obviously ignore all the stuff about going to conferences!). It's a really exciting time to be a part of JetBrains, and as you've probably seen, it's not all about IntelliJ IDEA either (although there's plenty to do there too!). Best of all, you get to work with some of the most interesting, most human, most supportive people I've ever had the pleasure to work with.
Thank you to JetBrains. Extra special thanks to Hadi, I would not have made it through these last seven years without your help. Your trust and support allowed me to trust myself and grow in a way I have never been able to do before.