Wednesday 11 October 2023

Pressing Pause on APEX #JoelKallmanDay

To honour this year's #JoelKallmanDay, I'd like to use this as an opportunity to speak about mental health, rather than get technical like I have done in the past.

Yes, my blog posts have been particularly lean - this is my first post since the same event in 2021 - I completely missed last year. Not just this special event, but from any posts whatsoever.

It's not that I've moved away from Oracle, nor that I'm short on inspiration - I'm still emailing myself ideas on a regular basis, but I haven't been setting time aside to transform them into something to post.

And I haven't been totally silent - I did update my Presentations page after presenting at a couple of local meetups this year. And you'll still find me on the Oracle and Stack Overflow forums.

There have been a few reasons for the slow-down in activity, but in part this has been due to my front-end development time being far less than it has been in the past. The Forms->APEX migration project I joined has been paused, and in the meantime I find myself on a project remediating the environment to first upgrade the stack from fax machines and teletype.... well, things aren't quite that old, but there's no point giving the car a flash new paint job without first replacing the tired old engine, right? 

But when you're into painting, mechanical work is far less exciting, and it can take a toll on how one feels about their job.

I still get to paint the odd fender, but that's only part-time.

Sunset after Eclipse 2023

It can't always be about rainbows and lollipops, but after many years of working in the candy factory at the end of a rainbow, I have to wait patiently for the new factory to open under a new rainbow.

Perhaps that's enough mixed-metaphors for now. I'm still here, still passionate about Oracle and the APEX product, and I have exciting times in my relatively near future.

It's also not the first time I've had setbacks of sorts. There have been significant development works that ended up being permanently parked. These were amazing builds that I had fun being involved with, but for one reason or another they either never ended up in the user's laps, or didn't stay there for long. However, besides feeling like my time was wasted, there wasn't really a direct impact on me.

Stepping away from the front-end and spending far more time in the back-end - or even finding myself updating some Oracle Forms and tweaking their configuration, really makes me appreciate what I've found in the highly productive world of Oracle APEX development.

In the meantime, I find community events like this, and perhaps also the first local conference in some time next month will invigorate me enough to take the time to revive my blogging vibe, and maybe a side project or two that haven't gone completely dormant.

To the reader: how have you handled lulls in your career? Have you found periods of time that, while perhaps still being technically interesting, haven't completely satiated the programmer's need to create? What did you do to quench your thirst?