Why I Won’t Work Weekends

I have found in my time in the programming community that people are somewhat mixed on the idea of working weekends. I have worked at jobs where it was explicitly stated that it was expected for you to work on weekends. I talk to a lot of people who won’t do any programming whatsoever on weekends.

I am working on a contract right now where I get work emails from co-workers that are sent out on Sundays. I feel guilty because I know that they’re doing a lot more work than I am. I feel like I should be working constantly or at least appear to work constantly so that no one thinks I am lazy. That’s bullshit.

Right now I am working on a dream project. I get to do something I never thought I would get to do. I am incredibly grateful to get to do the work I am doing, but I know this isn’t what I want to do with the rest of my career.

All of the skills I currently have are for things I don’t want to do anymore. I don’t know if it’s burnout or if I just get bored and want to keep chasing the new and shiny.

I have a lot of interests. I am interested in electronics. I am interested in 3D graphics programming. I am interested in cryptography. I am interested in robotics. I am interested in audio programming and engineering. I am interested in artificial intelligence and machine learning. I am interested in game mechanics.

I never have enough time to work on any of these things. I am afraid if I ever did get a job doing any of these things that I would figure out I don’t like them either. It’s not like anyone is actually going to pay me to learn any of these things. It’s difficult to find anyone hiring who isn’t just looking for someone who can pull data off of a server and cram it into a table view.

I keep hearing from everyone that there is no point in learning Sprite Kit/Metal/Anything outside of UIKit because no one is going to pay for an interesting user interface or functionality that isn’t available on Android.

A long ass time ago before the iPhone came out there were a number of companies that had stable businesses making Mac-only software. I refuse to believe that there is no future in indie development using the large number of frameworks most people never touch. There is a conventional wisdom that a stable business can’t be built even though I don’t think I know of anyone who has tried.

I know a lot of people who have tried to build RSS readers and weather apps and Twitter clients, but I don’t know a lot of people who have written comprehensive HealthKit apps. I don’t know a lot of people who have tried doing hardware/software integrated products. Everyone feels it’s too great of a risk and they don’t even try. There is “easy” money to be made doing boring stuff, so we all just accept the status quo.

I am one to talk. I have not released an app on the App Store, so it’s all well and good for me to knock people for not doing something I am not willing to do either.

That’s why I won’t work on weekends.

I want to spend my weekends working on something that makes me happy.

Right now I have this laundry list of things I find interesting but I don’t have any kind of context for even explaining what they do. If I tell someone I am interested in artificial intelligence and they try to talk to me about it I feel like this.

I don’t know if I am just not capable of being happy. I don’t know if there is some magical piece of technology out there that will make my soul sing in the way I think it will. I could just be a walking sack of discontent. I could spend my life chasing after something that doesn’t exist. I should be content with just finding something I don’t suck at. But I’m not.

I need to keep looking for that thing that captures my imagination. I don’t get to do that if I work on weekends. So I am sorry, but I need my weekends to try and find something that makes me happy. I don’t care if it’s the next disruptive technology or just some stupid home automation garbage I do to amuse myself. I want to feel alive and there are long periods of time right now where I do not.