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Restarting From Zero: Am I Still a Software Engineer?

Time flies. Not because I can’t keep up, but because I’ve been neglecting myself.

Gone are the days where I was passionate about producing something, writing something. Whether be it code, or words. I find myself a little too laid back on the things I do.

Ever since coming to Perth and starting my job, I don’t code as much as I used to. I could use my denied time as an excuse, but I know I’ve spent too much time on YouTube, reading useless stuff, and doing nothing in general. It’s as if I’ve lost myself, like a puppy that lost their master.

Don’t get me wrong though. I love my job as a citizen data scientist at Woodside! I get to mess around with heaps of AWS tools, engage smart colleagues, and give presentations about our company to university students. I would even say that I am very privileged to be working at Woodside with such great people. The support, mentorship, and the culture of the workplace made me feel like I belong.

But obviously, what I do in my spare time is very different than what I do at work. I feel guilty for not producing code in my spare time, not because I feel like I need to, but because I feel I’m not helping myself achieve my dreams.

Losing My Passion?

When I was back in uni, I tend to talk to my friends, peers, juniors about starting your side project. Whether be it a video game, a website, or even a small application. It shouldn’t matter what you built as long as you enjoyed it. This will not only help you with improving your overall software engineering skill, but also with impressing prospective employers.

I had dreams of developing my own visual novel, which did come true (to some certain extent), my own game, my own passion project website application thing. Though, they never really came. I had coded many for work, but never for myself.

Within my job, I do perform software engineering activities. Programming, database handling, CI/CD. But honestly, work is work. In the end, the work I’ve done has not personal connections to me, it’s just work. I could be proud of the work I’ve done, but I could never be as proud as making a simple game I made in my own time.

Am I losing programming as my passion? I’m not too sure.

Can I do something about it? Heck yeah!

My Goals, Tasks, and Momentum

I envy young Jia Sheng. Bright, innocent, and full of energy. Feels even weird that I’m writing this about my younger self, I feel as if I’ve become an old man.

As a still relatively young software engineer, I will create a 2D platformer casual game in Unity3D, with the first proof of concept by September 30th. It doesn’t have to be too crazy, no need for crazy graphics or animations. It just needs to be playable and somewhat fun. Something I can show my partner before I return to Perth.

And after September 30th, I will start a development blog to keep my lessons learnt, and to help future younglings.

I guess this post is just a piece to keep myself disciplined, accountable for producing this piece of work, and for the 0 people who read my blog to keep me accountable.

Tough journey ahead, but it’ll only get easier once I’ve built momentum.

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