Upcoming Sabbatical

3 minute read

I’m reaching the end of my stint as a developer and DevOps engineer at Federated Insurance. It’s been an excellent four years working with a lot of great people, and I’ve learned a ton, but I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on to new adventures.

What will those be? Ultimately, I intend to relocate to the Twin Cities and continue my career in technology there, ideally working on something related to education or personal or collaborative information management, whether that’s within an organization or developing tools for others. (If you have or are aware of relevant job openings, feel free to get in touch! Find my resumé here, or visit my landing page for more about me.)

Before that, though, I’m going to take a sabbatical of several months to work full-time on a variety of projects that are meaningful and important but difficult to fit in while I’m employed. Some of these include:

  • Finish developing and open-source several tools I’ve been using for myself but haven’t had the time to clean up and share, including a bookmark manager called RabbitMark, a tool for finding mnemonics for numbers using the Major System, a solitaire solver, and my mnemonic medium plugin for TiddlyWiki (which is generalizable, but currently embedded in Grok TiddlyWiki and not licensed for reuse).
  • Make further improvements to TiddlyRemember, my TiddlyWiki plugin for syncing with Anki.
  • Publish a TiddlyWiki edition based on my Zettelkasten. Many people have wanted to borrow what I have as a starting point, but there’s currently no easy way for someone to take my published version and re-purpose it, especially without instructions.
  • Finish working through (or at least a substantial part of) The Rust Programming Language and write some real code in Rust.
  • Work on skills in algorithms and pure math.
  • Write up and publish a large selection of Anki card patterns.
  • Make several more TiddlyWiki videos demonstrating how we can build TW tools for particular use cases.
  • Reintroduce 4,000 Anki cards from college that I haven’t been reviewing.
  • Spend some time on the career planning resources from 80,000 Hours, which look fantastic.
  • Read at least two books from my lifetime reading list per month (or equivalently fewer if I pick something really long from it).
  • Take several camping trips before the weather cools off too much. (I do this every year even when I’m not on sabbatical, but I want to make sure it still happens.)
  • Return to doing regular weekly posts on this blog.

This list is still subject to change, and I might not get everything on it done, depending on how things work out, but I hope to finish at least a significant portion of it. To keep myself accountable, I will be posting weekly updates here (in addition to my regular posts) explaining what I got done and anything I learned from it; I have no interest in my “sabbatical” turning into lounging around playing video games all day, and I know it’s easy to let that happen if you don’t have a plan!

My last day at Federated will be July 30. I will take the following week off before beginning the program described here, but after that you can expect to start seeing my update posts.

Also, if by chance you have been wanting to get in touch with me to ask me a question, share ideas, or just say hi, the next couple of months would be a great time to do so; I should have some time set aside for correspondence in the evenings.