stefanbc
11/20/2014 - 8:11 PM

why I'm not speaking anymore

why I'm not speaking anymore

TL;DR Because I have no business doing this.


Just to clear what this thing is. It is not "I want a job in this field". It is hanging a sign on a closed door "I am done trying to find a job in this field". Which makes "keep trying" answers and suggestions about what to do beyond stupid. What part of "I am done" is so hard to get, really?


Because I was doing it for the wrong reasons anyway

I was (and still am!) unemployed. And I thought it would help me get a job. And yes, I did get plenty of job offers. Except that wasn't a good thing. They were all jobs I cannot do anyway. I didn't start speaking because I'm an amazing developer who had something to teach people. I started speaking because I'm a useless piece of shit who was still unemployed after repeatedly failing for years to get a job as a developer.

I have never worked in the field.

I can't get how to use the tools that people are using to write code. I do everything in online code playgrounds because it's the only thing I can do. Just write code, see the result. A simple text editor is too complicated for me. Other people's productivity tools are too complicated for me and just get in my way. Installing Sass locally is too complicated for me. Using git/ whatever is too complicated for me. These are all things I've repeatedly tried and failed at ever getting right. I can only write code and that's pretty limited as well.

The HTML slideshows I have used for my talks are by far the most complex things I have ever built. And they're so complex for me that the code always gets completely out of control and the final result is incredibly fragile. Which is why I'm often reluctant to post links to them. Because they're so unlike my usual under-50-lines-of-code demos with clean and perfectly polished code. That's one thing I so often advertise with them. Under 40/ 30/ 20/ 15/ whatever lines of clean code. But what people probably don't realize is that I couldn't keep a 500 lines of code demo clean and maintainable if my life depended on it.

Which is why it has been incredibly humiliating and frustrating to get the job offers I got. It's all been stuff I fucked up royally in the past and, given what I've focused on since, my chances of doing a better job now have gone down, not up. I'm just left wondering where the fuck was my brain when I imagined I'd get other types of job offers.

Still... shameless advertising coming: if anybody needs a cleaning person, I still need a job.

Because I can't afford it

As I've said before, I have no job so, consequently, no income. I'm just a worthless parasite to my hard-working (and close to retirement) parents. Speaking has been horribly expensive, even though travel and accommodation was always covered.

This situation has also caused a lot of frustration given that a lot of events spend a lot (well, for me!) money on shit I don't need or want (fancy schmancy hotels, breakfast included, speaker dinners, gift bags). That kind of money difference could cover my usual expenses for months and knowing that is incredibly frustrating.

But I could get paid for speaking, right? Well, I got asked for invoices. Which I'm not authorized to issue and becoming authorized is something that would cost me monthly more than I can make from speaking. And even though I sometimes think screw the system, I need my money, most times I think it's not worth the risk. Which is why I've disappeared like a donkey in the fog when people were willing to pay.

So if I am to draw the line, this year I've spent a shitload of money (not even my money!) on this and made exactly 0.00 out of it. In whatever currency you wish to express it.

Because I now feel it's wrong

Around the same time as my first conference of the year, I got a speaking offer. Containing the words "to create a more diverse line-up". Translation: we don't want speakers, we want women. No, fuck, no! You know, up to that point, it had never occured to me anyone might have chosen me to speak at an event because I'm a woman. And growing up, I have never ever felt intellectually unremarkable... among girls, boys, donkeys, trees and whatever else you might wish to consider. And that email took it all from me.

It's easy for me to dismiss criticism as moronic if I personally don't agree with it. But if I'm being criticised for something I know not to be alright, then that really stings. If I were to accept other speaking offers, I run the risk of them being because I'm a woman. And if anybody were to attack that, I would know they're right.

Because fuck you if you think you can relate or that you have the right to tell me what to do

Yeah, basically that.