July 21, 2020
Throughout my 20s I was an active participant online. I followed and worked on open source projects in the late 90s and early 2000s. When Web 2.0 (also know as the Social Web) started to take shape I was involved. My Space, Digg, Twitter, Facebook were all sites where I participated early on and fairly regularly along with publishing my own blog. I was in constant contact with a thriving online community. This was especially true when I was working at AOL on the Netscape browser and Propeller social news site.
As the online landscape shifted and my career and personal life evolved, I found myself particpating online less and less frequently. My work became more enterprise focused and less available to the general public. I've got an active family life with a wonderful wife and 3 boys that keeps us busy. I just didn't have the time, desire, or energy to spend a lot of time engaging in the general public.
About a year ago I started to feel nostalgic for the level of engagement I had during those earlier years. I hadn't had any real active involvement with the general public in years. My work is not something that most people would see and I was rusty on the skill sets that had given me my initial career path. It had been years since I had done any real front-end development. I not only wanted to go back to participating more, but I also wanted to do work that was seen again by a larger audience.
At the same time I also started to realize that I have a unique perspective. A lot of software development careers shift to a management focus as you ascend the career track. I was a manager for a while, but I took a step back and decided that I wanted to stay focused on development and engineering. My real passion was building software and not managing people so I changed career paths and went back to development. This means I'm now a mid forty year old developer in an industry that is well known for skewing towards youth. This was an avenue I could explore and share my own personal experiences.
This site will not be soley dedicated to this "Aging Developer" perspective, but it will color everything that I do with it. The Aging Developer is a vehicle for me to re-engage and actively participate more. It also provides a way for me to go back and learn the latest trends in front-end development.
Fair warning: The site is an active development and a learning location. It will be broken and have missing features for large portions of the time.