A follow-up to “Tech, this is goodbye”

Two weeks ago, I published an article titled “Tech, this is goodbye”, since then I’ve received a multitude of responses. From people sharing on twitter, to writing replies on medium, to emails, even a few phone calls. Most of the people responding have been urging me to stay in tech, several people have even offered me jobs.

Others, however, have been more critical with responses that seem to entirely miss the points made in the article, including the guy on hackernews who has given me a new author biography: “Trigger Warning: Boring. content and too much self-loathing”, this actually made me laugh.

I’ve even had several people send me very personal responses, some stating that they’ve faced similar trouble finding work as a person who’s transgender and/or depressive, or that they’re concerned about their futures in tech.

For a lot of people, they’re wanting to know what is next for Emelia Smith. They want to know whether I’ll leave tech or stay, what I’ll do if I leave, and what it’d take for me to stay. A few have pointed out that to have had the career I’ve had, I must be naturally drawn towards tech.

At present, I’m honestly not sure whether this is goodbye or not; but at the time of writing the article, everything was pointing that direction. I know for certain that I can’t be unemployed for another 7 months. That’s just not an option: I’ve bills to pay, and a life to live.

As for the question of, “what would you do if you left tech?”, well, having an honest think about it, there’s a few ideas that seem like good directions to go in, from starting a small business making niche accessories or clothing, to producing adult content, to starting a company to kick the adult industry into the modern era.

Yes, a lot of the thing’s I’m thinking about are fetish/adult related: This is just something that I find interesting — heck, a few years ago I was interviewing to work for Fetlife. The idea for the small business also fits nicely together with something else that I’ve been working on for quite a while, which I’ll be announcing sometime in summer.On the flip side, I’ve also had a fair think about what it’d take to keep working in tech (without starting the aforementioned company), and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d need to find a diverse and inclusive team, in a role where I primarily work with data (APIs, Data Infrastructure, communications), with a 3–4 day work week.

I know that I’ve told several people that I’ll be writing about the 7 months which I quickly glossed over in the original article. I will be, however, in order to write that, I need to go back and revisit some pretty stressful & emotionally triggering events, which requires quiet a lot of thought & energy. It will be written about, however, it’ll take some time.

Anyway, thanks for all the support, comments, feedback and all the rest for now. Thanks to all that have shared the article, it’s now been read almost ten thousand times, and has been viewed by almost twenty thousand people. I’ve received probably 30 emails, numerous tweets and direct messages, and even a few phone calls. The support that I’ve received has been quite heart warming.

Right now I’m really focusing on just the next month: I’d already booked my trip to React Europe, and now I need your help to get me there. At present I’m about €270 away from being able to cover all the costs for my trip, and being able to change my flight to make GraphQL Europe.

Why am I going to two tech conferences if I may be leaving tech? Well, for a few reasons, perhaps most important is that whilst I might leave tech, you can guarantee that I’ll still always be about on twitter, sharing knowledge, thoughts and feedback based on my experience. Additionally, these conferences offer good opportunities to find that mystical employer that I described above, as well as being a forum to meet many of the people who’ve stuck by me and assisted me over the years.

If you’d like to help cover the costs, please send me a direct message on twitter, or an email: emelia@brandedcode.com

Yours, Emelia

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