Taking a sabbatical

After nearly 11 years (starting in July 2009) of work with only short non-conference-related interruptions it has become necessary that I take some time off to explore new things, re-learn old things, and simply get more healthy again. I’m basically out of energy, need to recharge, and just have to participate in the software community again. For the last couple of years I simply haven’t had the mental energy for that anymore. I only rarely joined meet-ups, I became inactive around Python, I’ve moved more into a consuming- instead of a contributing role while still starting new things but only rarely following through.

So, today has been my last day at the office and for the next 6 months I’ll be on educational leave in order to do just that: Attend courses to see stuff that has changed in software engineering at academia over the years and also do some more cloud-related certifications after the awesome experience with Google’s Professional Cloud Architect last year.

Outside of that there has simply been too much stuff piling up in my personal backlog which I no longer either want or can ignore. Part of that is also that I’ve been struggling health-wise as I never got back to 100% after 2017.

As a first step on that road I’ve started doing native mobile development for iOS which so far resulted in my first app making it into the AppStore yesterday morning πŸ₯³ I simply wanted to see if I’d enjoy that and so far I have πŸ™‚

Does this mean I’m basically unemployed now? No! Luckily, my employer and the Public Employment Service Austria offer something called “Bildungskarenz” which can be used by employees every couple of years (for up to 12 months) in order to learn new things without losing their job. During this time the employee receives funding from the Employment Service which is around 80% of the previous salary. For me specifically this means that after 6 months I will be back at work but hopefully with batteries recharged and new experiences! Big thanks to everyone who helped me on the way and who made this possible!