Neil Kandalgaonkar

hacker, maker of things

Happily busy

No Vacancy by taberandrew
There has not been the slightest bit of vacancy for upwards of six months. Not because there are tourists or anything, but really just because I think they like the sign to say that.

Brandywine WV

I took down the sidebar that says I’m looking for contracts or other work - I am happily all booked up, if not overbooked.

I should update the resume, but here’s what I’ve been doing:

Working on my own project (very soon to be released). Kind of a passion project, but as I’ve developed it, it’s looking more like it could be a source of some income. If nothing else, I’m happy about how the code is turning out.

Advising companies and doing occasional hacking for FullStack, a firm you could describe as a seed investment firm, but which managing partner Boris Mann has taken to calling it a “Foundry” since it also launches new firms. This means that every day I get to see this view. It’s fun work, and a lot of it is about supporting the local technology and startup community and connecting people who could help each other. Building things in solitude is always going to be part of what I do, but what other job involves exciting projects and creative people walking in the door who can really benefit from your involvement?

StackHaus Office Panorama by bmann

I took this job in the hopes that I’d break out of the trap of just being a hacker-for-hire, and finally flex my other skills, which have been more or less dormant ever since I started working in the US. So far it’s working great.

And just recently:

Working on a side project with a very creative hacker, who’s already changing how I think about validating ideas. After a month of his process I may need to do a writeup.

I’m even getting healthier. A bit. Slowly but surely.

The last time I was able to reflect on how great my life was, it was 2009, and everything unexpectedly collapsed. But things are different now.

First of all, I’m in Canada, and since I’m not an indentured servant, my entire existence doesn’t evaporate in a puff of smoke on the whim of immigration officials or bosses.

But more importantly, I’m learning mental resiliency. I used to tighten up, and clam up, or go into a spiral of self-distraction, at almost any stressor. I still do that a lot, but I’m learning to do it less, thanks to a very talented therapist. This is making it more possible for me to build on strengths, rather than always be sidelined by almost any difficulty.

I’m in such a good place now, I have to expect that things might get a bit worse - or even just worse because one of these projects starts taking off in a way that requires a lot more work! But I think I’m okay with that. Trying to optimize for long term happiness now.