Jonathan Bell

Taking a Coding Sabbatical

I did it! I left my secure job. I even left without having another job lined up. My dad told me never to do that (sorry, dad).

The plan for the next 3 months is to accept only small jobs and to study a lot in my spare time. I want to level up my JavaScript skills and to eventually get a local or remote position with a company that I find engaging and inclusive.

I feel like quitting my job was necessary as I simply did not have enough time available during the day in order to study and work. I need several hours a day free and clear if I’m to be efficient. Web developers constantly need to be learning these days. Every time you turn around there is a new framework or a new tool or a new best practice bandwagon that we should all be jumping on. It’s very hard to keep up - I’m sure that you agree.

It’s not surprising that the 2018 Stack Overflow Developer Survey found that developers really want code and that they want to learn on the job while doing it.

Developers want to learn on the job but most of all, developers just want to code.

I was nervous to take the plunge. Living on savings and having no stable income can be scary but so far (2 weeks in) I am really enjoying having the time available to study. I study a lot and work remotely part-time for a small company. I guess I am not the first person to do this. Reading about other developers who have done the same thing was encouraging. I have even planned out a small curriculum for myself in order to keep myself accountable.

I don’t know what the future holds! Perhaps I will live to regret this. I am obviously still nervous - whatever happens though I will update this post in about 3 months time with the results of my sabbatical.