Fun with Mid Life Crises

31 July 2012 by Jeremy WhiteJeremy White

Last November, I was able to celebrate surviving 45 years on this planet. At that time, I decided it was time for my mid life crisis - all the cool kids have mid life crises. I spent a lot of time thinking about this, asking everyone I know "what are you planning for your mid life crisis?" Of course, I love my wife and family dearly, and she is opposed to the whole mistress thing. I also have a fondness for practical cars, so that kills the sportscar cliche. And I think I'd chicken out if I ever had to try to jump out of an airplane.

So if I want to be trendy, my only option is to mess around with my job. After all, I've spent over 16 years running CodeWeavers; if you add in my previous company, I've spent more than half my life running a company of one sort or another. The problem is, I dearly love my employer. This is by far the best place I've ever worked. The staff is fantastic; the work is challenging and important. The work environment is fun and relaxed, but still geared towards productivity. In fact, it's almost as though I had absolute power and could shape the work environment to be exactly the way I like it. Further, we just got a fantastic new coffee pot. So I can't leave now.

But perhaps I can change my role. I've become a bit burnt out on my current job; I find myself shorter of temper and often frustrated. I often don't have the same zeal for the work day that I have largely enjoyed throughout my career.

By way of history, I started life as a programmer. I was proud of my acumen and speed; one of the great joys of my life was being the underage hot shot C programmer at my first job, back when C was cool, hip and new. I love the technical challenge; immersing myself in technical problems, and puzzling out the best way forward. However, sometime between that hot shot young programmer and now, I found myself drawn into managing things. I couldn't stomach the way other people ran things, so I ended up taking on more and more responsibility. So now instead of figuring out hard technical challenges, I find myself deciding which coffee filter to buy and where we're going to go for lunch.

So I've been experimenting, trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I recently took a sabbatical from my CEO duties and buried myself in pure coding. The result was a shiny new html5 client for the SPICE project, and a great deal of fun for me. I'm going to continue down that path a bit; burying myself more in technical duties, and trying to shift many of my responsibilities to others at CodeWeavers. Of course, this is hard transistion to make; I may find it hard to persuade others to figure out the lunch plans, after all 😊.

Cheers,
Jeremy

About CodeWeavers
Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy, CodeWeavers focuses on the development of Wine – the core technology found in all of its CrossOver products. The company's goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster and more painless to port Windows software to Mac and Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world. The company is privately held.

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Carlos Rafael Ramirez
Carlos Rafael Ramirez
Posted 2012-08-01 17:42
Hello Jeremy,

I have seen in the company I work, some times that the CEO and COO switch their responsibilities. Sometimes the CEO is focusing on product and selling, sometimes in the internal organization of the company and productivity things like methodologies. The COO usually work in customer deployment projects and now his work is focused in reorganizing the company to improve the focus, the agile methodologies and productivity.

I am trying to say that change responsibilities is very good not only for you but the company


Regards,
Carlos
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