Day 167: A Sigh of Relief, After It’s Over

Mega-conference is OVER. We did it. We made it. Yesterday at 1 p.m. was one of the first times in my life I’ve literally let out a sigh of relief. Like, I made the noise.

gala dinner CANHEIT
Gala dinner at CANHEIT 2017. Photo: Michael Barr

I’ve learned a LOT about information technology in the last 18 months. My main takeaway is the breadth of the field. Everything from thermodynamics (this box is going to get super hot and we need to cool it) to social engineering (get people to stop clicking the bad thing).

And, equally fascinating, I have noticed that almost every key issue in IT today is either a communication problem, or has significant communication outpoints. It’s a genuinely fascinating and underexplored field.

But. Yes. Conference over.

It was a sigh of relief, and not of expectation.

My medium-term goal is going to be not filling that hole with something. It’s been a roller coaster, with a lot of the adrenaline-spiking deadlines and disasters. So it’s going to feel a bit flat to have it out of my life. And that’s… okay? Obviously, my pace was far outstripped the past few weeks, and I can now push more “life” into my work-life balance.

But it’s going to be hard not to want that synergy again.

One definite takeaway was that I like reporting things. Giving and getting feedback on a monthly, then weekly basis was something I got a lot of value out of. Even when it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

So that’s one thing I can work on immediately. Manage up, and down, to get better feedback loops going. If I do well in a feedback-rich environment, I should be looking for ways to increase and enhance that. In a way that adds value to the people I’m asking time from.

There’s a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. I suspect among my fellow steering committee members there’s also going to be some post-partum depression. Two years of work, the last three months super intense. Then four days. Then… it’s over. It’s going to be a new experience for me to manage.