Personal Performance Fix

16 May 2015
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In the software industry, there’s a lot focus on making amazing and high-performing products which shall innovate and remodel our views on todays technology. What often is left out, sort of, is the people behind the projects. What are their needs? Could an entire project improve if needs would be met on a more personal level for each individual participating in the development? Most likely, yes!

Inspiration for what we do is often the strongest motivation to improve, both ourselves and the things we accomplish. Inspiration is also a very delicate and tricky thing to actually trigger. For me it’s first when I feel comfortable with my surroundings and when I see success within that environment. This can at times be an entirely social thing, where in the right environment, valid feedback and positive input manages new leaps.

Lately I’ve been through some career changes, or add-ons if you will to what I usually do. Previously all focus has been on my own company’s growth, helping out other companies with tech, improving Particle Playground and trying to expand the product inventory. Most has been accomplished from a small and safe space at home, this has been great as I’ve been able to create stuff at my own pace and spend a lot of time with the family. It has also had some downsides, where after a while it has become a hindrance for, that sort of important and obscure thing, personal growth. 

polyfied-air-big

Often we focus on the project, the final product and the knowledge to make its very technology, but forget about ourselves in the process. If we can find out what our needs are to learn and progress, I believe we would create even more amazing things. This doesn’t necessarily have to be connected to applying already known methods, reading manuals or attending conventions. The foundation may be within how we approach each other in our everyday environment and that we get a chance to communicate our needs.

Hey, where’s my coffee-bud?

Even though many companies are connecting with a pleasant approach which often leads to some interesting sharing of ideas and collaborations, the feeling of loneliness has naturally struck at times. Not really at the crying-naked-on-the-floor-in-the-shower level, but perhaps more an unpleasant not-fulfilling-all-social-needs feeling. There’s only so much you can evolve by yourself, which I although think is a lot when giving your all. Eventually there will come blockages bigger than the bumps in your path, possibly due to fatigue or stress over things not leading to conclusions soon enough. There’s also way more crossroads than highways even when distributing a strong product, where decision making for yourself without someone to really elaborate your ideas with becomes a monotone and somewhat risky task.

In the beginning of developing and distributing Particle Playground I made a lot of mistakes which the users had to suffer for. I still make them but they are much easier to fix, partly due to learning from the previous mistakes but mostly because of the many helpful people giving creative and valid input. This is still although mostly done through a computer screen, which makes the experience quite virtual and not as humanly connected as many times wished for. A project such as Playground could improve much more at a fundamental level with better technical knowledge and with more mature long term decisions. How obvious it may sound, I realize what partly is needed for that to happen is a grander perspective.

Opportunity to reconfigure

Not long ago I got a call from a recruiter asking where I’m at in my career and if I wanted to make some severe changes to it. At first that proposal sounded off limits, a bit wacky and far off from what I’ve been trying to accomplish the latest years. Although, after meeting the company several times, I realized this is really what I want and need in the long run to evolve personally. So now I’ve started as a lead developer at Toca Boca, making fun and important stuff happen on screens for kids. I’m also still working on Polyfied, where I hopefully will make better decisions with a bit grander perspective and with more knowledge backing the ideas up. I’m hoping to progress on a professional level and that these reflections are actual insights into something valid, let’s find out.

To mix this post up with some mandatory random, I’ve had a couple of days off from work which usually means a new song is available on SoundCloud. ‘Air‘ is exploring the possibility to emphasize beats through synth arpeggios rather than with drums. I’m not sure how the song actually connects to what I’m writing in this post, perhaps it does, but perhaps that doesn’t really matter. :-)

As usual, feel free to download and use in any way you’d like.

Thanks for reading and/or listening if you did hit play!

Lars-Erik Ronnheden