July 12, 2022
A brief excursis on working
A little less about the what and more about the how — I’ve been slowly triangulating on what a really nice schedule for my day-to-day is going to be now that I’m shifting from “sabbatical mode” to working on Buttondown in earnest.
One of the things that has been a very surprising change to me is how difficult and tiring craftsmanship can be. If you’ve been reading these notes for a while, you likely remember me complaining often about how difficult it was to find time for the ‘serious’ work, since my schedule (and Buttondown’s growth) only permitted time for reactive work during the week.
That is no longer the case! This is great. Most mornings start out with an hour or so of operational and reactive work (emails, dashboards, you know the drill) and then I get to shift to actually use my creative energy. It is exhilarating to actually be able to spend the preponderance of my time improving Buttondown, rather than just keeping my head above water.
It is also exhausting! Good exhausting, to be clear: exhausting like a workout that leaves you panting and sweaty. I think I forgot that this genre of work is so different than that of being at a big technical company, and that eight hours at the latter is much lighter than eight hours at the former.
Four hours of serious work — building out MFA support, say — leaves me completely drained. I suspect that capacity will go up over time, but I’m not rushing it. (And it feels incredibly nice to get up, make a sandwich, go for a nice walk, and not have to worry about things too much.)
Filing this one under “writing about it so I don’t forget once I have some spare cycles later this month” — I’m going to try and migrate Buttondown to fly dot io. My Heroku bill officially hit the four digit mark, which I think is a sign to test the waters. Derrick Reimer of The Art of Product Podcast and Savvycal had talked a little bit about it, and “I heard it on a podcast” is by no means a good heuristic for migrating infrastructure, but it feels very promising.
When I mentioned this to a friend, they asked if I was trying to cut costs or improve performance. I don’t mean to be glib when I say the answer is yes — I’m pretty confident that Buttondown’s infra spend should be a tenth or so of what it is, and I’m also pretty confident that Fly’s core value prop is just going to be good for my non-American customers (who, if I were to extrapolate from the past few months, are soon going to be the majority of my customers). I am also very intrigued by their Heroku-specific migration tool.
(The hardest part about all of this will be trying to make this migration while resisting the urge to make a concomitant migration away from Redis and using Postgres-based queuing. But, again, this is some ways away.)