Hi, I'm Nelson. I'm a software developer based in Melbourne.

In July 2020 I ran an experiment to help figure out my next career direction.

I called it the Deep Dive.

This blog outlines my experiment, experiences, and what I learned along the way. If you want to figure out your next career step or learn about the topics I covered, read on. This experiment changed my life. I hope it can help you too.

Why make this blog?

Like for many people, the year of 2020 has not gone as planned. The startup I had been working at collapsed due to COVID and internal issues, and I soon found myself jobless. Afterwards, I was unsure which direction to take next. Lockdown was in effect in Australia, available jobs were at an all-time low, and I wanted to pivot away from the logistics work I had done for the last two years.

What I did know was what interest areas I wanted to explore. So I sat down at the start of July and set myself a challenge. Spend one week completely focused on each topic, investing as much time as I can into the area, and document the process.

By the end of my experiment, I had not only accomplished alot in a month, but also gained a strong sense of direction. I still had a long way to go, but was glad I took on this challenge. It's for these reasons that I wanted to create this blog and share this information.

I also want to note that I was very lucky to have the privilege to take out this portion of my time, let alone make ends meet. If you are reading this and are already doubting if you could do this yourself, I'd highly suggest experimenting with the idea in your own way. The key parts were due to the "Rules" I followed (listed below) and not necessarily my month long experiment schedule.

How did the Deep Dive work?

I set an area for each week. On the weekend beforehand, I would set out a rough list of ideas I was curious about, ways to get an idea of what a job in this field would be like, people to talk to, etc.

Each day was less structured. As long as I was doing a variety of different things across the week related to the area, I was happy. At the end of each day, I would write a journal, listing out each activity I did for the day. I gave myself some ratings out of 10 for effort, curiosity, and overall time I spent that day on the area.

At the end of the week I would make a general reflection on how I was feeling and what had happened in the week.

My "Rules" for the Deep Dive

I had three simple tenets for my Deep Dive Weeks:

Immersion, curiosity, and fun

Immersion : I committed to setting aside this time completely to focus on the area for that week. No multi-tasking, no procrastinating (if possible). By immersing myself in the material, I knew that I would be able to get a stronger idea of the area. The key to the immersion was not the week long challenges though, but rather being able to set aside a portion of time that completely focused on the area.

Curiosity: I gave myself free reign to explore anything and everything in the area of interest. I wanted to support my curiosity and not weigh myself down with specific goals and a tiny focus.

Fun: The Deep Dives was an idea to help me figure out a career direction. But I knew it was crucial that I had fun with whatever I was doing, or at least tried to. This also helped me in figuring out what I had the most passion for, what was easiest to enjoy.

Read about programming, the first Deep Dive week

Like this blog? Want more content like this? Want to get in touch?

Check out my Github, where you can reach out to me. Send me an email with your thoughts and I'll get back to you.

I'm looking for opportunities in the software world too, so i would love to connect with any fellow developers!