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The Decision to Leave Tech

Todd speaking at HalfStack Phoenix about leaving tech.


When you can stand in front of a crowd and tell them with the utmost confidence that you are done with tech. You are done with tech. Or in this case, I am done with tech.

Something I have loved to do over the past 44 years as a person, the past 25 professionally. Something I thought I'd love to do forever. That old saying comes to mind.

All good things must come to an end.

I'm leaving on my terms, not anyone else's. I'm leaving with my head held high. Have I always been the easiest to deal with? No. Have I always been a model of anything? No. Have I always been a power of example? No.

I've thought about it, I have written about it a hundred thousand times before but this feels different, it feels final. It is final.

I've worked with a lot of great people, kind people, compassionate, empathetic, wonderful, intelligent people. I've met the same amount of the same people at conferences and events.


What the future holds is unknown. I gave myself until the middle of this year to find work full-time, something, but that something isn't to be found. Outside of the tech, things have not worked out, so there are a couple of ideas I have an after that, who knows?


A space I have been passionate about for over two decades. A lot of me trying to help enact a culture of change everywhere. Like a former colleague says, "It's the hope that kills you".

Hope kills me daily with each site I see with an overlay. It is just a sign to me that the web is doomed as we trod further and further into the world of artificial intelligence (AI). I am not a huge fan of AI, I do not think AI is where it will ever need to be because of humans. But I do have hope that will change. I want no part of it though.

When respected accessibility people become overlay salesmen, it sticks a dagger in your back and you feel like you just got slapped in the face. Especially since an accessibility professional was sued and faced a SLAPP lawsuit from the very same company. You can congratulate the man, but can you congratulate and respect the decision? Or when accessibility companies buy overlay companies in the continual monetization of accessibility.

The accessibility space is toxic. Not all of the accessibility is toxic, there are highly intelligent and wonderful people in the space I have worked with and learned from over the years. There is a segment of good in a sea of bad.

The overlay companies. Those who pander to the overlay companies. Those who bend knee to the overlay companies. Those who sell out the disabled community all in the name of change (which will never happen when you are rolling a boulder up a mountain).

The toxicity against the disabled community. The toxicity of the people that talk down to people and act holier than thou. The conferences that do not protect the very people they are having a conference around.

The perpetually bitter and angry crowd that tells you that "you are not wanted, nor are you needed and you can fuck off" (true story, DM on the former bird site). The people that rail for equality becoming a lesson in irony with their anger, spite, rage, and bitterness.

I spoke for the voices that could not speak for themselves. Family, friends. I did not speak for all. Especially the aforementioned people above. It has made me indifferent to the advocacy of accessibility. I'm finished rolling that boulder up that mountain.

I Tried

I have tried over the years to become gainfully employed in the accessibility space with the "big three". I have to say that apparently, my experience, although extensive, definitely not all-knowing, was not good enough. At any level.

Almost as if the jobs were inaccessible to me. SO I stayed on course and consulted. It gave me the chance to do the work and not have to answer to anyone but myself and my clients. Those are the people I am grateful for putting their trust in me to do the job they hired me to do.

So it hasn't been a complete loss, but it is a shame that I see companies and the abysmal hiring that they do pass on a lot of people I know that are brilliant people all over tech.

I tried though. I'm tired boss.


Four plus years of straight auditing burnt me out. I thought I had been out of the weeds lately but I was wrong. I am burnt out and there is no replacing this. There is no rest period that will ever bring back the passion. Ever.

I can feel the burnout just writing this. It even seriously makes me think twice about my part in the W3C. Do I really want to do this anymore? Do I want to continue?

No. I don't.

My coding suffered, my ability to do development with fire, passion, love, and pleasure. Wiped out. Gone. I am indifferent to that now. I'm still tired, boss. Even more, just plain tired.


I am going to fulfill all events and appearances this year. Anything I may have submitted to as well. 2024 is the last year of conferences and travel. Podcasts and other streams as well.


It is time for me to go. It isn't see you later or good bye for now. It is farewell.