Skip to content Todd Libby


New Year, Different Me

Over the course of 2023, I applied to many conferences hoping to get accepted to new conferences and travel more. That never came to be, though I did get to a few new ones while revisiting some familiar places like Jackson, Mississippi for MagnoliaJS and Atlanta for ConnectTech and DevNexus.

Currently, I am at CodeMash in Sandusky, Ohio and I volunteered to be on the speaker committee. Something I enjoyed doing to see the process from the inside. The conference is one of those that I suggest speakers submit their abstracts to and people to attend because it is one of those multi-track conferences that is fun.

Last night, when I got back to my room after dinner with friends, I had a good think. "Where am I going in 2024"?

I don't think it is going to be very far, to be honest. I don't think I will get back to finding a new job somewhere doing frontend work or Developer Relations as I had hoped last year. Putting aside all the greedy tech companies and CEOs, the awful hiring practices and the horrible people that I hear about and see that are in some form of management role that they stumbled stupidly backwards into. I'm almost 53. That's ancient in tech these days.

Ageism in tech sure does exist and don't let anyone tell you different.

2023 ended good for me, so I cannot complain. I had a huge accessibility audit for a company I can't quite name yet (I won't for ethical reasons until everything is signed off for) and I got to remodel my office at home the way I had envisioned.

I Have Seen Things

As you may know all too well, layoffs were abundant during 2023. Every month it seemed a mass layoff was happening. It affected friends, colleagues, many people in tech. I look at the landscape and I am saying to myself "where is the place for me once this trend stops (hopefully) and who is going to take a chance on me?"

My last job did not end well for many reasons but the cherry on top was the PIP that they wanted me to sing. Absolutely not. A PIP is something a company wants to use to hang over your head so you incriminate yourself. Then they can take that and dangle it like a carrot in front of a horse until they get rid of you. So I walked. No regrets.

My mental health improved vastly. I was not in a horrible mood and unbearable to live with anymore, I could relax. I was burnt out. Accessibility had burnt me out. Which is why I no longer want to do auditing. I did do the audit at the end of 2023 because it was something I could not pass up.

The people though. I have seen layoffs affect many people in many different ways. So I had a good think about what I have seen last night.

I Am Done

The time has come to finally address that I can see the writing on the wall. I know that there are times I can be one of the worst people someone could possibly deal with. That comes with reasons that may or may not be justified, at least a few are justified for me and when I feel strongly about something, I am all in.

I can be opinionated, gruff, stubborn, hard to work with, combative, moody, obstinate. However, when things are inaccessible I have no excuse and I go into parental mode. Finger-wagging and scolding. I do not apologize and I will fight and debate and advocate for accessibility though tooth and nail.

Companies do like that in an employee. They do not like an employee that speaks up, speaks the truth, fights for what is right. Companies want to run people down, run them into the ground, and do as little as they can for those people that are actually doing the work while the people in their corner offices reap the benefits and rewards.

I'm reading the room, I am seeing the writing on the wall, and all the other cliches that are similar. I am done with tech. It has been a good run. It has afforded me a lot, but even within the last 5 years, it has given me the platform to advocate and speak to people on a level I never thought I could attain.

I have met a host of great people, made great friends, made a lot of great memories. It is time for me to move on and where that may be, I have no idea. I like the idea of that though.

It has been fun for years up until the last two years. Now it is just tedious. I'm not going to be burnt out again and I protect my sobriety first and foremost. The last place almost broke me but I would not allow it. Ten years later, I am still sober.

I think I will go enjoy another venture in another arena somewhere.

I will finish 2024 and the current conferences I have been accepted to (and ones that may accept me as well), I will give a few more resumes time to see if it leads to anything but for the most part, I have a foot and a half out the door. I am looking at streaming content on Twitch in the gaming arena, but that is an unknown as of now. I am just going to walk away before I feel I have been ceremoniously discarded by tech.