What do you want to accomplish, unrelated to development?

jwkicklighter profile image Jordan Kicklighter ใƒป1 min read

I've always found it enjoyable to hear what dreams, hobbies, interests, etc. other devs have. More often than not, there are similar interests that come up where you wouldn't expect. For instance, it always surprises me how many developers talk about their background in music performance when I share stories from high school/college marching band.

To get the ball rolling, my current life goal is to obtain a private pilot license. There are many reasons, and I'll likely do more research on ways to help the community such as the Civil Air Patrol, but the biggest draw is how much travel freedom that would provide. Imagine being able to fly from Orlando to Atlanta in the same time it takes to drive from Orlando to Tallahassee. (This is a random estimate, but I think my point still stands).

So what do you want to accomplish in life, outside of what you'd normally share on DEV?


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I would love to be fluently bilingual (or even trilingual). I've studied a lot of comparative linguistics as a hobby, so I know a small assortment of words and phrases in dozens of languages, but none of it is enough to even have a rudimentary conversation. I'd love to get to the point I could converse normally with someone who has a different native language than me without having to force them to use English.

Right now, I'm working on Swedish (for a long complicated list of minor reasons), but unfortunately have essentially no way to practice anything other than listening comprehension and reading. If I ever get to the point that I'm comfortably fluent in Swedish, I'll probably start on Spanish again (took one year of Spanish in high school, I can kind of read it and recite it from written form, but can't really speak it) as it's a lot more practical than Swedish.

There are all kinds of other little things I'd love to do (start a band, learn to draw, improve my marksmanship to the point of being able to make money off of competitions...), but multilingualism is really the big thing (and honestly makes me sad I wasn't born in Europe, people look at you like you're crazy here in the US when you say you want to learn a foreign language other than Spanish for any reason other than going to live in a country where it's the native language).


This is something I've wanted to do and just haven't committed any time to. Props for working on a language that's difficult to immerse yourself in! In addition to what Ry suggested, maybe you could get a friend to learn along too so there's someone to chat with :)


I speak four languages:
Haitian Creole: Native
French: Since kindergarten (the other official language in Haiti)
English: Since high school (but I improved it on my own)
Spanish: Since high school (I can not speak it well, but I can understand it most of the time)

Now I'm trying to perfect my Spanish and learning German on the side.


How mobile is current position? Could you work from home and move to Sweden for full immersion?


Unfortunately not very mobile. I'm working on saving up for a two week long trip to Stockholm some time within the next few years though, and plan to eventually visit a couple other places in Sweden (at least Falun and Gรถteborg) as well as some other places in Scandinavia (part of my family is from Finland with Swedish heritage).

On the plus side, most of the issue for me with not being able to practice much is that while I do fine remembering the grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary, I have trouble putting together sentences on the spot, so I end up speaking rather slowly but can still usually get my point across. My listening comprehension has gotten pretty good though thanks to listening to SR International (they've got a specific program designed for beginners who are just starting to learn Swedish which has been a wonderful help).


I have always loved stationery. From when I was a little girl with pigtails until now, I still cannot walk by a stationery aisle without looking at the products. I'm a massive notebook hoarder and planner freak so it's always been a dream for me to launch some sort of stationery line or brand that focuses on notebooks/planners/productivity tools. I have done absolutely 0 work for it so far but I'm confident one day I'm gonna put something out into the world!

PS. Good luck on getting your pilot license, what an awesome goal!


This is cool and super niche. I love that you have the vision.

May I recommend a start. Dropshipping is fairly easy and a great way to integrate scripting into a side hustle. Creating a store that dropships other company's products and eventually adding your own line is easier than it sounds, but takes persistence.

Best of luck.


Ooh interesting, thanks for the advice and for thinking along :)


Wow, that's so unique! When you started talking about stationary, I thought it was leading toward getting better penmanship, working on fancy journal cover pages, or something along those lines. With the world we live in, getting prototypes made for something like this is much more doable than it used to be. I bet you can do it! Good luck :)


Pauline, this is so cool. Kate Matsudaira followed a similar path, from development to stationery. She runs Ink+Volt - it started with a single planner design and went from there. PS: I also love stationery.


I would love to become a part time photographer, I have a pretty good camera and I am ok at it, but I would love to get better a start taking REALLY good photos.


This is so much more achievable than people realize! I'm actually a photographer on the side, and it started from just volunteering to photograph groups that couldn't afford to hire anyone. If you're looking to improve your digital camera knowledge, I highly recommend the book Stunning Digital Photography by Tony Northrup. That's what gave me the confidence to start experimenting and get some experience. Good luck!


Thanks for the tips.


This is a great topic. We are so much more than our careers.

I want to create complete financial Freedom
Build a family
Obtain my Captains license
Start a charity focused on reef and marine conservation


Exactly! Hopefully most of us love our careers, so they define a good portion of our interests. But we're all multidimensional.

That's a great set of goals that all build into each other. I take it you love the water?


I really want to run my own software company. Initially I wanted to develop a product, something I can call my own. I had a couple of ideas I thought about pursuing, none of them good though ๐Ÿ˜….

I want my software company to provide services to businesses who don't have technical expertise. Handle everything from development to operations maintenance ,etc.

But this would be related to development I guess. Other than that I've always wanted to open my own bakery with a little cafe attached to it. Some place homey where you could come with your friends have a muffin and coffee and just hang around.

Another thing that I'm really starting to like is blogging. Tech and non-technical. Create my own website, get a small but steady user base and generate a bit passive income. Unfortunately between working on a startup and procrastinating I don't give it a lot of time.


These are great! Starting a software venture is totally doable, it just takes finding the right idea to really dive into. Save up for a while so you can afford to not make money while you get started, and then dive in if you really believe in it :)

A bakery is probably a little harder financially since you have to invest in space and equipment. But I totally relate to this too. Cooking can be so relaxing, and it would be a joy to provide that type of atmosphere for locals to enjoy.

Blogging can be daunting, but it really doesn't have to be! Take a look at Gatsby or Gridsome if you want to build your own, or use Medium/DEV if you don't want your own platform. I launched jwkicklighter.com after about a day of work using Gridsome + Netlify, and publishing a new post is as easy as writing a markdown document and committing the changes! I finally launched mine in response to getting some traction on a post in this community, so that could potentially be a good starting place as well. Just find a topic you want to cover and go for it!


Oh, I have an ongoing fantasy about running a coffee shop/bookstore/event space/maker space! Basically I just want to have a magnet for cool people so I can always have cool people around. ๐Ÿ˜


That sounds awesome. Originally I wanted to start a restaurant, but switched to a cafe/bakery.


I've always wanted to become active in a non-profit that makes technology more affordable and accessible to people in developing countries and maybe also tries to solve everyday problems using tech. I haven't decided yet which cause I'd support, but probably improving education - providing tech equipment, learning resources, the right teaching staff...

Other than that: @jwkicklighter I totally support you on getting the pilot license - maybe I'll try to do that at some point as well :)


Similar to Austin Hemmelgarn (I don't know how to @ people here yet, sorry) I want to be bilingual, and again similarly I picked an awkward-to-learn but cool language: I'm studying Korean. (I'm also going to work on German for a few weeks because I'm going for a holiday in Germany in January.)

I'd also love to learn more about music. I'm a singer and I know some basic theory, but I'd like to learn more about composition and production. Hopefully sometime in the next couple of years I'll make the time to start working on that.


I want to end the worldโ€™s use of fossil fuels!

Some less ambitiously, I also want to bake a truly great loaf of sourdough bread.


Do both!

Bread making is one type of cooking/baking I haven't really attempted. You're making me want to try!


I would like to take some time out and start writing the stories I have swirling in my mind constantly. The stories don't necessarily have to deliver some great message but I want to seep into my readers heart and play every sting present there. I want them to feel pain, happiness, remorse, betrayal, loyalty, trust, anger, sorrow and almost every emotion present at their most acute level.

Delivering something like that will keep me animated.


Oh man, where do I start...

I want to be fluent in many languages. I'm learning Italian through Duolingo now.

Improve my skills in Blender because 3D animation and modeling are awesome!

Improve my drawing, as well as get better at transitioning those skills to drawing digitally with a tablet. With that said, I'd like to maybe work on a comic on Webtoon in my free time.

Play the piano. I started in high school as an elective, but couldn't practice much in college and in my first job.

There's probably more, but it's hard to stretch myself between these as it is. ๐Ÿ˜…


Being a good artist (drawing). I would be an illustrator if I was not a programmer.


Doing at least five muscle-ups in a row =0