Snap Back to Reality: Traveling the Country

Snap Back to Reality Featured Image

What’s up coders?! Welcome back to another issue of The Renegade Coder update. It’s the 45th consecutive update, and this one comes from a place of excitement but also frustration. Keep reading to find out how this week was a snap back to reality.

Table of Contents

Grad School Visits

If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been visiting grad schools over the last two weeks. The trip kicked off a couple Wednesdays ago when I hopped on a plane out to Arizona to visit Arizona State University. The trip concluded last Thursday with a trip out to Columbus to visit Ohio State University.

Needless to say, I’m tired of traveling for the time being. Over the past two weeks, I’ve spent at least 12 hours on planes and 30 hours in cars. In addition, I’ve taken three Ubers, walked several miles, and slept in 4 different hotels. At this point, I think I’m a modern-day explorer.

At any rate, the travel was worth it. I think Morgan and I know where we want to end up. After all, one of the schools was extremely welcoming and supportive, and that’s all I’m really looking for in a grad school. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait for my official decision before I share any information. I still have until April 15th to make a decision, so you may need to wait a bit.

Marriage License

Last week, I mentioned that Morgan and I were going to get our marriage license. Well, not only did we do that, but we also visited NC State and ordered my suit. We’re just about ready for the wedding – or, rather ready for it to be over. I can’t stress enough how annoying planning has been.

On March 18th, Morgan and I will be getting married. Then, despite all the whiny opposition, we’ll be changing our names. By June, we’ll be throwing a nice potluck for all our friends and family. I think by then we’ll both be happy to be get back to living our lives.

Jetpack Upgrade

Sometime in the last month, I decided to cut back on plugins that I thought I didn’t need. Among those plugins included a Google Analytics plugin which apparently linked my website to Google Analytics. When I removed it, I lost my tracking capabilities. Instead of redownloading it, I decided to upgrade Jetpack.

With Jetpack upgraded, not only do I get Google Analytics access, but I also get a host of new features like improved backups and security. Jetpack has been so good to me that I’ve actually considered upgrading again for the pro themes. I love having everything in one place.

Introducing Ads

Okay, let me start by saying something: I hate ads. In fact, I firmly share the same values as The Minimalists concerning ads. I think they add nothing to the user experience, and I can’t stand when people are forcing them down my throat. After all, I don’t buy things I don’t need, so I tend to find things like commercials and ads very annoying.

That said, I’ve decided to give ads a chance on my site. The main reason is that I get quite a bit of traffic but next to no sales. As you can imagine, the lack of sales makes it very hard to continue justifying my work regardless of how passionate I am. The ads allow me to monetize my traffic without forcing you to make contributions via the store or PayPal.

I feel like this decision doesn’t clash too much with my values. After all, even DuolingoOpens in a new tab. has had to resort to ads. It’s a tough life out there these days.

While I intend to incorporate these ads in my site, I do not intend to keep them there forever. As soon as I start building up a client base, I plan to remove the ads. After all, I hate them. That’s why the only place you’ll see them is on the side bar. I don’t want them cluttering up my website.

Back to Work

Despite all the traveling, I’m back to reality until the end of March. These next five weeks will be a test of my willpower and sanity. After getting a taste of academia, I’m not sure I can survive the corporate engineering grind for another five weeks. It’ll be like my first internship all over again.

In case you’re wondering about my new series, you can probably imagine it has a lot to do with my current job. In fact, let me rant a little about Monday morning. After eight days of no work, I dusted off my laptop and fired it up at 7:54 AM. Not a minute later, my boss “pinged” me with nothing but a question mark. After about ten minutes, they send a follow up: “welcome back… ready to get back into the swing?” Ugh. I can hardly take another minute of this micromanagement.

The good news is the weather is improving quite a bit. It’s getting warmer, and my mood is improving as well. By the end of March, I’ll be the happiest man alive.

Added Value

As for the added value section this week, I’d have to say I’m getting a lot of value from the first album of Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties. I finally listened through the whole thing straight down, and it is amazing. I already know all the lyrics, but I never actually paid attention to them. This album is a work of art:

In addition, all this travel has me thankful for my minimalist lifestyle. I was able to travel with just a backpack the last two weeks which has been ideal. I can’t imagine traveling with anything more than that at this point. In fact, it’s giving me anxiety about moving in the coming months.

Coming Soon to The Renegade Coder!

Once again, I’ll remind everyone of my huge series coming out at the end of March. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been writing about my experience in the corporate engineering environment. Needless to say, it’s a tough look at the reality of my discipline. The series is about fifteen articles long, and I’ll be posting one a week until the list is exhausted. So, get pumped!

In the meantime, I think I’m going to focus my time on the Python Bytes series. It’s only 3 articles long, and it is by far my most popular series currently. With the addition of ads, I think this is the best use of my time for now. I think I’ll start focusing on the store in April. Until then, look out for more Python articles.

The Legacy Newsletter (56 Articles)—Series Navigation

For a long time, I used to try to write a custom newsletter every week which eventually became every month. If you’re interested in browsing those old posts just to see how this site came to be, I’ve created a small series for you. Check it out!

Today, the regular newsletter is issued via email which you can access by becoming a member of The Renegade Coder. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the newsletterOpens in a new tab. directly through MailChimp.

Jeremy Grifski

Jeremy grew up in a small town where he enjoyed playing soccer and video games, practicing taekwondo, and trading Pokémon cards. Once out of the nest, he pursued a Bachelors in Computer Engineering with a minor in Game Design. After college, he spent about two years writing software for a major engineering company. Then, he earned a master's in Computer Science and Engineering. Today, he pursues a PhD in Engineering Education in order to ultimately land a teaching gig. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his wife, playing Overwatch and Phantasy Star Online 2, practicing trombone, watching Penguins hockey, and traveling the world.

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