TL;DR: It’s a hard, but rewarding experience!
It’s been two months since I opened up Secutils.dev for an open beta and started writing about my indie hacking journey in public for the first time while still being a full-time employee at Elastic. In this short post, I just want to reflect on how things are going, what was good, and what wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. If you’re in a similar situation or just curious, read on!
First of all, here are some stats from the last two months:
- 102 commits with fixes, enhancements, documentation, and features across all Secutils.dev GitHub repositories
- 18 blog posts and the same amount of accompanying LinkedIn posts, tweets, and Mastodon posts
- 3 one-on-one user interviews conducted (too few, I know I know, but hey, I’m still learning)
- 1 big feature delivered (Resource Tracker, going to cut a new release next week)
I admit that the stats don’t look super impressive, but I really enjoyed the ride so far! It’s hard to describe the satisfaction I get from talking to the users of something I’ve built from scratch and control every bit and piece of it – one of the most rewarding experiences in my whole 15-year career, for sure.
As you can see from the stats, old habits die hard – engineering still takes most of my time, and I didn’t spend enough time promoting Secutils.dev among the relevant communities and interacting with current and potential users. That’s something I’m going to fix.
The most important lesson I’ve learned during these two months? It’s hard to find enough time and energy for a side-project like Secutils.dev while having a relatively intense full-time job, and very aggressive prioritization and subtraction isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity. Nobody said it was going to be easy, though. On the bright side, life isn’t discrete – everything I learn while pushing Secutils.dev forward perfectly applies to my full-time job, benefiting Elastic and my career, and vice versa, of course. Having a serious side gig like that, in my opinion, is one of the most effective ways to grow not only professionally but also as a resilient person.
That wraps up today's post, thanks for taking the time to read it!