Archive for Blog

Shiny New Things

A conversation with a coworker today made me realize that it’s been 6 months since my last post so I figured I should give an update.

Outside Tasks is still something I’m interested in doing and would like to get to. However, for the past few months I’ve been working on another project that got me excited. Initially I thought it was going to be a quick project that would serve two purposes:

  1. Help me (re)learn Rails.
  2. Fill a gap that I’ve identified in a certain category of websites.

I still think it is a relatively-simple project. However, I ended up switching the front end from using plain Rails CoffeeScript, to using React once Rails 5.2, to Vue.js once I realized that React doesn’t support two-way binding and their argument for it wasn’t convincing. The benefit of all the switching is that I got exposure to frameworks that I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise.

Just like individual features that makes them take longer than estimated, when it comes to developing a simple application, the devil is in the details. The reason I think it’s simple is because of functionality I got out of so little code. One could argue that that’s a perk of frameworks but I maintain that it is a measure of simplicity. Every developer thinks they can develop a Twitter clone in a weekend, and they probably could. However, after they develop the core functionality, they would spend a lot of time making it as functional, feature rich, and secure as Twitter.

The reason why I haven’t blogged about the new project is because, so far, the only time someone commented on blog was in an interview and the new project is NSFW in nature. I don’t mind discussing it in public here but given my website is on my resume, I don’t want to risk it becoming unprofessional.

When it comes to the future of this blog, I need to figuring out its goals and audience. However, more immediately, I need to decide on the content I will post since I don’t want to abandon it. As I see it, I have three options:

  1. Dedicate some time to work on Outside Tasks and continue my posts about it. This will make me progress slowly in both projects but it will keep both projects active, I will be making progress on both, and, if I lose interest in one, I can continue to focus on the other.
  2. Give my new project a code name and talk about it in ambiguous terms. This would allow me to discuss the details of the technical challenges I face and resolve.
  3. Post about the bigger picture challenges I face that pertain to software development and steer away from the detailed technical discussions.

I am leaning towards option #3. Also, going forward, I would like to post on a weekly basis instead of the more frequent daily posts I attempted last time since those became a chore really fast.

Project: Blog

I was scrolling through my list of podcasts to find something interesting to listen to on my walk to university when I found SE Radio Episode 245: John Sonmez on Marketing Yourself and Managing Your Career which seemed particularly applicable to me considering I am finishing my Master’s soon and could use some advice on the subject. In it John Sonmez, author of Simple Programmer, talked about starting a blog and its benefits to your career. He mentioned an email course he offers that talks about starting a blog with the goal of promoting yourself. I don’t usually sign up for email courses because they feel like scams but this felt more reputable. I always wanted to create a blog that I contribute to regularly, could this be the push I needed to get started? It was.

I chose to use WordPress for my blog since I’d used it before and it was very flexible and customizable. I wanted to host my own installation of WordPress but it’d been a while since I last used a hosting company. After doing some research I settled on SiteGround (non-referral).

Then came deciding what the theme of my blog will be. Sonmez offers a few suggestions in his course and one seemed particularly fun. I decided to make my blog about the projects I’m working on, the hurdles I encounter, and the lessons I learn, and the technologies I use in those projects.

There will be an introduction post for every project I hope to work on semi-regularly similar to this post to give you a little background it and then, hopefully, there will be regular updates on the projects.

Let’s see how this goes.