June/July 2015 Review: Landing on My Feet

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Here’s the thing about a job search. As soon as it’s going really well, it’s over. Until then, it’s going poorly, which makes it really awkward to post any updates. Sure, I could be bringing inspiration to anyone else who is going through the same thing, but with all the support I’ve gotten from my family and friends, my plight was really the most first world of first world problems. Now, it’s all over. I’m starting a new web developer job in New Westminster next month. At 7 weeks, this is one of the shortest lulls in employment I’ve ever had. So what else is new?

I’m writing this from a hotel room in Nelson. My wife’s family decided having 3 cousins under the age of 3 simply was not enough excitement, so we brought them on an 8 hour drive into the Kootenays for the 60th wedding anniversary of my wife’s godparents. Good, and surprisingly incident-free times!

I was able to keep up with a few side projects while I was looking for work. The hours I put in, or lack thereof, really showed me just how important ritual and routine are to your productivity. I am also still trying to sell my condo through all this, so if I’m not filling out job applications or going out to interviews, I might be either cleaning the apartment for a showing or taking my son out so my wife can do the same. I also tried to switch from using a notebook to track my time to using iOS notes and transferring the entries to freckle. For some reason, I couldn’t keep up with typing my hours on a computer. Just like my son needs a glass of milk and have three books read to him before bed, I need to put my time into a moleskine notebook (which I now refer to as “the binky”) and put the hours into freckle so I can do some reporting. On that note, here are my totals for June and July.

Open source work 10.5 hours
Code speaks louder than resumes in today’s job market. This time I decided to immerse myself in the open source process and contribute to some actual projects. I was able to contribute to 2 projects, Ginatra and Empirical Core. I’ll be writing a blog post soon about how I did it.

Seating Plan Project 14.25 hours
Of course, it’s also important to spearhead your own ventures. I hadn’t worked on this one for a really long time, so most of the libraries had to be updated. I really have to get used to the structure of JavaScript. When you want things to happen in sequence, you can’t just type out e function you want on the next line. You have to nest function inside each other like a matryoshka doll. It’s counterintuitive, but I think this will really help me if I ever have to put together systems that have to work in real time.

Novel 2.75 hours

The dream lumbers forward at over 16000 words!

Indie game project 3.5 hours

I managed to follow a tutorial that got a character to walk across the screen, but that’s about it. I might be psyching myself out over the idea of working with a physics engine. I really should just focus on getting ideas out there so I can keep my momentum going.

The new job starts on August 4th, so I’m going to be on a little bit of a summer vacation until then. After that, it’s going to be a mad dash to figure out my new office, my new commute, and how to spend whatever little time I have left over. As always, if I learn something useful that I can share, I’ll be sure to pass it on to you here. Until next time!

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