Journal -- August 6, 2023
Sunday, August 6, 2023 – A quick recap of recent personal things. Nothing earth-shattering, just a regular journal.
Work things have been a little busier since my last update.
My one retainer client (who could be considered a maintenance/fire alarm type of contract) had some curious push notification behavior to look into. It has yet to result in any actionable code changes, but it had me work some hours and document those findings.
For another client, which is relatively new, I’ve been working about 8-10 hours a week, helping them shape some Google OAuth and API consumption. This might expand to more hours or responsibilities, but I’m just part-time helping them move some concepts forward for now.
Those hours are inadequate for my needs, so I need to put more energy into availability promotion this upcoming week. I will also make an extra effort to attend some Elixir meetups this week to socialize more.
In addition to promoting my Elixir skills, I’ll push a little into Svelte work, selling my interest but not specifically my experience. It would be cool to get some more production time in, even if sacrificing the hourly rate a bit.
Speaking of rates, this past week, I changed my published rate from:
My rate is
$125-$200$100-$150 per hour, with discounts available for good alignment oropen-source initiatives.
I am not happy about that, but it’s just an outcome of the economic realities I see.
I also updated my side project index page, promoting my new active side project interests, which for now is represented by my new in-development blog, Course Dreamers. The site is pretty bare-bones at the moment but is described on the about page as:
Course Dreamers is a new blog where I share my research, observations, and links regarding the work of programmers and technically-minded folks building online courses, some for the first time.
I have taught in various forms across my career, including onsite corporate workshops for iOS development (at Amazon, Google, and TripAdvisor) and as an adjust professor at Drexel University teaching modern web design (for the time, back in 2004).
Teaching and building courses can be an extremely rewarding extension of your programming career – but it’s a challenging skill like any other. Course Dreamer aims to help you on that path to producing loved and successful courses for your students.
I hope to get into a groove posting content soon™ and eventually start kicking tires on some courseware ideas.
Tech Education / Books
I paused working through the MVP Elixir course and instead put some time into the Svelte course on Fireship. Overall, I got some good experience from the course and even posted some other observations on Course Dreamers.
I don’t know what course I’ll be working through next. Here are a few on my radar:
- VS Code Magic Tricks Course (Fireship)
- Beginner’s TypeScript
After a few slow months of book reading, I’ve started getting some good hours in, including:
- Wireframing for Everyone - to help me get into a good drawing mindset as I explore some courseware UI ideas.
- Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software Originally, I read this in August of 2020 and am re-reading to get into a good open source mindset for the courseware project.
- The SaaS Playbook: Build a Multimillion-Dollar Startup Without Venture Capital - I’m a casual member of the MicroConf community, and this is a book by the principal organizer there. It’s not explicitly written for my current scenario (since it assumes product-market fit and helps you grow large), but I feel like I get some valuable insights. Nothing crazy new if you are already listening to those podcasts and conference videos, but overall a nice, lean, focused book so far.
You can follow me on GoodReads for more book progress (though I am considering other options).
When they are good, they are good. When they are bad, they are really bad.
Still enjoying the season. I went to one of the Orioles games last week and will be headed to a Nationals game on Tuesday.
Still grinding MLB: The Show content regularly. Still struggling in ranked play, with fastballs I can’t catch up to.
I played about 28% of Final Fantasy 16. It has been so-so, and while I expect to keep at it, I’m wondering if some other game will take away my attention.
I put a few game sessions into a new character on Red Dead Online. I had the itch to play cowboy and wasn’t sure if I wanted to kick off a whole new story mode. Eventually, the online grind (along with it being a dead game) pushed me to kick off an actual story mode playthrough last night. Not sure if I’ll keep at it or not. I do love putting on the headphones and getting lost in that world.
Aside: Besides being a dead game that no longer gets support from Rockstar, it is infuriating how the quest reward structure of Red Dead Online works. If you are given, say, 15 minutes to do something, you get less money if you do it quickly. The system incentivizes you to sit there, do nothing, and only finish the quest after 12 minutes for a maximum reward. I can’t believe they did not fix that mistake during development. It’s so dumb.
I’m also keeping an eye out for a possible Read Dead 1 remake/remaster that is being rumored. Would love to play that (I never did).
Walks and Exercise
Still only walking about once a week. The loss of stamina, compared to where I was when I was doing four times a week, is very noticeable.
I enjoyed some walks down the shore at the end of June, but the need to get better back at home is apparent.
That’s it for today. Thanks for your interest.