Last week I found myself once again buried under a pile of work and projects that I wanted to do. Faced with another week of not making any progress I decided to step away from the blog for a week and focus on resolving some of these commitments. Here's what happened:
My only source of income at the moment, so it's easily the priority here. I need to continue with my client work. It gives me more and more experience with clients and Rails and is the foundation of my career at the moment. I'm hoping to build on this foundation with additional income revenues next year.
Most developers object to re-writes of systems and rightly so, it can be a costly process in terms of time and cost. In this case though I wanted the to do the re-write regardless of the cost, I wanted to start building on a product with a development framework that lets me implement new features fast and easily.
Sinatra is a great little framework for building web applications and I enjoyed building Journalong with it, but I wanted something more familiar. Since most of my client work is using Ruby on Rails, that's where most of my knowledge is. In order to make maintenance of Journalong easier in the long run, I've opted to take the hit now and re-write it as a Rails application.
The re-write is almost complete and I'm at the last stages of development. With other projects shelved or completed last week, I'm now free to work on this for the rest of the month and finish it.
Private bookmarking application
When Rails 4 came out I was keen to create a small application that would give me the chance to try out Rails 4 and give me a code base that I can use to experiment with the new features and idioms. It needed to be something private and simple to get me started. Intrigued by a screenshot of a fellow App.net user's private bookmarking application, I started to build my own bookmarking application using Rails 4.
This is was a the one thing that I wanted to actually work on last week and by Wednesday I had something up and running that would work. For the rest of the week, I added a couple of features that would let me bookmark by different means from applications like Instapaper and Feedbin. With these complete at the weekend I now have a Rails 4 application that I can play with but also gain value from.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about considering alternatives to Heroku. I did look about for alternative hosting providers for my blog and settled on trying out DigitalOcean.
The truth is though that the DigitalOcean box was left running for almost two weeks before I got round to doing anything with it. Moving my blog wasn't going to make me any better off in terms of income or knowledge. In the end I've decided that Heroku is enough for my hosting needs for the moment and I've killed the idea of moving my blog.
New product prototypes
I had plans to build two products this year, but I'm shelving this until next year. I underestimated how much work I would have this year as a freelancer. While I am welcome to be kept busy with client work, it does come at a cost. I only have so much time for other projects and products. I've shelved these for the moment and may re-visit them in 2014.
I learned a lot from last week. Priorities are important when dealing with different projects. Moving my blog, trying out a different PaaS is okay when you have the time, but it's just not that important to me right now. With the decks cleared, I'm looking forward to finishing off the Journalong re-write in the next couple of weeks and shipping it.