Week 7 – Getting things started

The next experiment: CodeReviewer.co.uk

Carrying on from last post, my next experiment is the website:  www.CodeReviewer.co.uk .  Why co.uk you ask?  Because some annoying person has decided to buy the .com domain in an attempt to sell it for ridiculous amounts of money.  I may need to think of a more unique name for this site if it takes off into something I’d like to pursue further, which I think I might.

The idea behind the site is to review and compare different frameworks/technologies within the niche of software development.  These reviews could, for example, go in-depth into API frameworks like Microsoft Web API/Nancy/ServiceStack.  They could look into the core functionality, measure performance, scalability and so forth. Each review would be separate, and measured without judgement.  After review of these frameworks, there might be a comparison between them with a scope of purpose.  This would be reviews with judgement that would compare and contrast different frameworks with the view of finding the best solution for a specific problem.

I think this side project is something that could not only improve my own technical knowledge, but also help me establish my name and brand in the community.  I also think this is one of the best ideas I’ve had so far and I’m looking to start writing draft reviews this week.

Time Management

Now that I’ve moved my time management system over from Pomodoros to good old fashioned common sense with Google Calendar, I’ve found my progress is documented a lot more realistically.  This is both more useful and – like this week – more demoralizing.

It really hits home that my job takes 8 whole hours when it’s written down on a calendar.   On top of that, it takes me 1 hour to get to and from work in the winter time when I’m not using my motorbike.  This isn’t a complaint, because in good weather it takes  me literally 10 minutes on the motorbike, it’s just an observation.  In total, that’s 10 hours each work-day spent away from the house where I’m not able to work on my side projects.  After doing the maths:

24 hours in day (-) 8 hours for work (-) = 16

16 (-) 1 hour getting ready in morning – 1 hour getting home at night = 14

14 (-) 8 hours for sleep = 6

6 (-) 2 hours for getting ready in the morning, eating breakfast/dinner, downtime = 4

4 (-) 1 hour training session for physical fitness = 3

That leaves me 3 hours a week-day where I can feasibly work, which in hindsight that looks pretty good.  Though it’s not accounting for the mental resources that I have to spare after work, which is precious little on most days.  This, I think, is the underlying problem with working on side-projects after a full 8 hour working day.  The reality of my situation is that after work I justify watching TV series’s/ films/ doing other things by telling myself I’m just too mentally drained.

I’ve come up with a solution that doesn’t involve cutting back on sleep (which I need).  The solution is to spend the 3 hours that I have to spare each working day when I’m NOT mentally drained, so in the morning.  I normally get up at 6:30AM, which allows me an hour before heading off to work at 7:30AM.  It takes an hour to get to work, which I start at 8:30.

The solution then, is to wake up at 5AM, start work as soon as I get up for an hour and a half, then go about my day as normal.  When I get home after work, take an hour to eat and rest a bit, then do the second hour and a half when I’m not as tired.  Let’s be honest, this is not ideal but it’s all I can come up with…

The 2 hours spent getting to/from work each day will be significantly shorter when the weather starts getting better as I will be able to take my motorbike.  This will save me roughly 1 hour and a half which will help a lot.  I’m looking at 2 weeks before I can see that happening though.

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