26 Jan

It's Live!

A fact that would almost certainly be more impressive if I hadn't spent the last 7 and a half years developing, extending and maintaining web applications.

So what has taken me so long to get my own website up and running?

I've been involved in all aspects of the software development process, including getting my oar in when I disagree with requirements coming from clients or designs coming from colleagues.

At work I am driven. I am focused. I am organised. And I am opinionated.

At home I am distracted. There is always something else to take priority, there is always someone to tell me that I should be getting out instead of spending the day in front of the computer. There never seems to be anytime to just do the things that I enjoy. There are no customers, and there are no deadlines.

My imagination runs away with me and before I know it there is simply too much to do and all I can do is set it aside until I have more time.

With two weeks off over Christmas I sorted out a domain. Again. I sorted a virtual server. Again. I got to work on my site. Again. This time however I have actually let me efforts see the light of day.

I am taking the things that motivate me in work and applying them to my own projects. I am my own customer, and as a customer I demand high quality work delivered on time!

I've found Kanban to be an excellent technique for managing software projects so I'm also adopting this at home. I think that by writing down the projects I'd like to do and defining tasks/sub-tasks I will be in a better position to release small changes to this site and hopefully get a few repos going on GitHub as well. That way I can chip away and make progress instead of being continually overwhelmed by all the TODOs swirling around in my head.

There is also something very disconcerting about creating something and sending it out into the world where it may be judged, hated, ridiculed or worse still, of no interest to anyone at all. There is no company logo to hide behind, no customer to point at and insist 'it was what they wanted'. It's pretty scary.

Content has always been a challenge. What do I have to say that someone, somewhere isn't already saying? The realisation that I have as much to gain by writing as I hope others will gain from reading was a revelation. Even if no one ever reads it I will have researched, experimented or experienced. Maybe all three.

So in my effort to create interesting and informed content, and to make my projects the best they can be I will be getting out into the Belfast tech community and getting to know more people, hear what they are working with and what motivates them. This started with the first Women Who Code Belfast event last year and will continue with an Intro to Ruby next month.

I hope that if you see me out and about you will come over and say hello, or get in touch on twitter.

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