Finding a Side Project
A few years ago, when tech stuff was both my career and my hobby I started getting a bit burned out and initially started looking for a career change, but long story short it would taken a ton of effort, sacrifice and time to spin up a new career to the point where I could support my family as well as my current career. Then I found the obvious solution which was to change my hobby, not my career. I picked up miniature war gaming and the miniature painting hobby that came along with it. It’s worked pretty well for the most part, but not that hobby has matured a bit and I think I’m sufficently non-burned out enough that I’m itching to get back to some tech stuff in my freee time. No the problem is to find a general direction of what I’d like to do. This a personal endevor to just just learn some new things and exercise my mind a bit, not neccesarily to do something I can grow into a start up or something(though I won’t complain that happens organically). The first critiea that is the easiest is actually what not to do. I’m not going to do something that fits largely within in the systems engineering/devops/SRE world. If I want to build a kubernetes operator or doing something neat with logging, I’ll need to find an excuse to do it at work. At my current job I don’t write code as much as I’d like, so that’s probably a big driver for this itch to do something, so I think what ever I decide to do it will need to require me to write good bit of code. I had thought of finally fulfilling a childhood dream of doing some kind of computer game, maybe using something like the Godot engine, but my fear there is that I’ll get a little too bogged down in game design and art work that I don’t really scratch the programming itch well enough. It it still on the radar however. Last weekend I say down and started banging out some pretty generic “blog” like web code in Python/Flask just to remind myself how to do it hoping that maybe some inspiration would strike for something really neat to write. I had a couple of ideas so I’ll make mock up some of those, but I also felt that while I like Python and an fairly comfortable with it, once I got started it I’m not really pushing any boundaries or learning anything new. So I think that one thing that might help is to make this a time to either learn a new language like Elixir or properly learn a language I’ve toyed with but haven’t written anything substantial in like go. Some of my ideas would also work as a mobile app and I’ve been really interested in Google’s Flutter toolkit, so that may be a neat direction to try out. I’m leaning towards the mobile most heavily right now, but the game idea is still intriguing, there is still a lot of code to write, even if I do get bogged down in the artwork. I’ve sort of exercised all my options so far to small degree, going through the first few chapters of “The Go Programming Language” and “Programming Elixir” just to get my feet wet, the aforementioned Python blog exercise and I’ve skimmed the Godot and Flutter docs as well. I think over the next few weeks I’ll pick one at a time and see if it stick. If I’m not sucked in, I’ll go on to the next. But where to start I don’t know. Maybe I’ll roll a D3, and on a 1 I’ll learn a new language(and then flip a coin between Elixir and Go), a 2 I’ll start a game with Godot, and on a 3 I’ll write a mobile app with Flutter. See my wargaming skills are coming in handy even now, and picking up even more skills can only be a good thing.