Today was a big day… One weight lifted off my shoulder and another put on; at least I am in control now… Here’s to the future and getting the job done.
As usual, it is been a hell of a long time since I have had time to write something here. This year has flown by… lost a job, lost a loved one, business idea failed, got a 6-month contract; it came and went, went to E3, went to a concert (Coheed and Cambria), flew in a private jet, endured “the Armpit of America”, went to IndieCade and turned 25 somewhere in between. I am sure a lot more happened in between but my point is; it has been interesting, sad, fun and quite a blur.
So I said my 6-month contract “came and went” but I left out the fact that they decided to hire me full-time. Apparently I know what I am doing, or something like that. It has been pretty interesting because after October 1st we began tapering off active development on the “legacy” platform (osCommerce). So since then I have been doing some follow-up development on minor bugs and whatnot and other than that I have been working on learning C#, SharePoint and Microsoft CRM.
It has been pretty cool being able (see having some time) to read up on and prototype some code / projects with C#. On top of that being able to integrate the C# development into web parts on the SharePoint server. I’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible working with it, but it is still busy at work. We have been working pretty closely with the consultants to help wherever we can to get this project launch ready for next year. I have been doing some front-end work, data exports and manipulation, etc; some of it tedious but it’s understood its for the greater good.
On another note, the year is nearly over. I did not realize that the next 4 weekends I am going to be either gone or busy. This Thursday night, my buddy Tylar and I are leaving for Las Vegas for MineCon for the weekend (maybe we’ll even write an article or two about it on VGVee). Next weekend is Turkey Day (Thanksgiving in the US) weekend and the following weekend Cindy and I are going to be leaving for Hawaii for a week. Guess I planned everything pretty well, haha…
It is very possible that this will be the last post for the year, unless I find something I need to write about before then. So, if that is the case, have a great holiday season and happy new year. I’ll be the drunk guy drinking, as usual.
The past couple months have been so busy that everything pretty much blends; a blur. In fact, I’ve been so busy, I have only been able to log maybe 15 hours of side-work. It’s mostly due to the fact that my brain is fried by the end of the day; it’s overwhelming. So, in reality, the side-work is something I have been passing up because I value my sanity more than making an extra buck.
It is funny though… In the past, my escape from work was to come home and work on my personal projects, but since I have dropped or lost interest in most of my ventures, my escape is now vegging out with the wife and dog, catching up on some Netflix or the like. I am teetering on the verge of needing a vacation, a real one, with a fair amount of expenses, booze and fun. Cindy and I have been throwing around the idea of going to Costa Rica, so there is a chance we may follow through with that.
I am trying to figure out what is next; I think it’s time for another change…
Next week is E3, and I will be there lurking and schmoozing with the indie developers in order to get a buzz going for a project I am part of along with a couple friends. I am pretty sure its going to be a great time but I will only be able to be there the first day. Damn you work! But not really, because paychecks are nice.
So, other than that, things have been good, work is busy and still stressful, go figure. I have been working on a new design for the site my brother and I picked up. We also migrated everything to a more, “economical” server. Spending $210 a month for a site that only makes, realistically, $40 a month is not good business practice. I did, however secure some banner placements and link deals that up that figure a bit, so we are now about breaking even, maybe even making a little.
So that is it for now, we still have quite a bit of work to do but my brother is on a road trip with his buddy, so we haven’t really had the time to detail anything further.
Work has been pretty great so far, 2 weeks in and still surviving. One major thing that has been a bit of a twist is the dress code change; suit and tie is quite a bit different than jeans and a polo. Though, I have been skimping on the tie as much as possible, I am a rebel. The work environment is good though, everyone seems pretty welcoming, even though I am the “temp” -which is apparently a term that does not bode well with me, but I am what I am at this point, I guess.
So I have been working and improving on the existing code for the site and I am going to just go ahead and say it… osCommerce has to be the worst thing I have ever developed on top of, not to mentioned how hacked together the whole system is, i.e. talking to the back-end ERP system. At the end of the day, it is functioning, but it is basically at its limit for what it can do without spending hours of development time to add new features. Basically, I can see why they want to ditch this shit and move to a more proprietary platform.
I am at a bit of an impasse with the work at times because after a couple days of looking at the code I realized working with osCommerce has no plus side for me. I do not learn anything and I sometimes want to kick my own teeth out. Maybe I should place some blame on the former developers as well, some of the hacks they put in place are just irritating. But, my goal is to fix this pile of shit while they transition and I will take my down time and do more prototyping with C# so that in a few months I may be an asset for them in regards to the new system.
On a non-work related note, I have been pretty much relaxing after work, it’s draining, I told you. I started watching 24 again from the first season, it is enjoyable. Something exciting and cool is that my brother and I picked up a new site from Flippa yesterday, we are in the escrow process, currently waiting for the transfer on the server to us, already have the domains. This has been a quick and smooth transaction thus far and I am very pleased with the process and the seller.
We are ready to revamp the site and take it to the next level, we are hoping that at a minimum to keep the existing income but obviously if we can increase it, that is ideal. The current income does not cover all the server expenses so the possibility of a loss exists. I am working with my current provider to possibly transition the site to their system, where the current income level would make it a wash.
Time to crunch the numbers and figure out the best plan of attack!
I would like to report that last Thursday I had a great interview, so great it turns out, I got the position. It is a contract position, from anywhere between 3 and 6 months. Normally I’d opt for the job that is full time but this project was interesting, the pay was right and I felt that the experience would enrich my skill set.
I will be working with a medical manufacturer’s current (legacy) eCommerce platform, bug fixing and adding small enhancements, etc. The end goal is that, over the upcoming months, they will be migrating to a new platform, written in .NET by another company. I find this to be an awesome opportunity because I will be working with a fairly high traffic store (have not done a whole lot of that) and I am sure I will be an asset when it comes time to migrate.
I can guarantee that will be doing a lot of .NET reading, research and prototyping during the next few months. I am going to need a bigger container for my brain.