More frequent updates

Those of you that know me personally, know that I do a lot of little experiments and I like to reflect. I believe in engineering and science principles. They are at my core and drive me forward.

Unfortunately, I feel like I am not doing a good job in reflecting and sharing that with you. What happens usually is that I open up a blank canvas, such as this one, and just start writing. Usually I have a topic or a direction that motivates me to write. However, I do not consider if I will publish or delete the content at the time of writing it.

This is what I mean by a blank canvas in September 2018: Blank canvas

As a result, I have a lot of written content spread out across various computers, domains, and publications. A lot of this content is not published and, if taken out of context, may seem like a waste of my time. Personally, I find it very difficult to hit that publish button for many reasons.

To me, writing is cathartic in a sense — the single purpose is to remove the content from my head. When the ideas are out of my head and on a canvas then I can play with them. In my head there is chaos, so I like to consolidate my ideas and to make sense of them. To tease out my views and opinions (and to correct them).

If you take this into consideration, then perhaps you can see why some of my pieces don’t get my approval and thus never see the light. However, the longer I live on this earth, the more I wish I didn’t hold back and just publish (whether or not it is finished). So, I decided to actively work on this.

One of my goals for 2018 was to publish more frequent written updates. The intention was not only to improve the quality of my written content but also to documenting a process.

It is the end of September. Month #9 is almost done. So how have I been doing?

On the whole, I have been doing way better than any of my previous years. If you take a look at this year alone, I have published 11 pieces of work so far. Some of them even required a lot of additional work. Gasp!!! One thing for sure — I have been staying consistent. Whatever that means to me.

If I take a look at it this way, then my progress is happening. I am growing and developing. However, during my day-to-day thinking it feels more negative. I feel like I could be doing better in this area. I still find myself falling into the trap of not publishing. Reflecting on this progress definitely helps to stay on track.

So, I think I am doing OK even if it doesn’t feel like that. I give myself the permission to make mistakes, publish more frequent and unfinished work; and continue this journey that I started.

What happened since the last post?

  • in June/July/August, I finished the backend & frontend MVP for dailyvibes
    • the said backend and frontend are not live yet to anyone but you may see some things here
    • PS, as an aside — I am considering migrating away from github to self-hosted for all of my work
  • in July, worked on screenhole and created an MVP for a Mac OS screen recorder functionality. That was a fun experiment that you can view at https://screenhole.net/getaclue/~g8U2vv Unfortunately that is not a public feature and is stuck in alpha/beta stage until further notice.
  • in July/August, worked on keyframes native Mac app. Was a bit of work but looks nice in my opinion. This work is in beta and is available for download.
  • in August, launched our physical product at the Canadian National Exhibition. That was intense. Will talk about this more at a later time ;-) but lets just say we are continuing working on this project. This was a FIRST for us and also a BIG deal!!!
    • Attendance: 1.54 million (2016) — may hint to you at why. And we made sure to talk to almost everyone that passed by us. I say almost because it was just the two of us.
  • in September, started to work on news article parser for elderoost. One of the current challenges is keeping up to news. I physically read all of the articles manually and filter them manually. This honestly takes a lot of time. If you check the website the latest article was added 5 months ago. I have all of the articles since then I just haven’t processed them yet.
    • current working approach:
      • get news article link
      • go to the link
      • grab the URL, title, headline, author, date of publication, and the content
        • I found a script that helps with grabbing all of this (similar to how some browsers allow you to have a read an html page in plain text if you click a button)
      • put this stuff into postgres db
      • index title and content using elasticsearch
      • for each residence search against this text
    • unfortunately it is not done as I cannot narrow down some edge cases.

and what am I up to now?

  • job search
    • After 2 years and some, I think it is time as there aren’t any new opportunities for growth as a software engineer where I am
    • The work moved to a new physical location that is more challenging to commute to
    • My school debt is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety… so I’d like to pay this off faster.
    • I am not being paid what I know I could be for someone with my needed skills
      • I stayed because of the team but that recently got dissolved
  • cspray
  • dailyvibes
    • add user auth functionality on ios
      • make user auth functionality work between ios and server
      • make a sync mechanism between ios and server (probably manual for now and then automate)
    • modify the way you share links within iOS (add a new area so it is easier to share)
      • share these links from iOS to server (after the user stuff is linked up)
    • provision a server on DO or Linode
      • glue the backend & frontend on this server
      • glue the server to dailyvibes domain
  • elderoost
    • finish news article parser
    • add a notifyer after this is done to manually review
    • figure out monetization

… in that order I think.

Now, I’m going to spend the next little while grinding cracking the coding interview bible and all of the typical hackerrank websites. It is a bit unfortunate that I need to put a pause on the side projects to do this. But it is what it is. (Especially if you want to work for the typical Fortune N company.)


And for those of you that finished reading this, here is some behind the scenes context to this article. It is an example of a written piece that I ended up publishing. It started off as a Hemingway app draft and then, eventually, I approved and transformed it into an article.

Sample written piece that I ended up sharing

· software engineering, doubt
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