Archive for December, 2009

dev/dream – the beginning

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

(@HolyHaddock told me I should blog this project, so here it begins…)

So the plan goes something like this:
1. book a week of work with the entire plan of completing a hacking project in only 7 days.
2. plan project.
3. …
4. profit!…. or at least, by the end of the sprint I will have something that a) works and b) is useful.

The thought behind the current codename for this mad venture: For a long time I have believed that my body naturally craves a 30 hour day; 8 to 10 hours sleeping followed by around 20 hours awake time. As this project will be entirely in my own time, I plan to experiment with detaching my self from daylight and find out how long I keep going. The name reflects the state I expect my brain to be in about 2 “days” in. And on that subject, I will need a new name to replace “day”… “cycle”? “loop”? … suggestions on a postcard.

For this project I have booked the first week of February 2010 as vacation – Monday to Friday. However, you will no doubt spot that before I mentioned “7 days” – the idea is to start on the Saturday morning of the first weekend and continue through till the following Saturday morning… at which point I will endeavour to use the weekend to recover from the shock and resume some vaguely normal sleeping hours.

And now that the time resource has been allocated, I need to choose from the list of possible things to hack:
1. Quilage
2. Morrigan (my media player)
3. Some home automation and making things out of copper pipe.
4. “Remote Widgets” idea.
5. (some other idea…)

Currently my minding is thinking that Morrigan is the best project to work on;
– It is fairly self contained.
– I am the only developer, so I am not dependant on anyone else yes.
– I really really want the end result.
– I have a very clear idea of what I want it to do.

Though perhaps that list of reasons is not that helpful – all of those could be applied to the Remote Widgets and the home automation stuff. Might as well fall back on this reason then:
– Because I want to.
It works well enough for now.

Obviously a major part of any plan is: What could possible go wrong?
1. Getting blocked – waste loads of time because I am missing some critical piece of information.
2. Food – I am bad a remembering to eat at the best of times…
3. RSI – Hopefully this ugly beast will not rear its head too early on in the project… that’s all I can really hope for really :S.

Hopefully between now and February I will manage to mitigate at least the first 2 risks. As always, suggestions welcome.

And finally, I should probably explain some motivations behind my obsession with planning this carefully: When it comes right down to it, I see this as a major test of my skills – in planning as much as the actual development. I hope to take all that I have learned over the past year or so and really put it into action. By having a clear plan I hope that I can perform as efficiently as possible in the time available. Having a plan should also ensure that by the end of the week the effort and time that I have invested will have paid off in the form of a functional result.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to cover the following topics:
1. Risk mitigation – not getting blocked and remembering to eat.
2. Morrigan – what I think I can achieve in 1 week.
3. Some of the other possible projects I could work on.
4. dev/dream 2 – the awakening??? (ie, what I would do if i were offered a second one – for comparison with what I then think after the first)

I might also try and write about some of the other things on my TOBLOG list.