A Year of Procrastination

So, about a year ago (August 1st, 2014 to be exact) I started on a project for fun(?). This wasn’t much unlike any other project I’ve started, however, this one felt a bit different. I actually TALKED ABOUT IT with other people. I’m not normally shy about my whimsical ideas, but usually I relegate them to “it would only help me,” and I bother only one or two people with my scheme. In this last year I’ve stopped a number of times for great things. Speaking at four conferences, my daughter’s first birthday, a family reunion, my 8th wedding anniversary, literally a full life worth of stuff in a year. It has been a great year.

But, even with all of that I had spare time. There would be weekends that required no lawn to be mowed, no errands to be done. No, not even running the vacuum for 10 minutes. Nope, all I did was sit around and fritter away time on the internet; occasionally I’d blog, speak at a conference and add a line or two to the project. But really, I didn’t put any effort towards it. Even now as I write this, The Simpsons are on and I continuously turn around to see the joke, even though I’ve seen and heard it a couple hundred times.

What sparked this post and what got me moving the past 2 weeks was my GitHub graphs that showed plenty of gaps in my commits. I did the most work at the beginning (don’t we all?) and it really faded out after the new year. I got a bit busier in April, but took off a few months after that. You can see it here, feel free to snicker.

So, what have I been putting off the past year or so? Well, it’s my pet project ChainsAPM. I actually sat down one day and came up with Connected Heterogeneous Architecture, Interspersed (among) Numerous Systems. Yeah, I know, it’s totally awesome. But, seriously I spent a good bit of time writing down what I wanted it to do. Including what I wanted to name it.

I spent numerous hours in office-mate’s cubes asking opinions, and really just talking about it but not doing much. I’m sure they LOVED it. I wrote documents, made diagrams—all of which are no longer relevant. I spent a lot of time doing nothing. Turns out, I really should have spent my time procrastinating. It’s interesting what procrastination gives you. Time. Time to read. To learn. To forget. To start over.

Start over. That’s exactly what I did. No, no, no. Not from scratch but, with a more focused approach. I spent some time reading back over my patterns and practices book—in between Simpsons episodes. Picked up some experience with C++. Read some old school books on Windows programing by Richter and Petzold. I did some experiments with other methodologies. Broke some critical pieces, fixed them or reverted them.

The good news is jumping back in to a project I once knew but now can only barely remember is it’s forcing me to relearn something I probably only skimmed two paragraphs on a year ago. So, here goes. Look for some blog posts in the coming weeks talking about the project and what plans I have for it.