Last Tuesday I went to http://openhack.github.io/louisville/.
I might have been the only guy who would profess to knowing .Net there. I felt out of place.
A guy from the other group, http://www.meetup.com/Lean-Startup-Circle-Louisville/ came over and asked if anybody knew C#. I raised my hand. I’m glad I helped him. But it also felt like I revealed myself.. a .Net developer amongst a community of Ruby, Rails, Java, etc..
Its probably all in my head, but it felt like nobody would give eye contact when I came back from helping Joe. (Btw, He has a nice business model. But that’s his, not mine to talk about).
What was my intention anyway? To be famous? That’s a bad intention. I went there, that night, to find time to work on a problem that I had, about getting time-per-task out of Harvest when the task was encoded in the comments for each time entry (each task is a user story, effectively). To compare story points vs actuals. That’s another topic.
Anyway, its got me thinking. Here’s this resource of not-.Net people. A world I know little about. Maybe my next little project, just to shake up my .Net mold a bit, should be in.. something else.
What else? Where the fudge do I start? Gah! Ubuntu is probably a good spot. I have that on a laptop. Java? Ruby? Python? Node.js? What am I trying to solve?
But why? I already don’t have very much time available. Do I want to solve a problem, or do I want to “investigate cool new stuff and build new skills”?
Is it even a problem? Really, keeping track of car metrics is a VERY 1st world problem. And I have enough other (boring) projects that I have (externally) committed myself to doing, that I really need to finish, that have nothing to do with Coding.
I want to be the kind of guy who can easily grab another language and go do something else. I know I used to be that guy. Am I still? Its been 13, 14 years since I’ve stepped out of the ecosystem that I work in (C#/.Net). Why should I ? Is it worth it? To whom?
The answer is to table it all, for now. First, I need to finish the last two running video’s, so I can cancel my subscription to Adobe ($30/mo), and I have another household project in the works that is going to take some time and energy. Let it sit, till next month first Tuesday.
Define my goal. I want to compare my different routes to work:
- by Time taken
- by Fuel consumed
I could get to my end goal in about 3 hours using Powershell and Processing, slightly modifying stuff I’ve already written and hand-editing a few files. What I guess I’m choosing here is to investigate a different world.. and see what tools there are.
Possible: I could learn Java & Eclipse the next time I go to @OpenHackLVL. Java has what I need – libraries for reading CSV, a local database, and 3D support. My goal could be made incremental like this:
- Read in a single file, draw a simple chart (lat+long)
- Read in multiple files, draw a simple chart (lat+long)
- Draw a 3D chart. (lat + long + fuel consumption)
- Read multiple files into a database (the local kind, that could be embedded within the app)
- Must be able to grow to the concept of a trip with start/end locations
- Must be able to grow to the concept of a meta trip which is several shorter trips back to back. (to cover turning engine off at stoplights)
- Must be able to trim off idle time (engine running, not moving) at the start and end of a trip.
- Draw the chart from the database.
- Draw a chart from the database of only those trips which start/end at certain locations
- Compare different routes from Home to Work.
- Up till now, everything has been a console app (I think). Investigate a Gui App with:
- import trip(s) that have not yet been imported
- filter by start/end
- rendering different types of charts.
- This would be a “product” that I would consider “releasable”.
I don’t think I’ll get all the way to the end, but this could be a roadmap of something to play with.
Are there other ecosystems I should consider instead? I need the ability to process text files, write/read from a (local) database, and render charts. What could I do?