So what have I been doing the past few months?

Ultimate Website

My biggest accomplishment of the year so far has been creating a new website for Ultimate (Frisbee) in the Indianapolis area. I got a basic concept going one Saturday morning, took feedback and talked to stakeholders, and then made a final version with the help of others in Indy. Notable improvements include:

  • pictures from Zach Dobson, a professional photographer in Indianapolis, on the front page
  • maps of all the fields that are used for pickup games, with up-to-date information about when they are played
  • integration with a league manager that has online signups, payments, and Google Maps support to show where fields are
  • live streaming of the 2010 Indiana Ultimate high school championships on June 20th

For comparison, you can check out the old site. I’m really happy that people helped out and offered suggestions and improvements to the site. This project is on autopilot now.

Other projects

A few months ago I created an eight-session class about developer testing that I taught to people at work. I was surprised at how much work it was, but it seemed like the participants got a lot out of it, and I learned a ton putting it together.

I recently made a simple Rails app that tracks personal events. I started this to keep track of soda consumption, but use it for many things now (showering, wake and sleep times, work transit times, standup lengths, etc.) It’s handy to be able to do this from anywhere, so I created a bare-bones Android app that can send events. I’d like to put together some neat graphs and histograms. I plan on implementing some basic parsing to override the dates and times that things were submitted (think: ‘soda 12oz at 12:30’ or 'exercised yesterday afternoon’). Right now the app would at least be useful for tracking how many days in a row I’ve flossed or exercised.

Lately I’ve been reading feverishly. Recent books have mostly been from the Personal MBA program. I have read 22 read out of 100 and expect to get to 30 within a few months. I’ve found this undertaking to be helpful in understanding how businesses work. I supplement this reading with blogs to ensure I’m not only consuming out of date material. Reading marketing and sales books is useful because I do not believe that merely creating a superior product is enough to be successful.

Finally, I am organizing a Code Jam at my place of work on Saturday morning. Basically it’s a time for people at work to come together and hack on whatever cool ideas they have or learn about interesting things. If anything cool happens, I’ll post some pictures.

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