I’m a nerd, I find technology fascinating. In my career I’ve done just about everything with computers, from being a system administrator changing disk packs for backups to writing J2EE code or designing and building simple electronics. And just about everywhere I’ve seen fascinating stuff that I would like to learn more about and have had ideas about interesting things that I’d like to try out. But over the last few years I have been working full time or more and really have not had the time nor energy to do that.
So I’ve decided to make a bit of an experiment with my life. A few months ago one of the customer projects I was working on was coming to an end, and instead of getting a new full time contract I decided to try to work part time, one week at a customer and then one week on my own. That didn’t work out too well, as soon as some former colleagues heard I was free they convinced me to work on another customer project, so I ended up working full time again. Oops. Anyway, now that project has ended, so it’s time to try again.
So what am I going to do with this week on my own?
Well, one thing I’ll do is to try to spread the word that I’m available for hire if anyone has any interesting problems they want solved. I like really hard troubleshooting under time pressure, a “mission impossible” in the borderland between hardware and software, for example where a customer has a problem with a device driver or new piece of hardware that just won’t work reliably and the deadline is approaching rapidly. I’ve actually had some success in solving a few problems like this where the customer didn’t know if it was a problem with the hardware or the software and was running out of ideas.
“In the fields of observation luck favors only the prepared mind.“ – Louis Pasteur
I don’t always succeed, but somehow I’m quite often “lucky” and usually manage to solve the problem or at least identify the cause.
But I probably can’t count on getting these kinds of jobs all the time, so I’ll probably have a lot of free time on my hands. I’ll try to dig up some of my old ideas and see if I can do something with them. Or maybe just spend some time writing about them on my blog and see if someone else might get inspired and do something.
One such idea I’ve had since Google Reader was shut down is to write my own feed reader. And when I finally did get around to it, it didn’t take much more than a week to actually write something that worked. The result is Weader, a simple atom/rss feed reader for Android. This was all about scratching an itch, I didn’t like any of the existing feed readers out there, so I wrote one that works the way I wanted. And it also means that I got up to speed with writing Android applications, something that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.
I’ll probably run out of money long before I run out of ideas, so my plan is to try this out for a few months, after that I’ll probably have to go back to working full time, but who knows, it might work out. And if anyone has any interesting problems that need solving and want to hire me, drop me a line. My rates are negotiable.