Unfinished Projects and Applications

Recently, I had the opportunity to show off and give an overview of the type of development I do for fun. I knew I was going to be asked ahead of time. I tried not to think to much about it. I would just carry my laptop, and do a show and tell on whatever I was most recently developing for fun… I am always writing something for fun. I believe that preparing for one of these is cheating…

The problem is, thou I have many applications on my laptop I develop for fun, most of them are UNFINISHED applications. Skimming my SVN server, I realized this, yes, a bit too late.

I read with some amazement, a long list of cool things I wanted to write. I guess 60% of them are unfinished. No unlike a book you just have to buy and them put on shelf for just the right time and the right time never comes.

My list of unfinished projects is full of interesting things I just HAD TO WRITE at the time. I have developer accounts with every website I can think off.

Yahoo? check, Google? check (Google App Engine; this is another one I just HAVE TO WRITE)… Microsoft? yup. And a ton more developer networks that I am always ‘going’ to learn to use…

There is a stock tracker that would message me when a stock of interest was a good buy. This was to be an awesome Flex application that would run by itself with minimal configuration. It would keep a list of stocks of interest, at the time Berkshire Hathaway type A and type B, and would calculate if, at any point, it is worth putting your money into one versus the other. Not calling heads or tails either, based on mathematics from the letters of Warren Buffett himself.

I’ve, of course, written the typical TODO list in more than one language. An address book, a property inspector suite (think about those property appraisers on location but lots of them) that works both online and off-line, a movie recommendations engine (this one I did get out, mostly because I opened this blog to force me to finish things. Another awesome idea (this one with a friend), a document manager… document scans, bar-codes, all the good stuff… Still not much to show.

Often, I am the person at work who complains the most about task switching and how detrimental it is to development. For example, this week, I’ve switched three times from the most important project to the MOST important project… Not fun; hard to keep a rhythm.

At the same time, I am doing the same at home. I can justify some of these: book example does not work on a Mac, book has a bunch of errors, etc. After these things… I am the only one to blame for my unfinished work.

One of the primordial reasons of this blog is to force me to finish these ‘hobby projects’, to put my thoughts out there for those who may benefit from whatever I find out along the way.

I sincerely hope, the next time I am honored with the opportunity of showing my work, I can go down m project list of cool things I just had to write. Maybe not 100% portfolio worthy but something more than a bunch of big ideas with small efforts behind them.

Here’s hoping for those opportunities and the dedication needed to follow through with my desires.


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