6/10/2010

Greetings from a cool Milwaukee…

A cold front came through early this afternoon – went from being sunny in the upper 70′s, to being overcast in the mid-60′s….. It’s been sprinkling on and off, but no rain… yet…

The forecast for this weekend is not good… cool and rainy…. just in time for the Milwaukee Pridefest this weekend… I’m set to volunteer at the fest on Saturday from 11:30am until around 3:30pm… Not sure what I will be doing – they assign tasks to volunteers when they check in….. could be anything from garbage collection, ticket booths, serving beer … who know.. that’s part of the fun… I guess… Looking forward to the weekend… Mike and Mike from Madison will be in town over the weekend – so will be nice to see them again…

Tonight did my usual routine…. while working out received a phone call from John – his new MacBook Pro computer is not booting properly… It comes up with the apple logo then gives error sign on the screen and goes no further.. not good…. So doing some research online to see if I can find any solutions….

During the past week I have been thinking about my career and what I can do to further it and keep it fresh/interesting. I came up with a list of my skills as follows:

Skills I use daily: Lotus Notes/Domino(Formula, LotusScript), javascript, html, css
Skills I know, but use occasionally: XPages, jQuery, java, XML
Skills I know enough about to get in trouble: PHP, MySQL, Sharepoint and AppleScript

There’s so much cool programming type things to learn that it is easy to get distracted… From time to time I will start to learn new technologies, but just don’t get the “this is it” moment, so I don’t stick with it very long. It is good that I know the basics of different systems and know what their place is in the world of IT. So have decided to put my “technology blinders” on and concentrate only on iPhone/iPad development – it is currently giving me the “this is it” feeling….

There’s already thousand of iPhone developers and tons of apps, aren’t you a bit late to the game? Probably, but it is more about keeping my skills current and relevant then anything. Would rather learn it later in the game – when the environment has matured a bit, then not at all…. Learning to program on a new platform is like playing an adventure game. You are given a world to work in, rules you must abide by and some predefined objects to work with…. then off you go….

I find learning a new programming language/environment fun, but I don’t like the amount of time it takes to “wrap my head around” the language/environment. Don’t like the period of time where I’m having to build my level of understanding from nothing to a basic competence.. Once I get to a point where “I get it”, then it’s more fun exploring what I can do…

Already knowing how to program on one platform is a big help, but you also have to break some old habits. I’ve been doing Lotus Notes since 1996, and to a point has become second nature to me… I might not remember the exact syntax for something, but I understand what I don’t know and can look it up easily… Learning something completely new gets me out of that comfort zone – where I don’t know how to do something that should be easy, and I’m not exactly sure what it is that I don’t know….

That is where I’m at with iPhone development – I can successfully work through tutorials in books/web sites, but looking at the syntax it still takes me time to work through what is going on…. The plan is to keep working through examples, trying to create my own simple programs and stay persistent… Competence will come with practice and experience…. I hope….

One tool I like to use for taking notes is VooDoo pad. It is like setting up a personal Wiki. I fill in content with my notes and then can organize my notes by creating links to related pages of notes and etc. Gives my notes more structure then using Word documents or a simple text editor.

Need to get going.. John just called and wants me to stop by work and see if I can help with his laptop…. so on the way…

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