Devving, Slumping and Trancing

It's been a while since I left my trademark statement of intent on this blog. That's mostly because I don't really have one. I've moved to the UK and I'm currently staying in the Ealing area of west London, in a tiny little room that I found at the last minute. The rent is incredibly cheap, especially for a short stay agreement. The only downside is that it's not a place of my own since I'm sharing it with people. Being a poor sodding introvert who values his privacy greatly, I do sometimes get annoyed at my situation. It'd help if the weather was better because then I could go out by bicycle more often, but water's been dripping from the sky for days on end. I haven't quite found my 'place of mental peace' in the area yet either, which is something I placed high value on both in Japan and in Holland. I wonder if I can even find one in London.

A lot of people I know seem to have trouble finding a job. I don't seem to be one of them. It took me all but one week to arrange some interviews, after which I got several offers. I took one, and I'll be starting work this Friday. I guess the times are good for programmers, especially in big cities. It helps to 'specialize' in less-mainstream things such as Python and Django. Having said that, I found exactly 3 job ads in London for Django developer. I applied to and got offers from two of them. I'm not quite sure what to expect yet, but I'm certain it will be very different from what I was doing before. And that  is a very good thing indeed.

While we're on the topic of programming, you may have noticed on this blog that I've been keeping busy with my personal project named Moodlogger. It's been taking up a lot of my concentration, and for the past few days I've been unable to think about anything else. Once I get really into something I go to bed with it and wake up with it, even when I really should be thinking about more important things (in my case, things related to settling down in London >_<;). Still, there is good reason for me to continue to work on the project. Having an app on the app store that communicates with a server writting in Django is a massive benefit if you're looking to get employed. I'd say those projects are on the same level of importance as a professional career at some company, with academic experience coming a distant third. That's just my experience though.

The mental load finally lifted from me today after submitting the new Moodlogger to the app store. It takes a lot of energy to jump through all the hoops of releasing an app, and I'm glad I can focus on the server from now on. In the new app I focused mainly on getting it to work offline, and added some extra features as well, such as some help messages, user switching and location logging. Location logging just sprung into my head last night and I felt compelled to implement it right away. (Actually, it was just a single word: moodmap, and the idea is still far from reaching its final form). It really sucks to write code for location retrieval if you don't have a device that actually supports it because obviously you have no idea if it'll work or not. Most importantly, the app sends all the important data to the server, even though the server is not ready to handle it all yet. I can work on my own pace on the server and freely change whatever I want without breaking backwards compatibility. The next app release will be a painful one as client-side data will no doubt have to be migrated..

Part of the reason (if not the main reason) why I've been so focused on programming lately is that there is little else to do here for me. I just don't have anything better to do, especially when it's raining outside. Friends are all at work during the week,  and soon I will be too. I'm in a bit of a slump, but I've decided to get out it right now at this very moment, while writing this blogpost. I have no clue what I will do tomorrow, but it won't be programming. I'll have a bit of a cool-down and then I'll get back to work on stuff that excites me. My long-term plans are still wide open, and that's what keeps life exciting. Until next time.


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