Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Transition from a 9-to-5'er

In reading some other blogs written by other programmers, I realize that I have long been deserving of the term 9-to-5'er. In fact, I was aware of the symptoms long before I realized there was a term for it. I knew that I would only program when I was being paid to do it; I couldn't build up the motivation to do programming on my own.

Did I lack interest in developing my own projects? No! It was simply a question of willpower. I couldn't make myself sit down and start something new nor could I find a project out there that I really wanted to work on.

Here I am now. For more than a year, I have been designing a very complex application in my head. I set up CFWheels on my computer, I've got Resin running, and I even drew up some graphics. But the code for the application isn't coming. The ideas multiply, the database structure grows in complexity, but all of this remains vaporware.

This is a business application that I want to develop. However, I am wanting to bring together two concepts that mesh nicely together. The one is this concept that employees enjoy working with business application software that feels like a game. The other is the Nurtured-Heart Approach, which encourages parents to reward (and discipline) their children in much the same way that a game does.

I've also been working as a government contractor for more than a year. Government websites must be accessible to people with disabilities. So I find myself struggling with more questions. How do I make business application software look and feel like a game yet not sacrifice accessibility?

I realized this week that, as with so many other things, I should start small and build from there. I won't work on my massive project yet. I will wait until I've gotten myself into the habit of developing at home.

To that end and others besides, I will try to learn how to write HTML games. I may start by writing educational games, since I may have an audience for those already. I will learn how to write accessible, responsive websites, because some of the members of my audience are learning-different and many of them have mobile devices.

Wish me luck in my transition. Hopefully, my blog won't die with but one entry.

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