Week 380

Two weeks to catch up on… I spent around three days each week climbing Django’s learning curve, as evidenced by the increase in dull-to-the-majority posts here about code.

Well, Django hasn’t been so much a learning curve as, er… I need a metaphor for a thing on which you make thrilling progress for a bit, then spend hours stuck, unable to get moving, and then, all of a sudden, you’re through the blockage and on you way, unwittingly heading towards the next obstruction. Oh, it seems obvious now. Yes, learning Django is exactly like travelling the British motorway system. Exactly like it.

Aside from that, more than a day was spent on Pepys, there was a fun day at Playful, and then some other odds and ends.

I realised last week that, allowing for inflation, my annual income is only about the same as it was when I last had a proper job over seven years ago. (In an attempt to smooth out the sporadic nature of freelance earnings, I pay myself a regular monthly amount.) On the very large plus side of course, I now earn that amount by “working” less than half the time.

I say “working” like “that” to differentiate the time I’m doing work for clients, earning money, from the time I’m in the office, at a computer, writing code, fiddling with websites, plodding through Pepys, blogging, etc.

And this, in turn, has also made me think about this “job” and wonder if I should allocate myself a fixed amount of holiday per year. Not to restrict myself to a limited quantity — what’s the point of working for yourself if you can’t take as much holiday as you like? — but to make myself take more. At the moment I feel I should go to “work” (that “work” is the office, the computer, not paying “work”; it’s so confusing) every weekday I can. There’s so much to do, so much to learn, and I feel guilty if I’m not doing. I take time off only when I’ve booked in advance to go away somewhere, which happens rarely. But if I gave myself a fixed amount of vacation then I’d be more comfortable with the thought that I’d earned a day off occasionally to do with whatever I liked.

Then again, part of me has been wondering whether I should just get a job. That’s a job without quotation marks, you know, a real job. I’ve been freelancing longer than I’ve done anything else full-time in my life, including secondary school and sixth form combined. And a change of pace and focus would, sometimes, be wonderful. The hard thing, of course, is knowing what job I’d want to do, and where. And the inability to decide that is why I ended up freelance in the first place.


  • Would it be too late to try web2py? I had a similar Django experience and have since moved to web2py and couldn't be happier.

    Work through chapter 3 of the book and see what you think. Ignore the 'not sexy' design of the main web2py website: The framework is solid. Great fast answers to questions on the list too.

    To extend your motorway analogy - web2py is like the Irish motorway system - state-of-the-art and only just finished but free of traffic and roadworks...

  • I didn't mean to give the impression I wasn't enjoying learning Django, or that I thought it was bad -- I love it so far.

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3 Oct 2010 at Twitter

  • 9:13pm: A bit futsie from catching up on too much Beyond The Beyond in one go. Bed.
  • 8:11pm: Desperate for a light-hearted chaser after a particularly tense and grim Wallander. Apparently this means some rubbish romcom. #shestheboss
  • 5:56pm: @AnnieFeighery No, I don't get Sky. The only game I see is NBC's Sunday Night Football, which is early morning here, so I watch it Mon/Tues.
  • 5:42pm: Gah, I appear to have lost my Foursquare mayorship of Fix, which has always been mine, to someone who works for an SEO company. Inevitably.
  • 5:23pm: An afternoon of digital testosterone as I and friend worked through several hours of shooting baddies in Vegas. One more push should do it.
  • 8:53am: @Zoonie I'd have thought Tom Thumb or Snow White would be better. Or do small humans not appreciate such stereotyping?
  • 12:41am: @designswarm Yes you should read it! Although that won't help understand Bigend references. Start with 'Pattern Recognition' for that.