Bug-fix Time: Blog reboot possible? Sure it is!

There’s no time like the present, right? Or the near future… Or someday, when I get to it…

For quite a while I’ve been telling myself, “Self: You should really blog more.” And then I don’t.

Since I left the indie developer world at UserLand in 2006, for an all-consuming, emphatically non-indie job at Microsoft, I’ve been learning a tremendous amount about software design and development, … and not blogging about it.

At the same time my list of excuses for not blogging has grown: I don’t have time to juggle work, family and blogging. I can’t write about things I’m doing at Microsoft. I’m not doing interesting stuff outside work. Nobody wants to hear about my toddler -or- I don’t want an argument about parenting. I shouldn’t write about health issues. Windows 8 is too super-top-secret to say anything. I can’t talk about interviewing outside of Microsoft, or writing resumes, or flying to San Francisco, or driving to Portland… And on and on…

But these are mostly shallow excuses. And it’s time to fix this bug.

So what’s new?

Yesterday, Brent Simmons pointed out some Things That Are New since he was last an indie developer. The tech industry has changed quite a bit since 2005. (And Congrats to Brent on going indie again!)

Here are a few things I’d like to add to Brent’s self-admittedly “partial” list:

  • Ubiquitous and relatively fast mobile broadband
  • Amazing advances in batteries and low-power computing
  • Cheap-and-big (or cheap-and-fast) storage
  • Inexpensive, high-speed wireless home networking
  • Streaming high-quality video everywhere
  • Proliferation of rational programming languages and SDKs
  • Cloud computing at huge scale – IaaS, PaaS, SaaS – and APIs to manage them

All things I’ve been a consumer of, some of which I’ve worked with or worked on.

And all things I could be blogging about.

As a counterpart to Brent’s list and mine about what’s new-and-mostly-good, there’s also a darker side to the current technology climate:

  • Widening connectivity gaps between the “wealthy” and everyone else
  • Indiscriminate government and private surveillance of… well, everybody
  • Widening scope of baseless patent litigation
  • Downward price-pressure on ISV software, driven in part by platform vendors
  • Commoditization of user-authored content, to the benefit of VCs and their startups

Again, all things I could be blogging about.

And then there are the things I’ve been learning about in the course of my work: User experience design, team dynamics, software project management and execution, working with stakeholders, competitive analysis, presentation skills, and on and on…

More recently on the career management front I’ve learned a ton about resumes and interviewing, personal branding, professional networking, critical self-assessment, and generally figuring out what the heck I want to do with the rest of my life!

Not to mention the fact that my son Gabriel, who was born less than a year after I started working for Microsoft, is about to turn 6-years-old. As his parents, Cindy and I receive new life-lessons from Gabe on a daily basis…

So tell me again, what’s new?

Tons of stuff, plus a backlog!

In short, my excuses for not blogging just aren’t working anymore: While it’s true that I still have too little time, I’m no longer at Microsoft, Windows 8 is a done deal, life outside work is fun and interesting, Gabe says funny shit every day, I’m relatively healthy and have some great stories to tell about it, and I’m not looking for a new job or flying anywhere for interviews any time soon. (Knock wood.)

All things I could should be blogging about.

So I’m going to fix this bug.

Thanks for listening!

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