Looking Back...

It's interesting that this year has been quite interesting for me. 2010 will forever go down in my memory as That Year. Some of it has been good, some bad — however, I am tremendously grateful for everything, one way or another, as they have all contributed to my tuition in the School Of Life.

Where do I begin? I guess I should begin at the very beginning.

I started the year out with a whole lot of plans and dreams. I'm not really one to share my thoughts on the matter, but 2010 started out on quite a hopeful note. My cousin and I had made some plans to start building our own products; we talked a lot about it during the Christmas break last year here in Baguio. We were gung-ho; we knew that we had to start soon. Work was still interesting, and still fulfilling. I had just worked out some kinks in the system we were building for a client, and we were at the verge of full deployment. I also had plans for the project, moving forward, to allow it to grow beyond what I perceived as the limitations of the initial design.

Fast forward to six months later.

My plans with my cousin didn't quite solidify. Long story short: life happened. I was thinking of quitting my job and going headlong into the business, but not immediately— my plan was to leave in six months' to a year's time, in fact, and some things happened to rush that decision. So, I ended up leaving Orange & Bronze at the end of May, a decision that I do not take lightly. It is a decision that had to be made.

Of course, that's not the end of the story.

After leaving, I was able to take in a few odd jobs here and there, mostly freelancing for another startup, but this time around I got to play around with wholly different technology stack: Ruby, Sinatra, and Redis, among other things. It was heady stuff. After years of writing Java code, Ruby was a breath of fresh air; after years of writing servlets and Struts 2 actions and editing XML files and what-not, the magic of Sinatra's DSL for what it calls route handling was an eye opener. Admittedly, I've also been writing a ton of Python code as well, using Django in a major project at O&B, but this was different and it was deep magic for me.

And then there was Redis. It felt liberating to simply store stuff. No SQL, indeed. Working with Redis gave me a healthy appreciation of storage beyond the SQL database; heck, it gave me a better and deeper understanding of the mechanics of the SQL database. I hacked my way through the creation of indices and searches and what-not. I wrote code man, and I loved it.

I didn't stay long with them. Although the whole stack was an eye opener, a breath of fresh air, a pleasure to work with— it simply wasn't meant to be. Ruby ain't my shtick. Not yet, at least. I felt like a tourist in those parts, struggling to express myself in a foreign tongue. I will definitely come back to it in the future, but not right now. In my journey as a programmer/journeyman, Ruby isn't just an interesting side road— I think I'll want to go back to it, someday, perhaps with a personal project or two.

I went on to other projects. And, although I can only motion vaguely about what happened next, I can say that I felt like Aristotle's proverbial caveman, turning around to see the daylight. Something happened. I will say more about this in the coming weeks, I promise.

What I can say is this: I'm now engaged in a very interesting yet very difficult project right now. It's been a roller coaster ride with this project, and although I hate the codebase with a vengeance, I see that there is still hope, and things can be fixed.

...And Moving Forward

So what's in store in 2011 for me? I'm quite hopeful that the upcoming year will be awesome, if not as interesting as this one was.

  • On my non-work hobbies, hopefully, I can take more pictures and learn composition (or at least learn from others)
  • I'm also hoping to get some of my personal projects finished. I'm hoping to release some of them as open source; I'm planning to get at least one project out this coming year
  • Travel? Maybe. I really wish I could go out and travel more this year, but I strongly doubt it. But one can hope, and plan for it.

In the end, I can only be open to opportunities and misfortunes, and handle myself accordingly.

Previously: Mother and Child