A long time, no post

Warning, this post doesn’t have a point, it’s a miscellaneous entry, a catch up job.

The past months have been busy, got a job, found a new house, left job to move to new house, spent a few days in hospital and had yet another break from coding.

Wrote that all in one breath.

Since I haven’t written on here for a while, I thought I’d cover 9 months in one, if slightly mangled sentence.

So what happened to the blog and the code then?

Well, I spent six months intensively coding in SQL/VB in a corporate environment and found I didn’t want to code much at home. Funny that, given the Hero Programmer image that was popular.

Right after leaving this job, I managed to block my bile duct with something and ended up with a few days in hospital and a couple of month of listlessness whilst recovering. Yep, it really does take away most of one’s mental energy hurting that bit of the body.

However, I’ve begun to rekindle my enthusiasm for F# and coding. In addition, I’d like to see my other website end up as a book – www.starship-whisperer.com.

The starship fiction site is an unusual idea that has also lead to my learning enough Blender to create models that generally crash my GPU to render. That probably means I’ve still not quite learnt enough. Blender is an interesting, comprehensive piece of open source rendering software that I find fantastic – certainly for designing and rendering space ships! As for the fiction, I’ve chosen to embed live google documents into the pages so that as I edit, they are public. It was an idea that I had to help me continue the story.

However, I learnt a lesson with this: in software careful design and testing is a major part of the job. In writing, at least for some writers, such planning kills the story. When I started, I just wrote and maybe rewrote a little. I found tale after tale.

Then I discovered technique – like plotting and schemes and character bibles. The story dried up, the interest started to pall, I was writing to a plot and I felt I’d blown it. Yet whilst this was happening, I found myself diverting onto Blender and creating the imagery instead. I’ve never done 3D design so this was a big challenge (still is). Some days I lost hours and hours just placing the edges and vertices for one wing – my ships have 18 wings!

In the process I realised that 3D work is simply programming, but in a visual 3 dimensional plane. If you need to, you can talk to Blender via python in the console.

As for the coding? I’ve a gene expression algorithm project that was interrupted by getting a job for one and it’s about time I started tackling a few other technologies that keep cropping up as a “requirement”. Though I do scratch my head about companies listing some must have requirements that probably take a developer a week or less to learn?