A Fresh Cup is Mike Gunderloy's software development weblog, covering Ruby on Rails and whatever else I find interesting in the universe of software. I'm a full-time software developer: most of my time in recent years has been spent writing Rails, though I've dabbled in many other things and like most people who have been writing code for decades I can learn new stuff as needed.

Currently I'm unemployed and starting to look around for my next opportunity as a senior manager, team lead, or lead developer. Drop me a comment if you're interested or email MikeG1 [at] larkfarm.com.

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A Fresh Cup

Notes on Rails and other development

Wednesday
Dec132006

Considering Choices

Given that I would like to wean myself (for essentially political reasons) from my current dependency on Microsoft software, the question becomes, what next? Over the last quarter century I've done quite a few things in the computer universe, so I have lots of directions to think about.

One thing I can rule out immediately is a lateral move to Java or Delphi or whatever other programming language within the Windows ecosystem. That doesn't get at the heart of my issues; if I'm going to do this, I want to leave behind not just the one part of the Microsoft universe, but, to the greatest extent possible, all of it. That pretty much means finding a way to make a living with Mac or Linux (or leaving computers entirely).

Hardware


I've been in white box hardware sales before. It requires a fair amount of capital, and the profit margins stink. I don't want to go there again.

Sales, Management, Administration...


Been there, done that. I have plenty of sales and managerial experience, both within and without the computer industry, in my background. I suspect that if I tried I could land such a job again. But this isn't a good fit with homeschooling our kids, working at home, or generally staying sane.

Training


Yup, been there done that too. And I'm never going to do that much travel again.

MicroISV


The siren song of becoming a MicroISV, writing, and selling my own software product is always there. But realistically, I doubt this is practical. Even on the Windows platform it's a crapshoot. On Linux, no one pays for software, and on Mac, the potential sales numbers are lower than on Windows. I might do some software writing as self-promotion but I don't see it as a cash cow.

Writing


Put this one in the self-promotion category too. Writing computer books hasn't been a viable career for several years. Articles bring in some extra cash but they don't pay the rent.

Web Sites


There's some potential here. The Larkware site brings in a decent second income from advertising. Potentially I could replicate that in a new realm; I know how to digest and present information.

Consulting


Always the fallback...I suspect there will always be Web sites or line of business apps to be written, and some of those can be written on non-Windows platforms (especially when we're talking about Web delivery). I wouldn't get rich doing this, but I wouldn't starve either.

No Conclusion...yet


Decisions, decisions...one thing I do know, though: if I don't put time into Vista/Office 2007/.NET 3.0/"Orcas" then my current income streams will dry up within 2 or 3 years. So there's a definite time limit to figuring this out.
Tuesday
Dec122006

Stats

Tuesday
Dec122006

Rails Weblog Software

Mephisto looks like the software I might be using here if I hadn't tripped over ozimodo first.
Monday
Dec112006

CSS Editor

Bluefish Editor is the best I could find for CSS editing on Linux on short notice, and it's not great for that purpose. What's better?
Monday
Dec112006

These People are Serious

The folks over at Explorer Destroyer want you to encourage people to switch from IE to Firefox. They'll help you code a special notice or splash page that only nags IE users, or even blocks IE users from your site entirely. I'm not ready to go that far, but I give them points for dedication.