Late Pet Projects

Well… sometimes putting something on hold for too long has consequences. My stalled pet projects have been sitting around for too long. Others had the same ideas in the meantime. Before starting new development on those apps, I checked the App Store whether there are any new competitors since I last checked. There always were a few that did similar things like I had in mind, but they were all terrible. The situation changed and for each of my ideas there is one app that does exactly what I wanted to build. Even more so, they do it in exactly the same way that I had in mind. So… if I would go on and build what I want, I would basically just create the same apps that already exist and make it look like I just copied them.

Now I need to think about what I should do. Will I create them and use them as my own private tools, or will I finally drop those ideas. I guess the nagging will stop, now that what I wanted is already there. I’m not quite sure yet but there are two sides to this. On one hand it’s frustrating, because those apps could have been my apps. On the other hand, I have free space in my brain for new projects now. I think that’s the way I want to see it. I already deleted all the old cruft of those projects. I can think of new things I would like to try to create and see how realistic they are.

I already have something in mind. It’s probably nothing the public will desperately need, but it will solve a real pain point for me. I think I’ll go for it and dig around for some information on how to do it…

Until someone else has the same idea and beats me again 😉

The BBEdit Release Notes even for „minor“ updates are incredible. So much dedication to this application. I love it!

I just wrote and published a new blog post completely on my phone. It was terrible. Meanwhile I got a mail from Backblaze: My iMac wasn’t seen for the last 60 days. The irony 🧐

Stalled Pet Projects

They nag me. They lie around for several years, nagging me, telling me that I want and need them. These pet projects are seemingly important to me and I have two that I count as the good ones which could actually be used by others as well. They‘re not necessarily huge App Store successes, there’s a lot missing to become that. But maybe I could make a few dollars with them. And if not, the nagging would stop… at least for a while… maybe… hopefully.

But I know how much time it really takes to finish and polish an app. It always seems like it would only take a couple of hours, maybe one or two weeks. Tops! But then you start looking at the details. You see that this feature could be realized a little bit differently. And while you’re at it, why don’t you just quickly add this other thing! It sure won’t take that long! Or, does it?

Then there might be a break for a couple of weeks because life gets in the way or you just are not in the mood to code every single night because you code 10 hours a day at work… Fast forward a couple of years and there is the first thing I really wanted to build but still sits unfinished on my computer, nagging me from time to time. It’s old now. I learned so much in the meantime. Even if it wouldn’t be an outdated programming language I would want to completely rewrite it from scratch.

I found my first sketches of wireframes for the first app idea a few weeks ago. They were four years old. I threw them away. I threw the code away too, it was old anyway. But the nagging is still there.

Hey! Pssst! It‘s me! I know that you know that I‘m still here! And I know that you know that I will stay! So...? What do you say?!

I‘m going to get rid of it. I‘ll start over with one of my projects and see where it will lead to.

Winter is coming…

A phone without a headphone jack. Still don’t get it. Before this I could have enjoyed some music now. Instead I’m searching for a frickin dongle because the one pair of lightning earbuds is at the office and the other 100 normal ones at home don’t connect to my 1000$ phone.

Parental Leave

I know it‘s a privilege here in Germany to be able to take some - or even a lot of - time off of work to take care of your children. It‘s even more privileged to receive money while not working during that time. It’s also not very common to be able to get a paid parental leave if you’re the father. So, we‘re lucky to live in a country with great social-, health- and family-care!

I also am lucky to work for a company that fully supports parental leaves and which is able to absorb a colleague who’s not available for an extended period of time. I know other fathers working for smaller companies are facing heavy resistance to this from their colleagues and bosses. So again, I‘m lucky!

My daughter is just over one year old now and I am back to work from parental leave for the second time. I took two months off earlier this year when we went on a long trip to Canada. Of course I don‘t think that she will remember any of it, but I think it’s important to show her the world as early as possible. She will learn from early on that the world is huge, that there are lots of different people and ways of living. That there is more than just our small town where we live with the forest next door where we often take her for a walk. She can only benefit from it and for us as a family it was a great way to spend as much time as possible together, to grow and to learn our way of parenting and handling the day-to-day business of it. We sure had a great time and I wouldn’t want to miss any of it.

For the last two months the situation was different… After more than ten months at home, my partner started working again and I was alone with our daughter most of the day until she came home from work. That’s a totally different experience! Suddenly I was the responsible person. I needed to prepare the food and make sure there’s some action happening. Everything that needed to be done and makes the baby happy. I did this before as well of course, but now it was my fulltime job to be a dad. It‘s a hard job. I would even say it‘s much harder than my normal day job and I have the greatest respect for everyone who stays at home for several years to take care of the kids.

But it‘s also much more gratifying than anything else I‘ve done during my worklife! It‘s great! Being there for this cute little thing day in and day out. You learn a lot during that time… about the baby, about you, about your family. You learn that there are things way more important than showing up in the office every morning. Of course it is nerve wracking at times and I do need a break from time to time, but things have changed now. It’s a totally different connection.

On my second day back at work I had a conference call with colleagues in California. Naturally it was pretty late for me already when I left the office and when I came back home, my daughter was already in bed, ready to sleep. It was rough! She was around me nearly 24 hours for the last two months, and now all of a sudden I barely saw her the whole day. It was heartbreaking.

I realize this is a mediocre summary of what I will remember as being one of the best times of my life, but it really was a great experience and I’m very grateful that I had this opportunity. I would recommend every parent to do the same. It will help you, your kid, your partner and all of you as a family. Spend as much time as possible with your child! Take that time and don’t care about the money. I had my four months of parental leave and I wouldn’t mind to take another four. But we live in a time where it is hard for a family to live on one salary. Although I can imagine to regret this in a few blinks of an eye when she will be 18 and living far away from me to go to university. Time flies… I have no idea how the last year went by so quickly… and it scares me.

I keep writing and editing blog posts without publishing them. It feels too personal in a way. Still struggling to find the right balance…

I think I may move away from interface builder and storyboards as well. It’s impossible to understand what’s going on if there is a problem. It just doesn’t make sense a lot of the time. And it makes me feel stupid 😉 No thanks!

It’s not the first time I come home a little later because of meetings with colleagues from the other side of the world… but after the last two months coming home and seeing my daughter already in bed is rough. This won’t happen very often anymore… that’s for sure!