Tag Archives: programming

What’s left @todo

A couple of different developments cropped up in the last couple of months that’s pulled me away from the blog.  One of them was a job change.  The company I’m working on a contract to hire basis is great and I’ve had the opportunity to learn many things in my short time there.  I do PHP programming and I had the opportunity to freshen up on PHPDoc.  PHPDoc is a documentation standard much like JavaDoc where you can comment code and drop in identifiers to help with the status of a certain function or class.  One of the identifiers is ‘@todo.’  After working with the history of the ‘@’ symbol and how it relates in context, especially with GTD,  I came to realize how much this 5 character identifier has affected my life.

The ‘@todo’ identifier states one thing clearly:  The following information is what’s left or what’s next to do.  It can be compared to the @NextAction context in GTD.  Once that action is completed, there may be another one next and subsequently a ‘@todo’ identifier with that information will be listed.  The difference between that and GTD is that it’s left in the code.  But, with a good IDE or a simple awk command, you can compile the list of @todo’s for a project thus returning it to a GTD like state.

I’m the kind of person who’s insane attention to detail will leave me always uncovering a rock or looking at a problem from all perspectives.  Some people call this being a pefectionist.  One of the major problems with being a perefectionist is that they will refine and tweak themselves into never getting anything done.  Analysis through paralysis is a common phrase for the problem.   And yes, I have that problem.

As some of you may know, a couple of years ago I hit rock bottom in paralysis and have somehow climbed my way step by step by implementing the GTD mehtod (as well as making other life changes).  The perfectionist in me still lives.  The initial mind dump and inbox organization took me about 3 days.  One of the hardest things to do while implementing the methodology was not being sure I was doing it right.  The common voice of the perfectionist.

So I’m slowly learning ot become an almost-perfectionist.  I still do my tweaks and twinges, but set a time limit before sending the product off.  Whenever I do so, there’s that voice that doubts whether or not I’ve done right.  Even when I use a time limit, it reaches out and pulls me down to make sure I double check and triple check everything.  It’s going to be with me forever.

Last month, an ‘ah-ha’ moment came.  And no I’m not talking about jumping up and singing ‘Take on Me.’   What I’m talking about is when I started brushing up on PHPDoc, I realized that the ‘@todo’ was the trademark for the perfectionist.  I can roll some code out but appease the perefectionist in me with the simple 5 letter incantonation.  The code is out and I can always come back to it to tweak and twinge.

I’ve accepted the fact that I will never be happy with my work.  I’ve also accepted that I will always find something wrong with it and attempt to fix it on the spot.  But with the ‘@todo’ action I can drop the noted fix and move on.  I feel much more relieved and am producing more now that I’ve left @todo’s not only in my code, but also in my other projects, my friends, my family, and my life.

Hello World, Where Have We Been?

Hello World!  Welcome to the relaunch of my personal site.  I guess with every relaunch, one starts anew so let me go over what I’m bringing from the last site.  My old about page talked about my history, my hopes, and my dreams but now almost 3 years later, I’ve felt that it hasn’t been truly realized.  During my sojourns, I’ve come across many changes.  Some of which have helped immensly and some of which set me back.  So I decided to drop everything and start fresh.

The focus of the old site was to be a project hub geared toward my interests in sound, programming, and artificial intelligence.  There really wasn’t anything else I had in mind for the site.  I rolled my own simple blog app but failed to add content on a consistent basis.  Many of the projects ended up just being ideas.  The logos were hand drawn and the site design was all my own.  I really built it from the the ground up.  For some reason, I just stopped working on it and became satisfied with the idea of thinking about working the site.

Bouncing around those 3 topics produced maybe a sprinkle of actual work.  I whipped up some Java classes to play some Pink Floyd MIDI songs, I dabbled in some Flash, and really didn’t research anything in the AI field.  All I really had was project ideas.  Some time ago, I realized this and implemented the Gettting Things Done (GTD) method of task management.  The book is great and I recommend it to anyone who is overwhelmed.  But as I have learned again, the most important part is to actually get things done.  One can spend hours upon hours reading and implementing productivity and still not be productive.

I sometimes fall in love with idea of having something, whether it be a great guitar lick, knowledge in a language, or even a certain body type I wish to fit.  A samll part of that is who I surround myself with, but for the most part it’s habits and behaviors I’ve had with me growing up.  Scan through the years and all you see is fragment ideas that fail to reach a whole.  The GTD method and many of the productivity blogs around the web warn against that dangerous habit.  It just is sometimes hard to admit when you fall into it yourself.  Then, about 2 years ago, something changed.

A series of events took place to lead me to change how I view my life.  Most of my childhood and adult life, I have always been overweight.  Like orca-fat.  Well, that one thing happened.  I believe, especially today, that there is that one thing that leads a person to make a major change.  What’s mine?  I’m not gonna tell.  But what I will tell is that it started a two year process of losing about 70 pounds of weight.  I had one big goal and accomplished that by making small goals.  Set backs happened, lull times came and went, but I was persistent.  It was tough, but I lost the weight.  And I learned so much from it.  This is how I’m appraoching this blog.

What better way to approach a relaunch then to start with the simplest of programs?  Hello World!  The phrase first showed up back in 1972, but with each new langauge, with each new system, with each new software it is the first phrase one would see or use.  Hello World is an announcement to the world that whatever domain has arrived.  Before, I hand coded my own site.  Now, I rolled the latest WordPress to focus on the real projects at hand.  Guess what the first default post for a WordPress install is?  With that, I am now saying:  HELLO WORLD!

It’s a new beginning here at hoketronics.net and it will seed in its simplest form with this post.  As time passes, I will germinate this project in the hopes of growing it into a solid, mature plant in the grand garden of knowledge.  Before, I locked my interests down to certain topics and neglected its growth.  Now everything is in the open.  The template for the WordPress theme is from thematic.  It’s simple and straightforward.  Much with the growth of the site, the growth of the template will be its reflection.  But that’s only the beginning.

The direction of the site will lead me wherever my mind takes me.  I have a great passion for technology, music, and anything creative.  This site will exhibit that and for the first time, nothing will be held back.  I still am interested in many of the topics from my old about page, but now I’m no longer afraid to expose any lack of knowledge in those areas.  After all, I’m starting all over.  I’ve hit my one thing.  HELLO WORLD!