Undead Coder Society

      Welcome to UCS X

      We are a fledgling business and developer community building web applications from scratch, and writing about our experiences.

      If you're looking for some more information: please see our About and Contact pages.

      Thanks for visiting!

      - Ricky
      Latest Blog Post

      The Conundrum of Getting Good at What You Do... Pushing through the boredom wall

      I've noticed a strange thing starting to happen to me over the last few months, I've been becoming bored with my work, and that hasn't happened to me in quite a while. A couple of years ago when I stepped away from my work to learn how to build websites, I was building an entirely new skill set. I regularly pulled 8 to 12 hour days and woke up again the next day to get right back into it without even really thinking about it, because I enjoyed it. But now I've gotten good at it, and I'm kind of bored. The same tasks that took me days to complete now take hours, and as of yet my scheduling habits haven't adjusted to reflect the amount of time it actually takes to complete a task. As a result I find myself with a lot of down time and, and consequentially, a lot of boredom. And this is actually a recurring theme in my life.

      About 5 years ago I was working my ass off to be a developer. To be a developer was it for me. I was going to get that job and I was going to be happy forever. When I got that dev title I at first felt super achieved. Being a developer was it. Everyday I was learning something new, and boy was I in over my head. I could barely understand...continue

      Recent Blog Post

      Shifting the Spectrum - or - How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Use Task Management Software

      The last month has been the most focused and productive month that I've had in a long time. About a month ago I attended the PyCon convention out in Cleveland, and I came back inspired and ready to rock and roll. I started by becoming very clear with myself on exactly what I wanted to be working on, and, maybe more importantly, what I didn't want to.

      Over the course of the last two years I've been taking on projects left and right. My thinking was that they would be easy to turnaround, profitable, and that they'd provide great exposure for me and my little business. While the latter most of those was true, I didn't have methods of project management or budgeting put in place, so there was no way that I could have accurately predicted the second two topics. So, what ended up happening to me is that I took on way too much work, and ended up burning myself out. (There's a bit of a cosmic joke in the fact that I quit a job that was stressing me out because of poor planning and too much work and created my own job that had poor planning and too much work).

      So the first thing I did when I came back was I cancelled the work that I had taken on that didn't project to be a...continue

      Recent Blog Post

      The Next Step after the Next Step

      I'm sitting in my hotel room in downtown Cleveland filled with exhaustion, inspiration and desire. PyCon 2018 just ended, and somewhere inside me I feel like I'm 10 years behind where I want to be. I have a race of thoughts about why that is, but what's more important is how to proceed forward, and that's what I'm working to start here.

      One of my major struggles in life has always been with motivation. I have moments of incredible inspiration that are slow whittled away by the daily grind. There are some day to day habits that I can get more in line for myself, but the biggest change I can make for myself is staying invigorated by the work that I'm doing. Some of my focuses in the next few weeks will be as follows:

      • I am going to refocus on the purpose of my work. So much concern has been about making money that I've lost the dream in what I'm working on.
      • I am going to make my schedule and keep to it. This will be greatly aided by an extra focus.
      • I am going to clean up my relationship with two friends/customers that I've made promises to without delivering. What was an honest intent has become something that doesn't make sense for me, but I need...continue
      Recent Blog Post

      Being the Dumbest Person on the Internet or, The Challenge of the Bigger Pond

      There was a time where I was really good at my job. There were aspects of it that I struggled with, like I imagine everyone struggles at their job in some fashion or another, but for the most part I handled the heaviest issues and worked through some of the more complex programs that my team had with relative success. Since I started my own company I've been pretty awful at my job. There's aspects of it that I've been really good at, like developing the code; but then there's been most everything else.

      In college I studied mathematics, and my tech career has been largely focused on solving technical issues and building technical things. Everyday at work I would show up and tackle a case queue or a project list that was assigned to me. I didn't have to think outside of my role much; and in fact, people outside of my role were seen primarily as work creators... that is, a source of disturbance from the daily work routine. Nowhere in there was I ever seriously trained on, or did I take seriously, any role that wasn't mine.

      One of the biggest challenges that I've faced over the course of creating a business has been tackling all of those other roles. From writing...continue

      Recent Blog Post

      The Problem of Programming Too Large

      I have a recurring problem in my professional life; I program too much. I don't mean I sit around and actually type letters into an IDE too much (although my girlfriend might tell you otherwise), I mean I have a tendency to over-complicate a simple solution into a much more complicated one; and it's wasting all of my time.

      The first time I noticed that I had this tendency was the day I tried to write my own Python logging utility. Now, for those that don't know, there is a Python logging package that I eventually ended up using, but that was after half a day's worth of work writing my own function when someone pointed out that a Python package already existed for that. See, the problem was that I wasn't even aware of the existence of a logging module and, more to the point, at that time I didn't even know that I should be on the lookout for such a thing. It as a lack of knowledge about what to even look for in a situation that was kicking my butt.

      When I learned about the logging package I went through a phase of emotions. Dangit, I was proud of my little logging utility! It was my code with my style and it logged exactly like I wanted it to. But...continue

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