[2012-10-15] Unfinished projects
This is what I used to say about my unfinished projects:
[The projects being unfinished] was kind of the point from the start. You see, their only reason for existing in the first place was for me to learn how to do some difficult thing or another.
Once I learned that, there were more interesting new projects to take up my time instead (or, more recently, there's work), so they got less priority (and from there, it was easy for them to drop off my radar altogether).
Simply put, their point was never to get finished, and so they aren't.
Now, this was true as of, uh, 2009, or something like that. Nowadays, however, things are... different. I've discovered some interesting things about myself, among them the fact that I'm really not great at developing new software because I have limited staying power in the face of boredom. So yes, hello, prospective employer, you know my deepest most terrible secret (as far as you should care, at least).
The major issue, as I just stated, is that writing software is full of boring drudge work. I tend to be fanatical about it, to the extent that I burned myself out multiple times on writing software -- indeed, that's the real reason why most of my projects are incomplete in some way -- so, while I can do it (and I'm arrogant enough to claim that my software is damn good, too!), it's not something that really brings me joy anymore.
You'd think writing the code for this website would be a test of willpower over boredom (at least, I thought so in a previous version of this page), but it only took me about 12 hours to write it all to the extent that it's fully usable (I can edit pages and add new ones). The only real bits of effort remaining would be to do user management (add users, delete them, change passwords, forgotten password support), but given that I'm writing this for myself, I'm not really interested in making that happen -- and if I did, I suspect I could finish it in a day, with Murphy at his worst. So I'm still not sure if I should just advertise myself as a maintenance programmer and software designer instead of programmer.
Oh, speaking of maintenance programming -- I've discovered in myself an innate ability to make sense of other people's code, find reported bugs in that code, and fix them, and that this does actually bring me great joy. So if you have a large piece of software and need someone to help maintain it, I'm your man -- just point me at your codebase and bug tracker and watch me go.