wikibus.org and the #dajsiepoznac Competition
The competition user story
As a developer
I want to create stuff and write about it
So that people get to know me
It’s the second edition of the competition for Polish bloggers (first took place in 2010 AFAIK) ran by Maciej Aniserowicz, a popular dev, speaker and blogger. The main goal is to encourage developers to actively work on something they find interesting so that they can learn coding, improve their writing and leave a permanent mark of their existence, which can be very beneficial for their future. Also most people who persevere will likely continue to blog regularly.
The rules are simple:
- Write code
- Host that code on GitHub
- Twice a week document the coding process on a blog
- Repeat for three months (or 10 weeks)
Simple and hard at the same time and I hear that most people are expected to quit before May. After all it’s ~~200~~ 20 blog posts that each contender must write.
My project - wikibus.org
Most people don’t care about buses and can’t tell one from another. Public transport is the means for commuting in the city and that’s all the need to know. I on the other hand have been keenly interested in that subject for many years now. That is buses, coaches, trams, trolleybuses. Anything related to public transport. Unfortunately it also consumes a lot of money, because I have amassed a significant amount of books, magazines and promotional brochures. I can literally measure all of that in kilograms!
Ever since I started collecting books and brochures I had that idea for a bus encyclopedia. I even started a private MediaWiki once upon a time, but it didn’t really catch on and customizing that is a pain.
On a side I’m truly amazed by the success of Wikipedia judging by the programming effort MediaWiki requires!
And so I have developed that huge idea debt, where I fantasize and imagine the glorious future of a project. Every now and then I would sit down and write some code and then real life comes back hard on you. And so instead of actually delivering (the MediaWiki episode is ironically a noble exception) I kept discovering new technologies, techniques and learning a lot.
Don’t get me wrong though. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Having just started work toward my second iteration (or maybe reboot is the proper term?) of Wikibus I bought a book titled Unleashing Web 2.0: From Concepts to Creativity, from which I learned about the Semantic Web.
And that’s when all hell broke loose. Instead of working at some goals or milestones I started learning all the intricacies of RDF, and SPARQL, and contributed a singinficant amount of my time to an open source project dotNetRDF, and created a R2RML library for converting data from SQL to RDF. And it was great. Knowledge of RDF even got me a job once, but wikibus.org got sidetracked.
Goal for #dajsiepoznac
Last year I rebooted for the third time and then again I lost some steam after having discovered Web Components and trying to use fancy techniques like DDD or CQRS. I want the competition to be a motivating force, which will keep me focused on progress. Which does not mean that I will be sacrificing learning in favour of delivery.
I’d rather improve my skills that follow the path of least resistance
Wish me luck…