Programming fatigue

I've noticed a trend: I come into work around 9:30 and get a lot done. Often I postpone/skip lunch because I'm programming. But around 2:00, I start to get uncharacteristically tired of programming and stop doing as much work. I guess there's something to be said for breaks :)


Fourth day

Things are looking good! I got a large project done way ahead of time (can't give any screenshots because I signed an NDA). I'm getting a feel for their coding style and stuff too.

There are lots of meetings on Mondays apparently, but almost none the rest of the week. Also, I'm legally required to take a 15-minute break every two hours since I'm a teen worker, so Nigel (my manager) keeps (half-jokingly) bugging me to take a break.

I've asked around and if I want to, I can switch to doing server-side programming in Ruby anytime I want to. I might do that after a month, so that I'll have spent half my time with the Flash frontend and half with the Ruby backend.

So yeah, it's pretty fun now, and I get paid to program!


Second day

Got a relatively complex assignment today. In most languages I could do it easily, but the combination of ActionScript/Flash/Flex's suckiness and the horrible Flex IDE, it's actually quite hard.

Seems like ActionScript is a blend of Java and Visual Basic. Java is a relatively OK language, but Visual Basic — ugh! For example, instead of declaring variables with the type first, then the name ("int foo"), ActionScript displays its braindeadness by using this: "var foo:int". Doesn't seem too bad, right? Well it is if you have to do it a lot.

Another area where ActionScript is almost as bad as a language like J# is documentation. There is a real lack of documentation available online, especially things like community discussions on how to do a certain task. This is probably either because most Flash developers are artists and so don't use ActionScript much, or because the whole Flash platform is proprietary.

Anyway, hopefully I'll start to like Flex more after I read some of the books I got on it. Unfortunately, struggling with Flex for 8 hours a day doesn't leave me too eager to read books on it after I come home.


First day at work

Not much time to blog, but I'll give you a brief summary of my first day at work. SchoolSoft's codebase is really big and hard to understand. The inheritance hierarchy is very complex, almost nothing is formally documented, and it doesn't help that the Flex IDE is rather poor. On the positive side, I like version control (they use SVN). I exceeded expectations and made two tools.

So overall, I'm finding working in a real job environment to be mostly fun, although there is considerably more bureaucracy and "red tape" than solo coding or even what we did in Hunt the Wumpus.


School's over

School's finally over, allowing me to concentrate on programming. I have a full-time job at SchoolSoft starting tomorrow (Jun 25). I have mixed feelings about that — obviously having a job is great, and a programming job is just awesome…but I have to write ActionScript and learn on the job. I hope I'll be useful to the company and not just waste everyone's time.

But anyway, I also have some projects that I'd like to do over the summer in my spare time:
  • Set up our old computer downstairs as a dedicated server and not mess with it. Unfortunately, I probably won't be allowed to run Linux on it, so it'll have to be a Windows Vista server (ugh). And about not messing with it: just set it up and code. Don't try to optimize and tweak things — that was how I brought my other server down.
  • Make an XML-based document format that I can use for all my documents: school assignments, notes, etc. Also make a way to transform that XML into lots of presentation formats: XHTML, LaTeX, plain text, maybe even Word 2007.