Part of the reason for relaunching my blog was to document and track the start of a few personal projects I want to undertake. Finding time to work on these projects is always fun, especially now there’s a little one running round the house. What I do have, however, is two consistent blocks of 30+ minutes on the train each and every working day. Can I turn this into a mobile office and develop some applications in my spare time?
Well lets look at what I need. Firstly there’s space. Somewhere to actually do the work. While, by habit, I tend to sit in an ‘airline style’ seat (i.e. not a table seat) out of habit there’s no shortage of table seats, even if I have to share it with someone for part of the journey. This is one of the many perks of no longer working in London and living in the sticks.
Secondly I need a development environment. I usually have my MacBook Pro with me, it’s loaded with the tools I generally use (and more can be added) so I’d say that’s sorted.
Thirdly I’m going to need internet for reference, looking for libraries, getting unstuck and humorous cat pictures when things are going badly. That’s not going to be so easy. While I have two iThings with mobile connectivity, both with the ability to tether my laptop to them, the mobile signal on the train is intermittent at best. Between my iPhone and iPad, which exist on two different networks, I have coverage for perhaps 50% of the journey. Annoying if you need to look something up now.
This is not, however, an insurmountable problem. I’m pretty sure that making sure I have a much as possible available to me locally, and by planning what I’m going to do in each chunk I can minimise downtime.
First things first though, I need to decide what I’m going to work on first.