Ugly Duckling

I’ve gotten obsessed enough with some of my current projects that any spare time not spent working on something starts to feel wrong. I think I may be hitting my limit, though, as evidenced by this evening, when quietly sitting around knitting and listening to podcasts turned into feeling really lonely and isolated about what I’m working on. I’m sure I’ll shake it off once I get some sleep, but meanwhile I want to make note of a couple of things that have been getting under my skin.

1) I grew up in Portland, and I have spent all but ten years of my life here. It’s a great place. There is a reason people move here even when they don’t have a job lined up, or even know anyone in town. But sometimes I feel stifled, like I know every story you could possibly tell about this place and I want to hear something new. It makes me feel dislocated, like it’s so familiar I don’t really belong. Even though I’ve met a lot of really cool people since I moved back.

2) Where are the female tech entrepreneurs? A month or two ago I realized that for all the interesting blogs I was reading about technology, web development, etc, only one was written by a woman. Mashup camp => no female developers. All those crazy web 2.0 start-up announcements => no female developers. Once I started noticing this, I began adding any blogs I could find that were written by women doing interesting independent software development, but there’s not a lot out there. The more I work on programming projects, the more this bothers me. I’m not that strongly attached to gender as identity, but it still feels awkward to think of going to the local Ruby or Perl programmers’ social at a brewpub when all of the people on the mailing lists for said groups seem to be male.

3) The feed aggregator is coming along. I am in love with Rails. I can really see the appeal of Ruby, though I’m still figuring it out and kind of clumsy about how to write code that does what I want. This is what it looks like right now:

Those links in the sidebar with the different blog names don’t currently link to anything useful, but I think I’ll be able to fix that tomorrow. I’m trying to use :render action to show only the posts for a given blog, and it’s generating the sort of errors that suggest I’ve asked my code to do something that makes no sense.

Half an hour ago I turned down an offer to go have a drink with friends in part because I was feeling too mopey to be sociable, but writing this actually helped a lot, so I think I’ll call and make sure they’ll be there long enough for me to walk over. Though I should probably stick to hot cocoa.


2 responses to “Ugly Duckling

  1. I’m so glad you came out for the drink. The website and the sweater look great.

  2. Mr. Flowers

    I’m glad you ended up coming out too. Had fun, and fun on Saturday too🙂

    Great work on the programming!