littlelogs

Keep a social journal of your work progress as you make and learn things.

September 2016

peter

Doing some user research on an idea for content writers currently. @belle has been pretty helpful with her feedback.

Doing a few coffee meetings next week to gather more information before I decide whether to start coding or not.

23 Sep 2016

1 Heart 0 comments

peter

Almost 2 weeks into my new job and I haven’t left the building screaming once yet :)

It’s good using the creative and strategic side of my brain for a change. Very little coding so far, but I’m more than happy with that.

15 Sep 2016

3 Heart 0 comments

peter

I’ve decided to shutdown Outduo at the end of September.

My development of V2 stalled 2-3 months ago and I’ve lost my passion for the project due to low traction (around 100 users in 6 months) and a general feeling that I’m never going to make money from it.

I’ll be sending out a final notification email to users this weekend with an option for me to export their non-Fitbit data for them. Then I’ll switch off new registrations and delete the database at the end of the month.

I can no longer commit the time to passion projects while I’m working 9-5. For the next 3 months at least I’ll only be working on money making ventures.

10 Sep 2016

0 Heart 7 comments

peter

Have been continuing to build the #talenthunch job search engine component this week. Have successfully worked out how to index jobs from GitHub Jobs, Indeed and Seek.

I wanted to get more done before I start my new job tomorrow, but I think I might just have to leave it for a bit unfortunately. #laterlog

peter

Now that I’ve signed the paperwork I can almost make it official - I’ll be starting a 3 month contract on Monday with the Beacon Foundation in Hobart, Tasmania. I’ll be doing a whole lot of professional web development again, after an eight month break.

I’m sure I’ve rallied against ever getting another real job previously, but this is a fantastic organisation to work for, with a cause and mission I believe in 100%, and so it would have been very silly to turn down this opportunity.

I’ll still be continuing to work on both #outduo and #talenthunch on weekends and in other spare time, but they’ll no longer be my primary focus.

August 2016

peter

Spent today getting back into my #talenthunch mindset.

  • Decided that the product, for now, will just be a job search engine that sources jobs from third parties. I will then need to gain a lot of user traction to be able to persuade companies to advertise their positions on talenthunch.com
  • Once this core job search works, I can add some more layers of functionality in the future, such as an aptitude questionnaire, to produce more relevant job matches for users
  • SSL cert installation and server hardening is underway
  • Activated the domain on my Mailgun account for sending job alerts
peter

Had a pretty good afternoon today after I posted a link to my very cool family business on Hacker News.

It’s been on the HN homepage most of today and it even reached as high as spot 8 briefly. The site is still getting plenty of traffic so I’ll have to watch it a little overnight.

As a side note: Daniel, one of the HN moderators, did send me an email when I first posted the link to help me make it look less like spam/a product promotion. This was the first time HN has done this for me and it was really good of them.

23 Aug 2016

1 Heart 1 comment

peter

Spent some time with a #client in their office yesterday working on their project. I really enjoyed the close collaborative aspects of this and it was really productive for both us.

It’s great when you can collaborate with someone else that knows what you’re talking about so you don’t have to spend twice as long explaining how/why you’re doing something than just doing it.

I’ve always wanted to work as part of a team where everybody has the same level of understanding about the work from the beginning. It’s much harder when you need to train up a non-technical person as you go.

peter

After many more hours than planned, and with a little help, I finally managed to get my latest #client project working.

The critical function in my script was conflicting with one of the existing scripts on the page and so not firing.

I might be able to get back into my own projects later today, if I’m lucky.

peter

Over the last 3 days of #client work I’ve learnt the following:

  • The #Flickr #API is pretty awesome.
  • Masonry is a great JS framework for styling content nicely.
  • Masonry is a terrible framework for styling dynamic content that’s retrieved from another website (such as a photo feed from Flickr). I had to apply so many hacks to make it work the way I needed it to.
  • A 5 hour job will always take at least twice as long, especially if you haven’t coded JS or jQuery for a while.
peter

Long day of just #client work. This #Flickr job was harder than I thought it would be, and I’ve gone well over my capped hours because of all the bug fixing/learning I had to do.

Will finish it off in the morning and move onto other personal projects over the weekend.

peter

Spent most of today catching up combined business and life #admin - form filling and printouts.

Also did some work on an interesting client project that’s using the #Flickr #API. Flickr’s API must be one of the best ones around, especially because they have an API explorer so you can try out every call you need to make to see the response formats.

peter

After my slump report earlier today, I actually managed to get a bit more into the groove with my #talenthunch dev. I think talking it out actually helped.

Finished a major set of functions that saves a user’s answer and returns the next question based on that answer. Using the methods I made the user will now only have to answer a minimum of 8 questions from the same aptitude category in the affirmative before they can see their results.

July 2016

peter

While trying to configure the #talenthunch server, I remember that I wasn’t born to be a sysadmin. I always get far enough to break it, but then not know how to fix it again.

Called in my local friendly sysadmin (AKA “the guy”) to assist and he’s taking a look at it now.

peter

Spent Friday evening writing out the questions for #talenthunch.

To get a more accurate understanding of the user’s job interests I’ve increased the number of questions from 35 to 56 (7 interest areas with 8 questions each).

Originally I’d planned that the questionnaire would assess the skill aptitude of users, but it has been easier/faster to write questions to assess interest rather than skill level, for now.

peter

Created a Medium publication for #outduo and published my first post to it.

I think publishing to a publication may be a better #content strategy than using the separate Outduo Medium account, because I already have some Medium followers compared to starting from scratch.

peter

Sent out an update email to the current #outduo users (post the user feedback survey) to let them know what’s coming in V2.

Continuing to build out the API endpoints and new Outduo client front-end.

peter

Started testing parts of the new #outduo #API in production (sandboxed to its own database).

Can now successfully register a new user and retrieve their simple token (login) via curl.

peter

Pretty unproductive day. Power went out last night and came back on at midday today, so I couldn’t do much coding. Was also distracted by all the snow at my house :)

Did manage to start work on the user registration/login endpoint of the #outduo API (for the Outduo client itself).

peter

In good news, I was able to kick myself back into coding mode for #outduo over the weekend.

After a lot of thought, and feedback assessment, I’m working on the following #pivot:

  • Users can choose from 10-12 preset challenges, such as Workday Steps or Goal By A Deadline (similar to how Fitbit has a limited range of challenges for its users).
  • Users then invite their friends, via email or secret link, to join their challenge. These friends then register and can also add their friends to the original challenge too if they choose to.
  • If a user wants to create a custom challenge, or compete with more friends than the existing challenge limits, then they’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
  • Adding new functionality to allow for flexible day scheduling, such as only Mon, Wed and Fri, or any combination of days required.
  • Reducing the focus on user stats, and instead increasing the focus on gamification aspects, such as points and possible rewards. Need to make Outduo less about data, more about fun.
peter

My #outduo pitch tonight could have gone better. I didn’t meet the judge’s criteria, and so didn’t win or even place. It felt more like a competition about who was the best pitcher, instead of necessarily who had the best business idea (even though the winner was well deserved on both counts).

Did chat afterwards with someone very closely connected with the digital/technology fitness space and can see potential there.

Lots to think about before doing any more coding.

peter

#outduo users can finally delete their challenges now. Thought I’d pick a quick task for today so I can concentrate on my pitch for a competition in Hobart tonight.

peter

Made some great progress with the #outduo #api yesterday.

Realising that doing the API first would have made retrieving challenge data so much more easier than how I actually wrote it. When I was building the MVP it didn’t really matter how the code looked, as long as it worked.

Looking forward to rebuilding API-first once I finish getting all my user survey results back and can consolidate a new functionality list.

peter

Results of the first #outduo user survey so far:

  • 2 unsubscribes from the email list
  • 2 responses out of 80 emails sent
  • 2 users indicating that they’ve stopped using Outduo (I’m leaving their accounts active in case they decide to come back again)
  • 1 response was in favour of group challenges, but they also indicated that they weren’t prepared to pay for the feature

In summary, users like the look of Outduo but it doesn’t offer enough functionality to be useful to them right now.

To be honest, the trough of sorrow is looking pretty long, but I’m sure if I keep building out the requested features I’ll get there eventually.

peter

As #outduo has been running for 4 months now, I sent out a brief user survey to its 80 users to hopefully gather some useful feedback.

I’ll also be pitching Outduo this Thursday at a pitch competition, so it would be good to see what some real users think before then.

peter

Latest #outduo stats.

June 2016

  • Homepage uniques: 158
  • Free signups (homepage): 7
  • Conversion rate: 4.33%
  • Free signups (challenge invite): 1
  • Plan upgrades: 0*
  • Users (all): 80
  • Users (paid): 0*
  • Suspended accounts: 0
  • Total daily non-fitness goal completions in current month: 141 (+5.22% on previous month)

*Paid plans are on the way.

June 2016

peter

I attended a #startup #bootcamp last week and pitched #outduo a few times. Lots of positive feedback, including someone saying that the name sounded expensive, but in a good way (as in you’d expect to pay to use it).

Managed to sign up a few more users on the spot after giving them an Outduo sticker and having a chat to them. I’m finding face to face sign-ups the most effective, albeit the slowest method. I’m actually starting to enjoy these one on one interactions too.

peter

Latest #outduo stats.

April 2016

  • Homepage uniques: 154
  • Free signups (homepage): 7
  • Conversion rate: 4.55%
  • Free signups (challenge invite): 0
  • Plan upgrades: 0
  • Users (all): 67
  • Users (paid): 0
  • Suspended accounts: 1

May 2016

  • Homepage uniques: 67
  • Free signups (homepage): 5
  • Conversion rate: 7.46%
  • Free signups (challenge invite): 0
  • Plan upgrades: 0
  • Users (all): 71
  • Users (paid): 0
  • Suspended accounts: 0

June 2016 (so far)

  • Homepage uniques: 118
  • Free signups (homepage): 2
  • Conversion rate: 1.69%
  • Free signups (challenge invite): 0
  • Plan upgrades: 0
  • Users (all): 74
  • Users (paid): 0
  • Suspended accounts: 0

1 year, 1 week ago outduo

0 Heart 5 comments

peter

Completed some #client web update work, sent off 2 invoices, and quoted for another small web project. Will be good to have a budget top-up after 5 months without income.

May 2016

peter

It took all day, but I installed #django on a #vagrant box and then finally managed to create a home page view with a template.

I had some application code from a number of years ago to use as example code, but it was seriously out of date. Nothing like starting from scratch and having to give in and read the docs.

Feeling like such a #python #newbie, but will battle on :)

peter

Finally starting to teach myself #python

While I enjoy coding for the web, my long term ambition is to become what’s known as a real-world software developer (someone that programs for physical devices, such as robots), and learning python is a good stepping stone towards this.

April 2016

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