Thursday, July 15, 2010


Been a while since you've had one of those, hasn't it?

George Lowe
as Space Ghost
"Baffler Meal"
Space Ghost Coast to Coast

You know, I don't know why I don't come here to write anymore, to be honest. I love to write, and my abandonment of the blog as an outlet for that has been somewhat sudden and unexpected. I blame Facebook and Twitter. I'm going to have to get back to posting here, but in a somewhat random and undisciplined fashion as fitting with the way I do everything else, really.

No time for a recap of what's happened in the months since I've posted, so let's just say that life is largely amazing right now and go from there. No, today I come here for a purpose: to talk about being unconventional. Quite literally, in fact, before moving on to the figurative.

I am literally casting aside conventions today. Specifically, I'm hereby refusing to use the established database naming conventions that I've used for seven years now. I was encouraged to use them by the last boss I had before going into self-employment, and carried the practice on into my entrepreneurship. Why do I do it that way? Well, I started doing it because it's what everyone else does; using the naming conventions makes life easier for anyone else who might follow you and need to use your code, and it also makes it easier for you if you're the type who forgets what type one of your database variables is. You know what? I'm not going to forget what one of my variables, I honestly don't care if anyone could carry on my work if I were dead, and if I ever hire someone, they'd better be smart enough to work from my existing code. If I have to hamstring the way I work to accommodate an employee, I should probably have picked a better employee.

I also used those naming conventions because it was the way I'd been doing it for years. It felt comfortable, even though it might be somewhat contrary to the way my mind works. It was just the rote memory thing to do when I created a database to slap those prefixes I've been using for years on it. I don't know if there's anyone else out there whose brain works that way, but I know at least that when I do the same thing over and over and over again, I start to develop patterns of working. Even if, as in this case, they're actually detrimental to my performance.

So, effective with the database I'm writing today, the conventions are out of FortySixTen Studios' corporate policy manual (which is totally not pencil notes on a napkin). I hate them, they slow me down, and they're counterintuitive to an ambidextrous brain such as my own. This makes me want to kick myself for having done it for so long, but like I said, that's the way I'd been doing it for years and it's the way everyone else does it, so why stop doing it?

Because it's the wrong way for me to do things, that's why.

I am somewhat unconventional. I'm working out of my quote-unquote office, which is a six-foot folding table in my basement, which doubles as the master bedroom in our home. My beautiful wife homeschools our kids, and I spend at least three days a week playing music for my God and an empty room at the local House of Prayer. We don't have cable, or even a TV antenna to watch your favorite network programming. I - and by extension, my family, what with me being the family's leader and all - just kinda weird.

Today, I embraced a small part of that. I need to keep on it.

No comments: