I heart the web.
I love websites, and I love hand-building websites. I love everything from designing them to writing content for them. And just because my work is now going to be republished and distributed in print does not mean that I am moving from the web. Far from it. All the same, there comes a time when you are building sites that you come to want more from them. Now, I’m used to setting up basic web servers, and using some lightweight scripting to get my sites to make it easier for me to manage, but every once in awhile I wish I was more of a developer/programmer.
With all the talk of Ruby on Rails, it is getting harder to resist this urge. What is it? Ruby is a programming language, while Rails is a web application framework that you plug into it. What makes it great? Rapid, rapid development. I could be building an application very quickly without being burdened by a heap of code that you have to be a grand geek wizard to be able to dicipher. It is helping to spur this Web 2.0 movement – new web applications are being built at an astounding rate. People are talking about trying it around the office (especially with this Apple article), and Kenneth has been badgering me about it for about a year now.
I want to make more comics. The more time I spend writing web applications, the less time I have to make comics. And while it feels like a natural progression, like learning Rails is the next logical step in my career, I’m having a hard time taking the next step. It makes me sad, like I’m missing out a bit, and it also feels like I’m selling myself short. I know I can be a programmer, I’m just not convinced I should.
There is the concept of the To-Don’t list that I like, where I file things that I shouldn’t do. Even though I could do something doesn’t mean I should because it doesn’t help me with my main goals. I started a large to-don’t list when I began managing people; no longer could I spend time doing the tasks I used to because that is what my employees are for. By still trying to do everything you used to, you end up micro-managing what little work your employees actually have, suffocating any growth potential in themselves and burning yourself out trying to do it all. I’ve learned when to say ‘no’ to myself ultimately, and Rails development is one area that has been hard to keep out of the picture. Nevertheless, if my end goal is to make good comics, Ruby on Rails has nothing at all to do with that.
Maybe once this goal is accomplished though, I could make it a hobby…
You can also browse through the Parlor archives.
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