Although I am pleased with the outcome of this project, I regret that it carried a high human opportunity cost. For too many months my scoping quest resumed at 9:30PM and ran into the wee or not-so-wee hours. For too many mornings I stumbled through other obligations on auto-pilot, knowing I was not fully there. Even in recreational moments, the mental coding was hard to stop.
Given preceding choices and events, a stagnated resume and bleak economic news, this looked like my best shot at a sustainable career. Now I resolve to never work like that again. I’m done scrambling to prove or prepare myself. If this functional and forthright presentation of abilities and limitations is not enough to land sustainable pay from sustainable hours, then web development is not for me.
But I think it is. And as I breathe a sigh of relief at passing this milestone, I want to thank those who had a hand in giving me the skills, knowledge and support to do the job:
To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for life, forgiveness, purpose and hope.
To my wife, for maintaining her trust and respect amid trial and uncertainty.
To my children, whose simple, profound questions bear witness that abstraction is, at best, only a vehicle to carry us on to substance and pertinent details.
To my parents, for supporting my interests and giving me a safe place to pursue them.
To Don Pinkham, for his knowledge, humility and generosity in carting us all over the state to learn what computers do and what we might do with them.
To Anne Wysocki, for converting bits and clicks into creative events, and patiently teaching others how to do so.
To Keith Brophy, for initiating my first paid programming project and suggesting the therapeutic merits of the Logitech thumb ball.
To Pat Gryzan, for the lesson in relational database design.
To Pete Vander Jagt, for supporting my object-oriented software idealism even before I knew what I was talking about.
To Ann Xiang, for being a capable and dedicated coworker, and for telling me about this open source blogging software with the really nice plugin API.
To Rich Foss, for supporting my open source website development idealism even before I knew what I was talking about.
To Plow Creek strawberries, for teaching me that self-promotion is okay if your product is good and beneficial.
To Lynn Reha, for putting me on the communication committee, which led to my discovery that WordPress would make a great church / community website, if only it supported user groups and content-specific roles.
To Neil Horning, for enlisting my aesthetic, technical and writing skills to spread the word about high-quality produce, and for going the extra mile to support my new direction.
To Eric Jefferies, for encouragement and fellowship amid parallel efforts to lead and support our families according to their physical, social and spiritual needs.