Geek Pride and Land Lines
I am very proud of the fact that I have a static IP address and run these sites out of my home. My internet provider is Forethought.Net, and the ability to host sites is included with my internet connection and land line.
Land lines may be old-fashioned, but this is the sort of offer I cannot refuse.
I assure you that in running these sites I do everything that needs to be done. This is partly because I like to be well-rounded, but mostly because I am a cheapskate.
I also assure you that I do not consider myself an expert in any of these tasks. For one thing, I dislike the term “expert” in any context, and for another, I am always open to ways to improve on my processes. One reason I dislike the term is because an “expert” would never question their own abilities….
If you’re interested, some of my more important processes and tools are available in my jmws_accoutrements repository on github.
“Everything” Means Everything
In case you do not run any websites out of your home, here is a list of what I mean by “everything:”
- obtain static ip
- conceive the types of sites I want to host
- purchase domain names
- buy the requisite hardware
- configure the home network
- install requisite operating systems and software and keep it up to date
- learn the technologies needed to create these sites
- actually do the work of creating these sites
- create databases and site users with sufficiently secure credentials
- imagine, organize, write, format, and post content
- keep up-to-date backups of code and content
- configure the server, ensuring it is secure
- deploy sites to server, along with updates as they become available
- design, write, test, and maintain programs to add any functionality that is missing out of the box
- keep up-to-date with industry trends
- document programs written
- document deployment and other important processes
- register the sites with google
- comply with any requests google makes concerning security and searchability
If this looks like a lot of work, I can assure you that it is.
In addition to saving me money, a big advantage to doing things this way his lets me find out first hand what type of work I like best.
I like the programming best, and the writing and design tasks are close behind that. Testing and deploying are not quite as fun, but I don’t have to do them much, and I am too much of a cheapskate to be willing to pay someone else to do it, so we do what we have to do.
I greatly enjoy writing little scripts to help with deployment-related tasks, and am currently porting my bash scripts to python. (You can see these scripts in the bin directory of my jmws_accoutrements repo.
Because I am the only one using these experimental extensions, at this time it’s not really worth it to me to automate testing for this work. Kudos go to Drupal though for integrating automated testing out of the box.
Flow Is the Best
Ultimately, as I have learned in some of the online classes I’ve taken MOOCs, I love any type of work that involves flow. The linked-to article at PsychologyToday.com defines flow as being in a “state of effortless concentration and enjoyment.”
As you might imagine, working on my own for free can lead to occasional procrastination. That’s actually fine, because I always find that once I get going and into the flow of things, it can difficult to stop.
Moreover, “it’s all good,” and I greatly prefer any of this sort of work to at least 99% of the other occupations out there!