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Sad Day to Start a Developer’s Diary

It’s a sad day to start a developer’s diary. I feel like the next sentence after that should start with a “however” or “but” – what do you say after folk were mowed down, by what can only be a madman?

I promised myself that today, Monday Oct 2 2017, would see me getting over my shyness and starting a developer’s diary as it pertained to our project. And so, here it goes.

There is no way you would know this, the two of you who might be reading this today, but Eric — the guy behind all the puzzles over all the years of Puzzlemonster — is scheduled to go to a nerdy computing conference next week at the same place this real monster stayed at in Vegas. Eric and I just celebrated 15 years of marriage. He’s the love of my life and so fucking brilliant — the kind of brilliant that you can see coming a mile away. I can’t imagine (well, actually I can) life without him. The idea of him getting mowed down by a madman makes this wife want to grab his business-casual pant legs as he leaves our small home in the dark of early morning and cry “you are never leaving this house again!”

It’s a scary world out there to me. I didn’t fully realize how scary it was when we first got married — we were freshly fired from Cartoon Network, and were starting our own two, separate, businesses. Mine involved a ridiculous amount of choices for simple lamp shades, his involved live trivia games at bars and this site, puzzlemonster.com.

Puzzlemonster.com was his brainchild. He’d FTP handmade puzzles to his server and people would compete to win them. The competition was international and brutal – people would fight hard to win. What did they win? Not a thing. Just bragging rights for being on the Puzzlemonster Puzzle League. And they loved it.

puzzle league

The Original Puzzle League ca 2007. Eric input all that scoring data by hand.

But in those days — well over a decade ago — there was no social media, “monetization” was a new, dirty word to people like us who truly believed that the Internet was for the Good of the People. In short, puzzlemonster.com was fun for him, but he needed monay, honay. New wives with faltering businesses, as it turns out, aint cheap. Puzzlemonster continued to live but could not, sadly, be his sole focus.

So how does this rambling bring us to Now? This horrible day in beautiful Vegas. Vegas — where nerds like Eric (he’s now a business-intelligence-really-hard-sql developer and still writes daily puzzles on the breakroom whiteboard) go to meet other nerds and perhaps take in a Celine Dion show. I guess it provides evidence to me of this world being a scary one. That’s not the pretty answer, I know. And I’m sure it will change.

There’s nothing I love more in this life than Eric. And there’s nothing I enjoy more than working with him. We worked together before we dated at Cartoon, we ended up working on my failed business together as our family business, and now, we are poised to release his first Android app — one of the most popular old-school Puzzlemonster puzzles. It has been a labor of love for me. I cannot express how enjoyable it is to take his genius (he is a life-long maker of puzzles as his sweet mother and large Minnesota family will attest to) and make it into something bouncy, fun, and hopefully popular. It’s taken this old web developer (me) a year to learn Java and how Android works, but if we are successful, I won’t have to quash this desire to hold on to him as he leaves for his job every day. This will be his job. We’ll be able to get the Eric and Friday band back together again. It’s a beautiful thing — he loves to make puzzles (he has notebooks chock full of them all over the house); I love to bring his talent into the modern world of mobile devices and fun things like Google Play, a nod to kawaii, and small animations.

So that’s it. A highly personal developer diary entry. I’m so sad about all those folks who lost their lives last night, and I cry with the people who wanted to hold on to their legs and keep them close.

Now, I guess it’s time to buck up and get to work. This game won’t launch by itself. Today I start writing a service to grab strings as JSON objects and parse them in the app so we can change words after the app is in people’s hands instead of baking them into the APK file via localized strings.xml files. Once a web developer, always a web developer I suppose.

I’ll fill you in on how that goes this week as we creep toward a launch. Edit: a successful launch. 🙂


About Friday

Developer, gardener, animal lover. Wife of a puzzlemonster. My coding resume shows my age: Wordperfect reveal codes => HTML => ASP Classic => SQL => JavaScript => jQuery => PHP => Wordpress under-the-hood => Java => Android dev.

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