This is an update on things related to this blog and my work.
- Added an UX improvement: external links have
target="_blank"to make them open in a new tab. The justification can be found in this article. It is implemented using a small piece of script in the footer.
- Updated the list of projects to include work done in 2016.
- Updated the visual style for better readability. The article page puts more focus on the content and less on the related things.
- Updated the CV.
- Found and fixed some non-valid HTML markup on some pages.
- Wrote announcements to the last of my Open Source projects: DOM-EEE and Dataline.
I also discovered that mail notifications were not working. The configuration was broken for some time and I had disabled alerts on the blog engine standard error stream. I have fixed the mail configuration and monitor the error log for mail sending errors.
I built an Electron-based desktop app. I usually do not build desktop applications and consider them a huge pain to build and maintain. This was a small project taking 2 weeks and I also used it as a chance to evaluate the Vue.js framework. Vue.js works very well with Electron and was very easy to pick up thanks to the similarities with the KnockoutJS library. I plan to write about the both in separate articles.
The second part of my work included a DXF file exporter. DXF is a vector drawing format used by AutoCAD and industrial machines. My job was to convert and combine SVG paths from an online CAD editor into a single DXF file for a laser cutter.
During filing my annual report I was positively surprised that I need to file very little paperwork. It only required a balance sheet + a profit/loss statement + 3 small additional trivial reports. On the previous years I had to file a much more comprehensive report now required from mid-size (Estonian scale) companies with about 250 employees.
I have made some changes to my setup:
- Logging and monitoring was moved to an OVH VPS.
- Everything else important is moved away from the home server. Some client systems are still waiting to be moved.
The changes were necessary as I might travel a bit in 2017 and it won't be possible to fix my own server at home when an hardware failure occurs. I admit it was one of the stupidest decisions to run my own server hardware.
Besides these changes:
- infdot.com now redirects to rlaanemets.com. I am not maintaining a separate company homepage anymore. This gives me more free time for the important things.
- Rolled out SSL to my every site/app where I enter passwords. All the new certs are from Lets Encrypt and are renewed automatically.
- I am now monitoring my top priority web servers through UptimeRobot.
- The blog frontend is monitored by Sentry.
The apartment buildings full-scale renovations were finally accepted by the other owners and the contract has been signed with the building company. The constructions start ASAP. I have been looking for possible places to rent a quiet office space as the construction noise likely makes work in the home office impossible.
Yearly summary and plans
2016 was incredibly busy and frustrating year for me. A project at the beginning of the year was left partially unpaid after it turned out to be financially unsuccessful for the client. The project did not have a solid contract and a legal action against the client would have been very difficult. This put me into a tight situation where I took more work than I could handle to compensate my financial situation. As the work accumulated:
- I was not able to keep up with some projects. Deadlines slipped.
- I was not able to accept better and more paying work due to the existing work.
- Increasing workload caused health issues: arm pains, insomnia.
In the end of the year I had to drop some projects as there was no other ways to decrease the work load. Last 2 weeks were finally pretty OK.
In 2017 I want to avoid such situations. Financially I'm already in a much better position. I will be requiring a bit stricter contracts from my clients and select projects more carefully.