Joseph Hallenbeck
February 02, 2011

Field Report

Filed under: Journal

The campaign continues as I work to spread my resume about to those employers who would take me. Nonetheless, morale weakens and I find myself dabbling more and more in various research projects. I assessed my skills over Christmas, and found myself rather diverse. I am a writer, graphic designer, photographer, and programmer. Fitting all of those into one job title is difficult. Fortunately, I find that a lot of rural areas I’m looking at are looking for weird hybrid web developers. Rural organizations are more likely to want someone who can design, code, and draft content for a site – an all-in-one package like myself! (Now, if only they would hire me.)

Last year, I devoted myself to working on art and writing. The result was the successful publication of some poetry, the creation of a few blog sites, and the income of $16.85 for four months of work.

Perhaps blog writing won’t pay the bills after all. Than again, picking something as obscure as cynical philosophy was a poor choice. The people who understand the humor of cynical philosophy are few. The people who will misinterpret cynical philosophy, and think me mad, are many. Thus, I decided to retire thedoggedphilosopher.com to subdomain hell, and will soon replace it with a new blog focusing on providing cultural commentary for such geeky subjects as comics, games, anime, film, and literature.

Speaking of geeky, my webcomic “Drifting in the Sea of Nihilism” will begin regular biweekly updates starting next Monday (now with improved writing and art).

I would be happy to fall into any one of the careers that use my abilities. I would be ecstatic to make a living off comics and writing. Nonetheless, looking at the job market for Montana I see only one of my skill-sets that regularly pops up: web development. Well, if this is what the people demand, than so be it!

My regiment for this year is rigorous. I want to get atop the entire web development field and get myself into the cutting edge of skills. I set up a reading list including everything from discrete mathematics, design patterns, and new web technologies to items like business and project management. Already I reread my texts on PHP, MySQL, Apache, Illustrator, and Flash (in one month), and I have new texts on web security, ajax, and PHP design patterns in the mail.

I have some killer projects planned out for the following months – projects that will test my skills and serve as ideal portfolio pieces. Here’s a list of possible ideas:

  • A complete overhaul of  the portfolio site to incorporate more CMS and flash elements (seriously, this place is two years old and no longer represents the range of my creative skills)
  • A database-driven ticket and invoice system for freelance design work
  • A database-driven browser-based multiplayer game
  • A facebook app that uses web services to create a virtual bookshelf (I know, I know, this already exists. However, the current implementation of this app is bad, I can do better)
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