Ocawari


After the JLPT N1, it felt like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders. I didn't have this nagging feeling anymore telling me that I should be studying instead of looking up different services to implement for a web service idea that I wanted to develop.

There are two big main reasons why I wanted to build it. The first being that it's been around 2 months since I've been laid off my previous job developing a web service for a startup. I can't stay unemployed forever and I will need to explain the gap between my previous job and the future interviews that I'll be taking. I also wanted to continue building upon my portfolio so that I have something concrete to show employers. For this reason, I chose to build it MeteorJS. At the time, Meteor 1.0 had just come out so I jumped on the framework looking at it as an opportunity to experience a brand new framework in the same vein as Rails. I wanted to be able to show that I could learn a new framework quickly and implement something in it within a short amount of time. After the JLPT N1, I decided that I had until the end of month to at least build an MVP for my application. I have 10 days until then and I've started to really ramp things up since Christmas holidays are coming really soon and I won't be able to give my full attention to developing the site.

The second reason is because the idea of the app came from a habit that I have. Now there was a time where I didn't have this habit but before I realized it, I was doing it every single day. Everyday when I wake up, no matter if I'm still dazed or not, the first thing I do right away is open the computer and check for all the latest new and updates that happened in the Idol world while I was sleeping. I follow a ton of Idols and I can't spend my time trying to read every single blog post, tweet, Google+ post so I just speed through all of them mainly looking for any new uploaded photos. While I can't read everything that happened, getting the URLs for these photos are something I can do within a reasonable timeframe. The thing is though, I manually click for the direct images to these photos. Not only does this take time to do, but it's also demanding on my computer because I can easily have up to 40 to 50 tabs open on my browser. And I take more time to make sure they are saved into organized folders on my Desktop. The process, depending on the amount of photos that I happen to like within a day, can take from anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes or more if I leave the photos on open tabs unattended or if I leave them disorganized all over my Desktop. I wanted to be able to simplify the process for myself so that I could lessen the time I spend doing that in a day.

An easy solution to the problem is to just stop saving photos everyday. However, that's easier said than done. A wise anime character once concisely said the following and when I first heard it, it really struck a chord in me:

うちの誰かが言ってたけど、オタクってなろうと思ってなるもんじゃなくてさ。もう気付いたらなってるんだって。だからやめることもできねーんだと。

Someone in our club said this once, but... you don't become an otaku by trying. You're just one before you know it. That's why they can't quit either.

(take a look starting at 18:05)

Therefore, I don't think I'd be able to stop even if I wanted to. When I think about stopping, all I feel is how my mind would resist it. After all, who wouldnt want this or even this?

Which leads to what I want Ocawari to do. Essentially, I plan for it to be an image hosting site, a scraper, and a bulk downloader all in one service. It will scrape various sources like Ameblo blogs and utilize the Twitter and Google+ API to fetch images and save it all in S3. Then using S3 with Cloudfront, I will be able to deliver images to users much quicker. I plan on zipping selected images into some sort of compressed folder and then send it to the end user. I am not sure how much a CDN like Cloudfront will help me but its feel that its a good opportunity to learn from. I spent way too much time trying to optimize and figure out which services are the best for my money when I remembered this section that I read from a certain post from Danny Choo's blog:

Worrying

Many of us worry as it makes us feel like we are doing something about a problem when in fact we are wasting time being anxious about nothing. Making a judgement call on an aspect of design (could be the frame, outer shell etc) that has an unknown outcome is a decision that affects time and money and we humans naturally don't want to waste either of these precious resources and worry whether we are making the correct decision or not. But if you start to think about any decision you make as being essential to progress, then its easier to make quicker decisions even though the outcome turns out not as expected. The reason is that now you have that unexpected outcome, you have something to work on to make a judgement call so that you can at least progress towards your goal instead of standing still.

If you find yourself worrying about a decision to make then just make any decision as it will at least set you off towards your goal instead of leaving yourself standing still worrying about nothing.

Another thing about worrying is that 95% of the things we worry about don't happen anyway which goes to show how we waste time worrying over nothing. To prove this - think about 10 things which you remember worrying about in the past - you will find that most of it didn't happen and that you was worrying to see if you could come up with a scenario to remedy the outcome of a worry. But there are things which you have absolutely no control over (weather, London busses etc) in which case just go with the flow! If you already knew the flow from the beginning the life would be boring without any surprise or learning.

There is only one form of worry that is productive - the worry which leads to an action that fixes or improve something. "I'm worried and concerned about the boxes we are using for the shipping of Smart Doll - so lets change the boxes to a double corrugated type."

_Danny Choo, How I started my company in Japan

If I think about it, I have no idea what I'm doing at all but what I know I should be taking this seriously as if I were trying to create a startup. Worrying about which was going to be the best tool for the job was actually a big waste of time and if that's the case, I might as well go with anything and stick with it because it will be a good learning experience.

10 days left. It's currently 4:30 in the morning in New York.

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Kenneth Uy
New York ・ Full Stack Web Developer
www.missingno15.com/profile

Sole owner of missingno15.com. Contributor at NewSchoolKaidan. Japanese Idols and music are my passions. I want to be the very best, that no one ever was.
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