Blog

The Happy Coder is an indie developer blog written by Bruno Godbout.  Posts are on a variety of topics related to software development and indie developer life.

Yoga Challenge Day 01

I decided to start the 30 day challenge with a class I am familiar with: the Stretch and Unwind. It is a low intensity class that has a mix of passive and active moves. Stretching is not as deep as a Yin class but it is satisfying.

This class felt hotter than usual. Turns out the difference was the humidity level. It was a rainy afternoon, so it was more humid than usual. I don't usually sweat that much in a low intensity class.

It was still quite enjoyable though. I am looking forward to trying out the Hip Opening Flow class tomorrow morning.

30 day yoga challenge

I have decided to challenge myself for the month of May and join a 30 day yoga challenge (30 yoga classes in 30 days). I expect that this will challenge me in two ways. First, the obvious one: the physical challenge of doing an hour of hot yoga each day. The second challenge will be to make this fit into my schedule. It is a time commitment of about 2 hours every day (60 to 75 minutes of actual yoga + changing and commute).

I also decided to take on this challenge because it will soon be a year since I bought a one year unlimited subscription at a local hot yoga studio. I initially thought that I would go at least twice a week, which is what I needed to make it worth the cost of the subscription. Turns out I have been going at most twice a week. Usually once or not at all. So before I decided whether to renew my unlimited subscription I wanted to see if I could sustain going more often and attend more than the Yin style classes I have been limiting myself to.

I typically really enjoy the classes, but the studio's schedule for the classes I wanted to take (Yin yoga) made it difficult to go every week because they are during family time. I have tried the other classes early on but found them overwhelming.

However, since I started last year my fitness level has significantly improved. I have been doing strength training twice a week and I am much stronger. My flexibility has also improved. So I think that if I can successfully complete the 30 day challenge I will know that it is worth renewing my unlimited membership. I won't have to go every day but I want to go at least 3 times a week.

I plan to write some short posts every day to monitor / keep track of how Im doing.

Rescuing your iPad 2 from iOS 9.3

When I upgraded my trusty iPad 2 to the latest version of iOS (9.3) I got stuck at the activation phase with the message:

“Your iPad could not be activated because the activation service is temporarily unavailable.”

No matter how many times I retried, it would not activate. Apple has published a fix for this, but you need to perform the steps outlined in this support note (it worked for me):

If you can’t activate your iPad 2 (GSM model) after you update to iOS 9.3

Beware of Limiting Beliefs

Shane Crawford (@shanezilla) wrote a good article on the importance of your mindset, especially if you are a solo app developer.

I see limiting beliefs all of the time while out in the wild-lands of the internet. Phrases such as, “I can’t do anything about it”, “it’s not possible to succeed on the App Store”, “only free apps have a chance” or “developers are at the mercy of Apple for promotion”. These are all limiting beliefs. Sure, they might seem to have the ring of truth but it is your attitude in how you approach those obstacles that will determine your success and ultimately your personal happiness.

You can add to that:

  • "I can't be as successful as developer XYZ because I don't have as many Twitter followers / visitors to my blog / reviews from popular sites / money to spend on marketing"
  • "There are already too many apps that do XYZ."
  • "Nobody wants to pay for an XYZ app.

I fully agree with Shane, especially with this advice:

Pay attention to your feelings and attitudes towards obstacles. Identify limiting beliefs and work to correct them.

What you consider an obstacle can often be turned into a challenge, an opportunity or even an advantage. I believe that many developers fail to succeed in the App Store because of their limiting mindset.

The Wilderness

Gus Mueller just published a great article called "The Wilderness". This is a must read for all indie developers. The following exerpt particularly spoke to me:

However much time I've been doing this for, and no matter how much practice I put into it, there's one thing that always sneaks up and pulls the rug right from under me. It's usually between major releases, but not always. It's a period of time where I'm pretty lost, and I don't know what to do. I have feature lists, I have open bugs to fix, and I have an outline of where the app is going. But I feel mentally incapacitated, like I'm getting nothing done.

I call this "The Wilderness".

Before becoming an indie developer I worked over 20 years as an employee for a big software company. In that environment there was usually no question as to what to do next. There would be regular communication with my team and manager as to our priorities. Even though there were sometimes too many items considered to be first priority :-), I don't recall too many situations where I was paralysed with indecision.

Now that I am on my own, this happens to me a lot. I don't have the daily interactions that remind me what the most pressing things are. With no manager, I have to manage myself. It wouldn't be too bad if all I was doing was writing code. I've been doing this for a long time and know what to do.

But there are many new things I have to do as an independent. New things that take time for me to learn. New things that I end up spending too much time on before I decide to delegate them. New things that take time away from moving my product forward.

I spent two years in the wilderness before I admitted to myself that I needed help. About a year ago I started working with business coaches that were recommended to me by a friend. This made a big difference for me. I initially setup weekly meetings. My coaches would get me to set goals for the coming week. At the next meeting I would show whether or not I had accomplished my goals. We would also talk at length about longer term goals and how to reach them.

This was what I needed. Those weekly goals force me every day to ask myself what was the next step to accomplish that goal. This took away the indecision, helped me avoid going down rabbit holes and allowed me to constantly move my business forward. As my ability to focus grew, I was able to reduce the frequency of our meetings (we now meet once a month).

Today I am more focused than ever and planning a fall release of my first app.

This may not work for everybody, but I encourage all indies lost in the wilderness to at least give it a try.