DevOpsChops Diaries Notes from a developer of a DevOps game


When I last blogged here, I was spending a large amount of my free time on the DevOpsChops side project. The project was taking shape incredibly quickly and I could see myself releasing it in a month or two with the progress being made. Since then, I’ve spent approximately zero time on it.

The original culprit was winning a Nintendo Switch. I considered giving it away, but first I just had to play Breath of the Wild as it was heralded as one of the top games of all time. Turns it it’s also a very time-consuming adventure to complete. That ate up almost a month of time. After that I somehow convinced myself that I needed to play some classic PC games as a form of “research” into improving the game aspect of DevOpsChops. Before I knew it I’d worked through the entire BioShock series (all excellent), a number of puzzle games like Braid and Talos Principle, and even a few VR games.

I don’t regret that I played these games but I do regret that I haven’t spent any time on DevOpsChops. There are so many great video games out there and you could spend all your spare time playing them. They seemed to make me lazier, by providing big in-game rewards for straightforward and engaging goal-oriented work.

Worse, they seemed to sap my creative drive and made me despair of making something cool myself, as the level of craftmanship in games like BioShock is just awe-inspiring making any indie effort look basic. I need to recognize that few experiences are going to compare to playing one of the top reviewed games ever produced by a large, renowed studio. And that’s fine! There’s a galaxy of space for all sorts of creations to exist and thrive in.

There’s a regular pattern that myself and many of my friends fall into. We get obsessed by a particular side project or field of study for a while, before something else catches our fancy. In some ways this is an advantage; in the fast moving world of software it’s good to always be experimenting with new technologies, and if a fixation is not particularly healthy (such as video games) it never seems to last too long.

But it also means that my hard drive and notebooks are full of half-finished projects. When I look through some of these projects, I think, it’s not perfect but people would have liked it, I should have just released it! I’m determined not to let DevOpsChops be one of those projects.