We held our first Code Lounge on Wednesday - Anzac Day in Auckland. We went to the morning service at Glendowie College and then proceeded a rapid clean up to ensure we were ready for the three people arriving. I've posted elsewhere about the results (ZeroMQ vs RabbitMQ vs Pusher), the day went pretty well in my opinion - we stopped every hour and made sure we were aware of what the other team was doing - we set ourselves goals which we overstepped periodically and when we got to the end of the day (3pm) and had only an hour left, we decided whether we continued learning (David and Irina decided to continue getting the Clustering working for Rabbit and trying to work out its fail over strategy) and Mark and I decided to push on with Pusher (which turned out to be an exercise in re-writing the library instead).
All in all a good day. But I was lying on the bed after an exhausting week while listening to my wife practice Cello (which is a surprisingly meditate experience) and thinking about my backlog of books to read. They consist of programming language books (Dart 4 Hipsters for example), Tool books (a few around VIM are bubbling around, Pragprog have just released a new early access), Electronics books (MSP430 and various others), General informational/idealogical books (Information Diet, Biohacking) and fiction. And I'm not really reading them, particularly the programming language ones and I really really want to.
So I'm going to get inspired by Chris Strom (Dart 4 Hipsters, The Spdy Book, Backbone.js recipes) and try starting chains (chains.cc) and see if I can just knuckle down and self educate.
I spoke with Mark about it tonight and wondered aloud whether or not having a Hangout open when I was working away at a particularly topic might be a worthwhile idea. I think I will do it, I will try just having an open hangout around a particular topic and ensure I circle Programming related people in my G+ stream. If they want to come in they can otherwise I at least will continue to learn. I'll set a goal for 1 hour a day and see how I get on.
(PS Manning have a great special on at the moment which includes a lot of interesting books, I'm trying desperately to not go and buy them and have them sitting there as well!)