Who’s Jason Ennui?
I’m an author, freelancer, and slacking blogger from Missoula, Montana. I run Ennui Design, which used to be just me, but has grown into a collective of freelancers whose work I admire. I’ve authored two books, PHP for Absolute Beginners and the yet-to-be-released Professional PHP and jQuery for Apress publishing.
Additionally, I designed and co-own the clothing company Humblecock, which is an apparel company for the confident-not-cocky crowd.
Do you have a Brand?
I operate both my freelancing business and my blog under the banner of Ennui Design. I’m also part-owner of the Humblecock trademark, under which I operate my clothing company.
What does your typical day look like?
It varies based on my workload. Lately I’ve been doing a lot more project management instead of actual programming, which has been a pleasant break. A busy day might look like this:
- 8:30AM—Wake up, do the morning routine
- 9:30AM—Head to my favorite coffee shop to fuel up
- 10:00AM—Check email, return phone calls
- 11:00AM—Organize myself with a to-do list for the day
- 11:15AM—Start tackling the items for the day
- 12:30PM—Eat lunch while watching an episode of something (currently Archer)
- 1:10PM—Get back to it
- 5:00PM—Head to the gym
- 6:30PM—Eat dinner and watch another episode of whatever I’m currently into
- 7:30PM—Finish any items that are still outstanding on my to-do list
- 9:00PM—Depending on the day, either go out with friends, pop in a movie, or read a book
This is pretty loose, though, since I make my own hours. Some days I only have a couple hours’ work to do, other days I’m up until 3AM trying desperately to meet a deadline. It all depends.
What are the tools you couldn’t live without?
I rely pretty heavily on Firefox, Firebug, FirePHP, the Web Developer Toolbar, NetBeans (after Wes talked me into trying it over Eclipse‘s PDT project), the PHP manual, and the jQuery docs. I’ve also become completely dependent on my Cintiq 12WX for any work in Photoshop.
What do you do in your free time?
I don’t have too much free time these days, but I brew my own beer, get tattooed, travel, and try to get my hands on the best beers and bourbons available.
Current favorite apps?
Aside from the apps I mentioned above, I use Skype for communication with the freelancers working with me, the iTunes/Last.fm Scrobbler combo for my music, and Tweetie to keep up with my fellow geeks on Twitter. Other than that, I don’t really use too many apps.
What OSs do you prefer?
Small pic for your Workplace?
Favorite: Colors, Font, Languages, JS Framework?
I specialize in PHP/MySQL backends, valid HTML/CSS front-ends, and I love adding some jQuery progressive enhancements to sites.
The things or source that inspired you?
I learned out of necessity (I was in a band that couldn’t afford professional web design), then realized it was fun to build websites. I kept learning new techniques and getting into new and different ways of accomplishing tasks, and when I realized that it was possible to use PHP and MySQL to build content management software, I really dove in.
I love logic puzzles, so programming was very appealing to me. I got lucky enough to have a passion that also works as a profession.
What’s do you prefer, the freelance work or the full time employee?
Definitely freelance. I’m terrible at keeping full-time jobs because I can’t stay in one place. My freelancing allows me to travel wherever I want and keep working. My whole office fits in a messenger bag if I need it to, so I’m constantly mobile, which works out really well for my nomad spirit.
Your personnel projects and goals for 2010?
I’m really trying to get the content management system I’ve built to a point where it could feasibly be released to the community. It’s got a ways to go yet, but I’ve got some great folks such as Drew Douglass contributing to the project and helping me improve the CMS.
Also, I want to release a handful of jQuery plugins I’ve been working on and get my blogging back on a regular schedule. I’m almost to a point where my schedule doesn’t feel completely insane, and the first thing on my list is to reactivate the Ennui Design blog.
I’m working on a full redesign of the Ennui Design site as well. It needs to change from just being the online face of Jason Lengstorf and communicate the new, collective aspect of the business. Of course, a redesign for yourself is always a long process, and it has to take a backseat to all my client work, but it should definitely be done in the first half of 2010.