An idea

Until this day, all of my big side projects ideas have failed. I actually barely started working on most of them, as up to this gap year I took, I never really had the time for planning and executing such ideas.

For a long time now, I have been interested in social responsibility and how I could be more participative in this society. That seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on something I learned about some months ago: a time bank.

Time banks

In a few words, the goal is to bring local communities closer together by allowing people to provide services to each other in money-less transactions: time becomes the currency and the parts may charge their "clients" in hours they will be able to use as credit for requesting services from others.

I honestly still need to formalize which kinds of activites would belong in the system, but for better illustrating the concept, let's think of these five types for now:

  • Lawyer consultation;
  • English ASL class;
  • Photography session;
  • Massage;
  • Dog walking.

Say I (Henrique) am a dog walker. I'd be free to offer one hour of dog walking on the network, and, in case someone finds that useful, they can provide one hour out of their "wallet" to me and I'd do the job. With that one hour in my wallet, I could request one hour of massage from someone else, because walking dogs for long is very exausting and physically demanding. Everyone would start with a certain amount of hours for "free" (with no previous work required), by the way.

Regulation

Obviously it'd need a lot of regulation, for reasons like the one I mentioned above (the sorts of services allowed), and many more, like how to make sure no one is going to cheat by creating extra accounts or get credits for doing nothing etc. At this point all I have is a base definition and some drafts of what some day will possibilly come to reality as a web server and an Android application.

The app

I'm kind of ashamed I'm so into finding new apps and more ethical alternatives and, at the same time, know almost nothing about the functoning of Android apps. I have understood Java for an intermidiate level and played a little with Android Studio in school, but years have passed and those times have become memories from a distant past - memories which are fading away.

As I'm a cli geek now, I felt inclined to search for the courage to do the whole process without an IDE. Frankly, it was not very difficult, I just had to Duck a few terms and boom! A hello world app is running smoothly on my phone (that's all it does: it's a black screen with "Hello World" written on it) - I recommend you this excellent tutorial.

You can follow my first steps (and other projects) through the "GIT" link positioned on the top menu.


This is probably enough. Another news is my goal to start either a podcast or a videos channel, on YouTube or PeerTube — maybe both. It will be a fun way to document my progress and improve my presentation capabilities. Thank you for reading.

Update: eh, it's too complicated to write Android code without suggestions/auto-completion! Substitute what I said about Android with "progressive web app" - it's still going to be a lot of fun and learning, besides no need for a heavy IDE.