For the past 3 months, I've been working as a freelancer.
The switch was due to family issues. My second son was born May 31th, and since then the pressure of doing a 200km commute to Lisbon twice a week was getting a little bit more than I was willing to handle. Also, I was missing out on probably the best years of my kids.
So now I'm working on several projects.
First, I'm still attached to the XMPP project at SAPO while we switch server platforms. I don't think my work there is done (I don't think it will never be, really), and I expect to close some very cool features in the very near future. XMPP is getting a lot of publicity right now, and I praise SAPO for seeing this as a strategic area on which to focus resources.
Second, I'm working on a medium sized Catalyst/DBIx::Class project. This is giving me an opportunity to enhance my DBIx::Class skills. I plan to write a bit about this, but as an executive summary, I can tell you this: I first looked at it around version 0.4-something, and I was not at all impressed with it. The current version, however, is vastly superior, and I would encourage anybody who is doing DBI-related work to look at it.
Same could be said about Catalyst. If you only know pre-5.7 versions, you own yourself a favor and look it up again.
Third, I also preparing a new version of my family business site. My wife and I have a e-learning site, Evolui.COM, that has been a bit neglected in terms of upgrades and feature improvements. I've been re-factoring stuff, mostly in the back-office, to make it more productive for our day-to-day support people, and I hope to start hacking on the main site soon.
All in all, being near my family after almost 7 years with my wife, but always on the road, is probably the best move I made in a long time.
So 2006 had two major life switching events: my second son, and leaving behind 12 years working for others. LetÂ´s see what 2007 will bring us.
Happy new year to you all!