October 25, 2019
Week of October 14-20
I started off the new week with a day off thanks to the federal holiday (whatever you choose to call it). The funny thing is that I had forgotten on Sunday that I was not working on Monday. I was actually looking forward to getting back into a project that I have been working on. I can’t explain all the reasons but I have really enjoyed this project. I think a big reason is that it has been a singular focus. Over the past couple of months, I have been juggling multiple projects at one time and having to switch gears and mindset multiple times throughout the day. Being able to focus on one project has led to more enjoyment.
I have also really been getting into flow recently in my work. I have really enjoyed solving problems to build WordPress templates. It has been fun to manipulate custom queries to let WordPress do a lot of the work for me. It is a culmination of working on different projects and trying new things that has led to improved workflow in each new WordPress project that I have taken on.
Sidenote: I mentioned the concept of flow above. I got to hear Mikaly Csikszentmihalyi at a UI conference. I really liked his ideas though I have not taken the time to think through them as much as I would have liked.
I also had the chance to revisit a previous project and came up with some creative solutions to add to the page builder system that another developer built. It is one of those evolving projects with a retainer client. They keep come up with new use cases as they want to create new pages. The client was really happy with a solution I came up with a couple of weeks ago that just adds functionality to the current page builder that she can use in the future instead a custom solution that just solved problem now is not re-usable to other pages in the future. This week I was able to add another feature that I had originally used in a custom one off page.
Getting back to Monday. I really enjoyed my day off. One of the best last days of a three-day weekend that I have had for a long time. I think I might have enjoyed it even more and was more relaxed because I was actully looking forward to getting back to work on Tuesday. Not that I don’t enjoy my job. But I always welcome a break to step back and step away from the work for a few days.
My weekends feel like they fly by and I don’t really get the rejuvenation that I need to hit the week with a full tank. And I have had a lot of low energy days recently, I believe due to allergies. So it was nice to have an extra day when I got some yard work done, spent time with my family and got to do some other things I enjoy. And I came into the week with a full tank which might be another contributing factor into the enjoyment I have been experiencing in my work recently.
Several years ago, I started keeping a daily log. It started as a way for me to keep track of the things I worked on through the day. The nature of my work during that time was a lot of one off projects. Some weeks it was hard to remember exactly what I worked on. So I started doing a bulleted list through the day to keep track. It came in very handy at daily standups.
I then expanded the log not just to my work day but to the whole day and to weekends. At the time I was using an app called ohlife that was a diary app focused on daily posts. It originally had the functionality to add one picture to the post but then later you could add more. So I got into the practice of trying to find a picture or do a screenshot that would capture a major part of my day. Once ohlife had its end of life, I moved my daily log into Evernote.
For some reason around February of this year, I fell out of practice. One of the resources I mention below talks about the importance of documenting your work so that you can write case studies and be prepared for interviews when job transitions come about. As I have been thinking about that, I have had a desire to get back into the practice of keeping a daily log.
There are so many other things in my life that the daily log practice help me with. I put together a thanksgiving list on Saturdays and pray through that recognizing how God is at work in my life. The daily log helps me to remember and recognize the things to be grateful for.
Doing this weeknotes is another way I am documenting my life. I got back into the practice of keeping a daily log last week and it was extremely helpful in helping me to put together in this post.
- Let’s Not Forget about Container Queries – one of the items on my list I wanted to read from last week
- Editorial Design Patterns with CSS Grid and Named Columns – another one that was on my want to read list. Definitely want think through this more and start using it in my work
- A Complete Guide to Responsive Images – Learned a couple of new things but I have read some other articles that were more helpful.
- Feeling Sassy Again – A lot of what they discussed does not apply to the way I use Sass.
- Firefox CSS Tools Survey
- Seriously, you need to start documenting your UX work and How to structure and write a UX case study in 5 steps – I want to start writing case studies for my portfolio. It seems like sites have a shorter shelf life these days so a good case study can last even if the site is no longer in operation.
Tools I Found
- Exporting WP posts into Custom Post Types – this came is very helpful last week when I needed to import content from a current site to the new design I am building. For the new site, I made custom post types from content that they had in categories.
- Make Some Waves – SVG Wave generator
- Convert SVG absolute clip-path to relative – This might be helpful as I get into using clip-path in the future
- Fast Layouts with CSS Grids – love these short format videos from Mozilla
- Don’t Wait To Use Subgrid for Better Card Layouts
- Build a Classic Layout FAST with CSS Grid –
- Bill Gates Documentary (Netflix) – Finished watching this series that I had started the previous week
- Carmen Sandiego (Netflix) – been watching season 2 on Netflix with my youngest daughter and wife. I love the style of illustration used in this animated series.
- The Great British Baking Show (Netflix) – My family enjoyed this show for the last four or five years. I like that Netflix is releasing one episode a week so we have something to look forward to watching on Friday night.
- 80’s Computer and Technology – Part of CNN documentary series about the 1980’s. Enjoyed this look into the world of technology that burst on the scene and set the stage for the WWW to become mainstream in the 90’s.
- Fever Pitch (Prime Video) – Romantic Comedy + Baseball. Enjoyed seeing this again. Didn’t realize that I watched it the day before the anniversary of the greatest comeback in a 7 game series in which the RedSox came back to beat the Yankees after being down 3-0 and eventually won the World Series.
- MLB The Show – I continued playing the postseason with the Rays. I started the week by winning game 5 of ALDS against Boston. But later in the week, I lost 4 in a row to Cleveland which ended my season. The Indians had my number all season.
- FIFA 19 – I enjoyed continuing to play with Olympique Lyonnais. I won the second leg of Champions League semifinal against Liverpool.