April 4, 2021
Week of March 28 - April 3
The Thrill of the Week
On Thursday, I presented our work on the latest project I am a part of to the Resolve to Save Lives team. I got some encouraging feedback from Jon Hicks, who is a member of that team. Jon is someone I have respected for many years through his writing, speaking, and being a very visible voice in the Web community for many years. So it was a huge thrill to receive that positive input from him. Other members of the team were also very excited about how the website is coming together. It is always a great encouragement to have such positive feedback on something that I have worked so hard on the past three weeks.
After presenting to the Resolve team on Thursday, I found myself elated but also very tired. I have put a lot of mental energy into this project. Each page is full of references and it was very meticulous work to code the references and make sure I had all the content correct. The content was updated a couple of times through the course of me working on it so I had to go back and compare what I had to the updates and make the appropriate changes. It was not a straightforward cut and paste because I had coded the references in a specific way to allow the user to access the links when they hovered over the word preceding the superscript element.
I have found this project very stressful. Originally, it had a much tighter deadline. I felt a bit overwhelmed from the beginning because there is just a lot of work to be done. Added to that was the fact that the design and copy were in a state of fluidity from the time I started on the project. I had to work out the layouts for smaller screens as only the desktop view was mocked up. There have been a lot of decisions I have had to make and still many things that I want to find a better solution for. On top of that, it fell to me to work out the animations. Animation work is an art and it really takes have some time to experiment and come up with different approaches to work out the final solution. I think the time crunch made that part of the project a bit more stressful because it seemed to go slower than I had the time for. I am very grateful that we made a decision to only animate one of the pages for this first development version.
I think I have put a lot of pressure on myself to make the first development version more polished than it needed to be. It is always hard to know where to draw the line. I always want the work that I show to be the best quality that it can be and that includes a lot of things behind the scenes that the client is not necessarily aware of. Code quality matters to me. I would rather do it right the first time than have to go back and refactor it later (and I may forget or not have the time to do it).
To be honest, I wanted to take a break after I presented on Thursday. I had worked several long days to get the project ready to present so I toyed with the idea of taking a half-day on Thursday or Friday to recoup. But there is still a lot of work left to be done before we present it again to the client team this next Thursday. I was looking forward to the weekend but also not looking forward to diving again come Monday.
As I have had time to reflect over the weekend, I realize that I have let this project consume me over the past three weeks. It has been hard to think about other things in my life that need attention, like making an appointment to get my first vaccine (which I took just enough time to do and set it up for later in the afternoon this coming Thursday). I can’t do this (get so consumed by a project). It is not healthy. I know I can’t sustain it over the long term. I fear burning out. I need to figure out a way to be able to work hard on projects without letting them consume me as this one has done. I don’t have any answers right now but I have prayed about it and will continue to think of strategies to employ in the future.
Being involved in a project with Jon Hicks has made me a bit nostalgic. Earlier on Thursday, I had watched a podcast called One Footer in the Grave. It featured Jon, Paul Boag, Marcus Lillington, and Andy Clarke. I listened to Paul and Marcus on the Boagworld podcasts for many years. I have read several of Andy’s books and listened to several of his conference talks from conferences that released their program in audio format back before video became more prevalent. So these were all voices from my past and my Web history and it was a lot of fun to hear them again (I listened to most of their ramblings while I was putting some finishing touches on the site I presented later in the day).
So all of this has made me think about days gone by. I have wondered who were the first voices that helped shaped my career. What websites were informing my views and philosophies and have shaped the professional that I have become? I have a very general idea about this. But I am not sure I have as many specifics. I am a very reflective person and very much into history including my own.
As I have set off on some of these reflective journeys, I wish I had documented more things in the past. That I had taken the time to blog more. Or had taken the time to journal more. I probably journal more than most people. But there are some experiences that I wish I had captured and I didn’t.
I am not sure where all this will lead. One idea I had is to try to go back through and make a record of some of these things before I totally forget. Or maybe nothing will come of it at all and I will just enjoy these moments where I reflect back on things that I do remember.
Baseball is Back
I love the beginning of a new baseball season. Baseball is my first love in sports. I have enjoyed watching some highlight videos this weekend from the first games of the season. It was exciting to see the Royals come back and win on opening day and then follow up with a lot of runs to win on Saturday. I also enjoyed watching highlights from the Ray’s first two wins of the year which included a ninth-inning comeback in game 2.
April Fool’s Day
I always need to remind myself to be skeptical of anything that I see online on April 1. I have been taken in by several things in the past. This year I fell for a joke from the creators of The Noun Project. One that I didn’t fall for was a new Andy Clarke project, worryso.me. That one seems to take the joke a little too far as there are links that lead to PayPal.
- The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Episode 3 (Disney+)
- Gonzaga/UCLA Final Four game – This is the only full game I have watched of this year’s tournament. And I am so glad that I did. It was a close game throughout the course of it. I was pulling for Gonzaga because I had picked them to win this round in my team bracket challenge. But I admired the tenacity of UCLA. It was a great basketball game with a memorable finish. It is what March Madness is all about.
I didn’t get to any of the articles that I have saved for later in Pocket. I read a couple of articles today (Sunday) but will save those for next week since I start my weeks on Sunday.
- The Long Distance Teammate
- Confronting Christianity – I started this one the previous week.
I am still playing a season with the Tampa Bay Rays in MLB The Show 20. I just made it into September and have about 22 games left to play in the season. And I just passed the 100 wins mark. My fear is that once I get in the playoffs, I will lose early. I have actually considered not playing the postseason at all. I feel more pressure to win. I think I have more fun with the day-to-day grind of the regular season. Who am I kidding. I can’t go all this way and not finish what I started.