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Weeknotes 22:01

January 9, 2022

Week of January 1-8

Roadtrip

I started 2022 with a quick road trip to Nashville. I rode up with my daughter as she returned to Trevecca to start student teaching this past week. We left earlier in the day than originally planned as severe weather was expected to roll through the city in the afternoon. We almost beat the rain entirely as we were unpacking the car. It started to pour down on our last trip between the car and the apartment.

We bought a new battery for my daughter’s car in Murfreesboro after the one we had in the car had an end-of-life message when we had it tested. I had accidentally left an interior light on the night before and I wanted to make sure the battery was in good shape for my daughter. I decided to go ahead and get a new one so that she does not have to worry about it later.

There was a lot of rain in Nashville but the more severe weather stayed to our south. I took a shuttle home on Sunday morning and was glad I took the earlier one as snow moved into Middle Tennessee in the afternoon. My daughter ended up having Monday, Thursday, and Friday off due to two different snowstorms that hit Nashville. We only got a dusting of snow on Thursday in Chattanooga.

Accessibility Audit

It was another quiet week work-wise as things get ramped up for the year. I was asked to do an accessibility audit for one of our clients. I have not done a formal audit before. In December, I had seen on Twitter that Hidde de Vries had been a guest on Some Antics Twitch talking about auditing sites for accessibility. I watched the video on Tuesday. Hidde highlighted a reporting tool that uses the WCAG Evaluation Methodology. You simply fill out the form fields in the reporting tool and it guides you through the manual tests to meet the requirements of A, AA, or AAA compliance. You can download the report as HTML or JSON.

Before watching the video, I had started the audit by running Lighthouse accessibility testing on a sample of pages. I had written down several other observations as I did some manual testing like navigating through the site with tabs. Then on Wednesday, I did manual testing of a sample of about 15 pages that covered all the different types of content on the site. I used the WCAG-EM Reporting Tool to record my observations, point out problem areas with solutions, and make some other recommendations. The tool gave me a great framework to report my findings. I saved it as an HTML file, added some styling, and made a PDF that we could share our findings with the client.

Mentoring

I had several mentoring opportunities this past week. I enjoyed 1:1 with two of the developers on our team. I check in with them bi-weekly to make sure they have everything they need to be successful in their work and be an additional touchpoint. Our meetings this week were catch-ups after the holidays and more personal than about work.

The other mentoring opportunity I had was to help our new teammate, Chris, onboard to the team. Part of improving our onboarding experience is to pair up new teammates with an onboarding buddy. This person serves as a point of contact to help answer questions for the new teammate and just to be a friendly face to connect with during the first week of work. This is the third opportunity I have had in the last five months to serve in this role. I am glad that LGND has added this to the onboarding process and hope that it helps new teammates to feel more connected sooner.

30 Days to Better Habits

Two years ago, I read the book Atomic Habits after a recommendation from Rachel Andrew. We ended up reading it together as a team for the LGND book club. It is a great book with a bit of a different perspective on forming habits (identity-based habits versus outcome-based habits). I had enjoyed reading it in 2020 but did not follow through as I would have liked to get the most benefit out of the book.

This past week, I got an email from James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, that he was offering a 30-day email course. The course is complementary to the book. He found that many people still had a lot of questions on where to start and needed help implementing the material from the book. He designed the email course to help people take those next steps. This sounded like exactly what I need to help me take the next steps with the material in the book. I signed up right away and began the course this week.

Articles I Read

Books I Read

  • Gentle and Lowly – I finished reading this one on Tuesday. I think I enjoyed it more the second time around. It is one of the best books I have read and I plan to revisit it regularly in the future.
  • God of All Things
  • The Baseball 100 – I bought this one with one of my Amazon gift cards that my parents sent me. A look at baseball history through this top 100 list compiled by the writer. I had multiple sources tell me this was one of the best books they read in 2021.
  • The Burnout Epidemic – A book recommended by Kevin Eikenberry. I bought this one to research this topic and think about how LGND can help our teammates avoid burnout. I am going to be part of a culture working group this year and thought the book would help me identify areas we can address. So far I have been very encouraged about how LGND has built a culture that addresses the systemic causes of burnout.
  • The Wisdom Pyramid – I have wanted to read this one since I first read an article by the author that became the basis of this book. It recently was on sale for Kindle so I snatched it. Lots of thought-provoking material so far and I am barely into it.

Listened To

  • ShopTalk Show Episode 495 – I listened to this one on the way back from Nashville on Sunday. Some interesting discussion about build tools and CSS resets. Two things I have been thinking about recently.
  • Spider-man: No Way Home soundtrack on Spotify – I listened to this several times this week. There is a very haunting melody that I like and keeps playing in my head.

Watched

Played

  • MLB The Show 21 (Braves) – Wins continued to be hard to come by as I lost two close games to the RedSox. I finally won on Saturday as I got a great start out of Huascar Ynoa (who leads my team with 6 wins) and got some key home runs to put me over the top.
  • Spider-man (Marvel) – I decided to play this one on Friday afternoon. I started a new game and enjoyed the first levels of this one. I am glad that this game has different difficulty levels as I am not very good at these action games that require a lot of button combinations.

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