July 24, 2023
Week of July 16–22
The word that best describes my week is disruptive.
- I put my desk in a new place in my office. We have a bed in the office that I will take back to storage or put in my son’s vacant room once he goes back to school. I was trying to take better advantage of the flow in the room by placing my desk in a different place.
- I switched out my laptop (on a stand) and my monitor so that my bookcase would be in the background of my Zoom calls. I kept the apps on the screens that I normally have them on so it was a bit disorienting.
- I started a new project with a new WordPress starter theme that one of my teammates put together. It took me a bit to get used to where things were in the theme and a different methodology that my teammate has in his approach to development. I took some time on Thursday to make it more my own but it still feels a bit foreign to me.
- I am building WordPress blocks with React instead of with ACF in a new project. Learning a new way of doing something is disruptive in a positive way. But disruptive just the same.
- I started using Shift to manage my email accounts and work apps. I had seen an ad for the app on Facebook and found out one of my teammates swears by it. It is nice to streamline my workflow but it took me a bit to get things set up and get used to a new way of working.
Most of these things are positive things that I am embracing to improve my work. They pull me out of my comfort zone which made the week feel very disruptive.
I ended up moving my desk back to its “normal” position on Thursday night. I needed something familiar to help me deal with the emotional cost of disruption for all the changes I have embraced. Friday felt like a much more productive day. 🙂
WordPress Block Creation
As I mentioned, I have embraced a new way of building WordPress blocks. After working through several lessons in the WordPress Block Creator Course, I was ready to put what I had learned into practice. The best way to learn is to “just build websites.” And I had a new project that was ready for me to get started on.
I kept the Block Creator Course open in a browser window as well as the GitHub repo. It helped to look back at what I had built and then supplement that by looking at the Block Editor Handbook on WordPress.org. I learned about some new components and gained a better understanding of ones that the Block Creator Course had introduced me to.
Nothing beats hands-on learning. I felt a great sense of accomplishment when I built my first block and got it to render on the front end. It is great to conquer something that intimidated me just a few months ago.
Here are some resources that I have found helpful:
- WordPress Gutenberg – I like the interface of this page and its overview of the different components available.
- Block Editor Handbooks Core Block Reference
On Sunday, I hit the 15-year mark with Twitter. It was not quite as meaningful of an anniversary as it had been in the past. I mourn what Twitter has become over the past year. Fewer and fewer of the people that I had followed in the Web community are active on the platform. I have been less active as well.
I wanted to take the time to write some thoughts about what Twitter had meant to me last week but didn’t get around to it. I would still like to write that post in the near future.
To be honest, I felt a bit overwhelmed by what to write. I had a lot of different thoughts and several threads of my life were coming together. I need to come up with a plan and some boundaries so I can write up something meaningful.
Front End Design Conference Reunion
On Monday, I read on Facebook that Dan Denney and Cheri Amor are interested in bringing the Front End Design Conference. But they want to make sure people wanted it. They asked for help in getting the word out since the social media scene has changed a bit (the downfall of Twitter).
The Front End Design Conference was my favorite conference of all that I attended. They always attracted top-notch speakers and the atmosphere and culture of the conference facilitated opportunities to talk with those speakers and other conference participants. One of the best conferences for cultivating community.
I attended the very first edition of the conference in 2009, which I found out about through Twitter via Chris Coyier. I believe it was the first or one of the first conferences that he spoke at. I attended the first four events through 2012. I got a chance to join other attendees in speaking on Day 2 in 2012.
I relocated to Chattanooga ten years ago and did not get back from any of their conferences after year 4. I have very fond memories of the conference and the many people I got to know in the Central Florida web community through the conference.
I would also like to write a post about my experiences with this conference. It was one of the threads that came together last week as I thought about my Twitter anniversary.
Thinking about the Front End Design Conference also got me thinking about someone I met through that first conference and had not caught up with in a while. So I reached out to Mike over LinkedIn and we met on Zoom Tuesday night. It was great to catch up with him and talk to someone who overlaps with the stages of life I am in.
Articles I read
- If Satan Took Up Marriage Counseling
- New Low in the Accessibility “Industry : ” Overlay Company Sues Globally-Recognized Accessibility Expert
- the article element and screen readers
- Writing CSS In 2023: Is It Any Different Than A Few Years Ago? (Smashing Magazine)
- The harassment of Italian evangelical churches
- Man Cannot Live on Feeds Alone (Trevin Wax)
- Breathe a Sigh of Relief or Recoil in Terror (Tim Challies)
- Sass Features in CSS (Chris Coyier)
- WordPress Blocks, Portable Patterns and Pain Points
- Nate Bargatze (Chris Coyier) – I discovered a comedian through Chris’ post. My wife and I watched on of his Netflix shows and really enjoyed it.
- The Local Church We All Need
- Good News Refreshes the Bones
Books I am reading
- The Creative Act
- True to His Word
- Engineering Management for the Rest of Us
- Invitation to the Jesus Life
- Truman – I grew up in Independence, Missouri where Truman is from. I visited his presidential library at least once. I heard a story from one of my mom’s childhood friends about Truman at the visitation service before the funeral back in January. So I was interested to read David McCullough’s book. I started reading in at the end of the week.
- Design is Storytelling
What I watched
- Secret Invasion (Disney+)
- Rebels (Disney+)
- Indian Matchmaking (Netflix)
- Quarterback (Netflix)
- Nate Bargatze: The Tennessee Kid (Netflix)
- Bluey (Disney+)
What I played
- MLB The Show 23 (Rays) – I went 2-4 this week. My hitting woes continue. I lost several close games, several of them were 1-0 losses. I even changed my hitting mode on Saturday but didn’t fare any better. It is frustrating. I hate losing and especially when I can’t put hits together to score runs.