Weeknotes 22:14

June 20, 2022

Week of June 5 - 11 and 12 - 18

  • I continued working on a page for the Kauffman Real World Learning project that I had started the previous week.
  • I switched gears to work on a one-page landing page for NAPEO. Our team, LGND, created a campaign for this client that points to the one-pager. The landing page includes a video hero that I added animation of fading in and out text as the video progresses. The video is hosted on Vimeo, and we used their API to set up timers to fire the animations. The documentation on the Vimeo site was not overly helpful but my teammate had used it before and set up an example for me on Codepen to follow.
  • I learned about using the Kit language in CodeKit. This allowed me to include files and then compile them into HTML. I have been doing more component files in WordPress recently and use includes when writing simple PHP sites. I ended up dividing up the page by the different sections and was also able to include an SVG file. It is nice to keep my code clean and separate instead of having to scroll through one long page.
  • I also decided to push myself by only using vanilla JavaScript on the NAPEO project. I created a reusable Intersection Observer script to add a class to a section and then run CSS animations once that class was present.
  • At a recent LGND Campfire, we had the opportunity to hear from Rebecca Steele. She is part of the Emerging Technologies Policy team. We have worked with her and her team for the past three years. She talked about her career path and talked through the different projects that LGND has partnered with Toyota to create. This year, LGND built the Dragon Quest gamification program to challenge the Toyota Policy Driver community to unlock higher levels through grassroots advocacy participation. The program is very popular at Toyota all the way up to the executive level.
  • I jumped back to the Kauffman project at the end of the week and finished up the page on Monday. I was able to to create a couple other pages through the week.
  • Over the last month, I have been taking my son out consistently to practice his driving to prepare to pass the road test to obtain his driver’s license. I had initially thought he would take the test later in the summer. But I had noticed that he was doing a really good job. And as it turned out, the driving school that we used only had one available time for him to go out with the instructor and take the test with him. So last week, my son took the test and passed with 100%. I am so proud of him. Another big milestone in his life.
  • Speaking of milestones, my eldest daughter graduated from college at the beginning of May. Last week, she accepted a job to teach at a middle school east of Nashville. She is now in the process of trying to find an apartment that she and her college roommate can share.
  • I took a day off in the middle of the week to address a family situation. I am so grateful for the unlimited PTO policy that LGND implemented this calendar year that allows me to take off days when I need them without feeling like I am burning through days that I might need later to rejuvenate. It is nice to have the freedom that comes with their trust in us as employees.
  • On Friday, I played around with the Simple Membership plugin for WordPress. We need the functionality for the Real World Learning site. So far I have been impressed and believe that it is going to meet our very simple needs.

Meeting a challenge

Early last week, I was asked to jump in and help my teammates with a project that had a fast-approaching deadline. It is a site that contains a lot of data visualizations, along with sections that help tell the story. Kosta, one of LGND’s animators, prototyped four different animations for heroes on two of the pages and two storytelling sections. The prototypes were movie files. The challenge was to take his ideas and make them happen with GreenSock.

To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed initially. I knew that I could figure it out but it was going to push me to use skills in GreenSock that I had learned about but not really applied. Isn’t that the best way to learn anyway?

After taking a walk to clear my head, I sat down and just started playing around with one of the easier animations. The first one came together and helped my confidence and I tackled the other three one by one. I was very happy with the solutions I came up with. They were not a perfect match but I had the creative freedom to digress a bit from the prototype. Over two days, I was able to bring the animations to life and helped out a teammate allowing her to focus on other parts of the project to meet the deadline.

Preparing for a six-month review

Over the weekend, I worked on preparing for my six-month review. I took some time on Saturday to review journal entries and a calendar I keep to identify my accomplishments over the last six months. The next step was to write out those accomplishments as I would if they were bullet points on my resume (which I can later use to update my resume and keep it up to date).

After identifying my accomplishments, I was ready to answer questions about:

  • how my work aligns with my position focus
  • reflect on accolades and accomplishments
  • note how I have contributed to the success of my teammates
  • note how my teammates have contributed to my success
  • and finally, answer some forward-looking questions to consider for the next six months and next 3-5 years

I found the process of remembering my achievements to be very encouraging. I have had more downtime this year and was encouraged to see how I have used that time well. I also made the connection that I have been able to apply a lot of the things that I have learned as I have focused on professional development, especially as I took time to make Codepens that solidified my learning or experiment with new front-end technologies.

Articles I read

Books I read

What I watched

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)
  • Everybody Loves Raymond (Peacock)
  • Top Gun: Maverick (Theater) – My son and I saw this on Thursday and really enjoyed it. It was really well done for this type of sequel where quite a bit of time has passed in between. I loved how they weaved in new characters and their backstory in such a way that you felt like you already knew them. I saw the original in theaters 36 years ago. The sequel was even better. Very entertaining and what you want when you go to the theater.
  • The Phantom Menace (Disney+) – Watching Kenobi made me want to revisit his story in the prequels.
  • Ms. Marvel (Disney+) – I have been pleasantly impressed with this new Marvel series.

What I played

  • MLB The Show 21 (Braves) – I mentioned last week that I have struggled a lot over the last few weeks to put together a winning streak. I had a breakthrough this past two weeks and won 8 of 9 games including a sweep of the Dodgers on the road. This week, I lost two heartbreakers by the score of 2-1, one in extra innings and the other in nine. It was so disappointing because my pitching was great. I just could not get the offense going. But after that setback, I went on to win 4 of 5 and have climbed back into a first-place tie with the Phillies with 18 games left to play in the season.
  • Wordle – I have not been playing this as consistently but still enjoy it. I find myself using more helps these days to identify what words I could make with the letters I guess correctly.


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