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Weeknotes 21:06

March 21, 2021

Week of March 14 - 20

  • We welcomed a new teammate to our dev team this week. We have been looking to add to our team since the beginning of the year. It has been a frustrating process at times. But the wait was worth it. We are so excited about Josh joining us.  We think he is going to be a valuable addition to the team.
  • I got some good news this week about a project that I started working on last week. We got an extension on the project which takes some of the pressure off. I had been concerned when we started because it was a really tight deadline. Tighter deadlines usually mean that we don’t have as much time to apply that extra polish that can take a project from good to great.
  • I was excited to find out that we are working with Jon Hicks on this project. I have followed Jon for years on Twitter. I have listened to some of his conference talks in the past, read articles from his blog, and regularly listened to The Rissington Podcast that he and a friend did over 10 years ago. I was excited to buy a copy of his book, The Icon Handbook, several years ago. It was wild to have my colleague, Ryan, show me the GitHub repo for the “developer on this project” and then to see a familiar icon of Patrick Macnee that Jon used for years.
  • I registered this week to attend the Web Direction 2021 Hover Conference. It is a CSS-focused conference that I am really excited about. I have never attended a conference devoted just to CSS. This will be the first online conference that I have attended. I have not been part of a Web conference in over 7 years. I really like that it is broken up over two consecutive Friday afternoons. It will give me a little bit more time to process what I hear and not feel like I am drinking from the firehose. The great thing about this being online is that I could not afford to attend this conference in person in Australia. I have always heard good things about Web Direction conferences in the past and listened to presentations back in the day before they were videos. Early bird registration is just $145 till April 2.
  • I enjoyed FaceTime with a dear friend that I had not caught up with him in about two years. It was great to talk and renew our friendship.
  • I had a frustrating morning on Friday as my mouse would not pair with my work laptop. I had just switched back to using a Magic Mouse at the end of last year after using a Logitech trackball mouse for about a year. I tried to see if the Magic Mouse would pair with another computer or my computer on Saturday but it wouldn’t so I was thinking I might need to buy a new mouse. I later realized that the Magic Mouse had paired with another computer in our dining room which is right below my office. We just started using that computer (an iMac) which is my mother-in-law’s. The Magic Mouse was originally hers but she used a wired mouse and had given it to me. The computer was in sleep mode and I noticed it had woken up about the time I was trying to pair the mouse with the other computers. Sure enough, it had paired with that computer (the last time it paired with that computer was at least 4-5 years ago). So I unpaired the mouse with the iMac and it is working fine on my work laptop. Problem solved.
  • I finished up the paperwork on my end so that my accountant could file my tax return. It feels so good to have that done a month before the filing deadline. The best investment I ever made was having an accountant do it instead of trying to do it on my own.
  • I filled out a bracket for our team Bracket Challenge. Not panning out well for me this year.

CSS Grid in the Wild

I wish more people were writing about using CSS Grid in their work. I am particularly interested to hear what others are doing for fallbacks for browsers that don’t support Grid layout. I know that does not apply to many of those visiting the sites I build. But as a huge proponent of progressive enhancement, I care that the sites I build don’t break if someone visits them with an older browser.

I would love to see more articles or posts on how people are using CSS Grid “in the wild.” Guess this should be a personal challenge to myself as I use CSS Grid in almost every project I build these days.

Speaking of progressive enhancement, Andy Bell wrote an excellent article about it which I noted in a post from early this year.

Intrinsic Sizing

One of my favorite CSS properties to use is fit-content. I first became aware of it in Ahmad Shadeed’s article, The Beauty of Tiny Enhancements in CSS. (By the way, Ahmad is producing great articles about CSS and has written an excellent book, Debugging CSS, which I highly recommend).

Ahmad’s example was for a page element where the width is equal to its content (width: fit-content). Just as he points out, I have never been a huge fan of using inline-block to solve this problem because you might not be able to control the content around it. The other way to solve this is to give the element a set width but I also don’t like that solution. I used this solution recently for a button link. It is a great solution because the element’s width is equal to its content and can keep its block characteristics and relationship to surrounding elements.

Watched

  • The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+ – I have been looking forward to this series and the first episode did not disappoint. I really appreciated the character development of both Sam and Bucky. Bucky’s appearances in the Infinity War and Endgame movies were pretty shallow as a background character except for the scene at the very end of Endgame. It had a lot of the same feel as the Winter Soldier movie as Henry Jackman did the music and incorporated themes from that movie in the score of this series. I can’t wait to see how the story develops.
  • On Pointe (Disney+) – A documentary that follows students at the American School of Ballet in New York. I really enjoyed watching this 6 episode series with my wife and daughter (who dances ballet). The final episode was about performing the Nutcracker which is a very familiar thing for our family. I enjoyed being about to watch this with my daughter.

Reading

  • I finished reading How Charts Lie. I was reading this as part of my team’s book club.
  • The Long Distance Teammate – A book about remote work and relationships with teammates. I bought my own copy and have been slowly working through it. A lot of great tips. I read about creating great remote communication. The authors discussed how to be more intentional in choosing which communication tool to use in different situations and went beyond the tools to talk about how to have your message received more successfully by your teammates. Monday update: The author of the book has a recent post, What Social Media Doesn’t Teach You About Effective Communication.
  • Providence – I started reading this one last weekend. It has been about 15 years since I last read a John Piper book. I had forgotten how much I like his writing style. I think he does a great job of supporting his points without over-explaining them. This is one of the longest books I have attempted to read.

Played

  • MLB The Show 20 – I continue to play my franchise season with the Tampa Bay Rays. I am closing in on 100 wins with about a month left in the season. I have slowed down my pace a bit, playing less during the week and mostly on weekends.

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