Weeknotes 22:12

May 30, 2022

Week of May 22 - 28

Started a new project

Two weeks ago, I started development on a project that I have been excited about since the beginning of the year. We are building a new site for the Kauffman Foundation’s Real World Learning. I have been involved in several meetings throughout the project’s strategy and design phase over the last four months, and I am excited to start this build.

This is the second project I have built for the Kauffman Foundation. I used GreenSock for the first time on that project. It is one of my favorite projects during my time at LGND. The Kauffman Foundation is located in Kansas City, where I grew up. The foundation is named after Ewing Kauffman, who was the owner of the Kansas City Royals. I attended many games at the stadium that is now named after him. It is a thrill to be involved in a project located in my hometown.

Another fun thing about this project is that our client contact’s husband lived just down the street from where I grew up. He was a couple of years younger but I remember him and his sister. He is also a close friend of a guy that I played soccer with and was in the band during high school.

I am also very excited about the initiative as it seeks to connect students to real-world experiences. These experiences will help students recognize how to connect their interests to future employment opportunities and help them as they choose paths through higher education to prepare for those careers.

I am building this site with WordPress and the Gutenberg editor. This will be the second time I will be using Gutenberg after building a site that incorporated it a year ago. It is nice to have that first experience under my belt as I have been able to build upon the things that I learned the first time around.

I have really enjoyed the build process so far. I am mostly done with the homepage as I built out custom Gutenberg blocks with Advanced Custom Fields and then worked on smaller screen layouts. I have also enjoyed crafting some subtle animations for this site. I am using a new technique with SVG masking to “draw” out some sketchy icons and elements that are a part of the design. I hope to write a post about it in the next few weeks.

Accessibility Champion

On Friday, I did a presentation for my team at our Campfire. I was asked to talk about conducting an accessibility audit. One of my teammates had seen that I did one a few months ago and wanted to know more about it. The timing of it was perfect as I was asked to do another audit recently so it was fresh in my mind. I had some thoughts kicking around in my mind for the past couple of weeks about what to talk about. I had agreed to do the presentation and we had scheduled it for this week. Originally they wanted to schedule it for the prior week but my son was graduating over that weekend and I figured I would be a bit preoccupied with that.

The funny thing is that I totally forgot about doing the presentation this week until I saw a message on Slack on Thursday reminding the team that I was going to be presenting on Friday. I was a bit thrown off but figured that I could take some time on Thursday night to prepare. But once again, I forgot about it until just before I went to bed on Thursday night when I checked my schedule for Friday. I decided that I would take time on Friday morning to prepare.

I was a bit nervous because I wanted it to be engaging for my team members and I was preparing at the last minute. But I still felt pretty calm and confident. I came up with a plan and decided to pepper some questions through my presentation to get my teammates involved. I started by talking about what accessibility is and why it is important. I talked about my own journey to having a greater awareness and becoming an accessibility champion. And then I walked through the different tools that I used to test for accessibility and then report my findings and recommendations to our clients in the two audits that I have done.

I was thrilled that it went so well. My teammates got very involved by answering my questions and then asking some really good questions. I had fun talking about the subject and got some really good feedback after it was over. I am excited because I believe it will lead to more conversations on our team about how we can improve our products even more as we are aware of the barriers that can keep our content from being accessible to everyone.

Articles I read

As I have been more engaged with project work over the past couple of weeks, I have not taken the time to read any articles. I bookmarked a lot of articles last week but have yet to get to them. Several of them are about accessibility and others are about new CSS properties that I cannot wait to learn about.

Books I read

  • All Things Bright and Beautiful – I am enjoying this book by James Herriot. All Creatures Great & Small is one of my favorite television series. I read the first book in the series in April. It is fun to see how they took stories from the book and brought them to life in the television show.
  • Deeper – I finally finished this book that I had started at the end of March. I deliberately read this one at a slower pace.
  • The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self – I just started this one on Saturday. I bought the Kindle version on sale a couple of months ago.

What I watched

  • Hawkeye (Disney+) – I decided to rewatch this series and consumed it the first part of the week.
  • Top Gun (Netflix) – I had to watch this one in preparation to see T0p Gun: Maverick, currently in theaters.
  • Spider-man: Far from Home (Blu-Ray) – I enjoyed seeing this one for the third time. I think it is my favorite Marvel movie post-Endgame.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+) – My whole family has been excited about this one. I really enjoyed Ewan MacGregor reprising this role.
  • Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix) – I am so happy to have new episodes to watch of one of my favorite shows.
  • Everybody Loves Raymond (Peacock)

What I played

  • Wordle – I had a really tough week with the puzzles after getting several words in three tries the previous week.
  • MLB The Show 21 – I have had a tough stretch as I have lost 6 of the last 10 games. My bats were cold this week and I lost several low-scoring games by a run.

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