Web Dev Weekly Roundup

WooHoo another week done and much accomplished. This week I got an MVP done, an MVP of my business website (which I’ll end up trashing and starting over because why not), and halfway through building a custom Jekyll theme that I can use for potential clients in the near future. I switched up my mindset this last week and kicked back into getting shit done mode.

To start off this week I did a bit of an inventory check to figure out where I was at with my day to day activities and see how I could adjust it to be more efficient. Last year I spent much of the year building daily habits that were based off of starting my day off with positivity, however, in the last few months I slowly started to strip those positive actions away from my daily ritual. The results were a reduction of productivity and focus throughout the day. I started going for the low hanging fruit all the day and doing the least possible that I had to but something triggered in me and reminded me that I wasn’t performing at the best thus triggering the inventory check. I figured out where I was slipping away and I adjusted my daily routine. In the last week of refocusing I’ve written more, spent less time on negative things like the news or social media, wrote a lot more code, and generally speaking I’ve just been happier. Daily routines work and they’re important to start your day off right, it feels good to be back at a positive daily routine.

Anyways you don’t want to hear about all that stuff this is a web development series so lets talk about some web development. This week I build an MVP for a leads collector. The problem was that I wrote all my possible leads for targeted businesses and individuals for possible web design and development work were just getting randomly jotted down on scraps of paper or notebooks that I don’t go back and look at. The solution for this was to write a simple Rails app that I could quickly put in a lead and have that stored in one central location. It’s nothing complex at this point, it’s just a simple CRUD app without much bells and whistles but the main point was that I took something that I needed and I built it. That’s some powerful stuff right there, a year ago I never would’ve imagined that I’d be able to do that. I’ve got some ideas for it moving forward to expand on its usability and central functionality but for now it works for what I need it for, a place to collect my possible leads.

I think at this point it goes without saying, but I will, how important exploring new areas of your life and the world around you. You never know when you will have a need for a product that doesn’t necessarily exist already and which will give you inspiration to create yourself. There’s voids in all industries that can be filled by simple or complex applications but you’ll never know about them unless you explore different avenues of your world. Exploring the world, it’s important. Passion projects, they’re important.

Carrying off of that win I needed to start building out a business website for my consulting company so I set out to do that. I spent a limited amount of time doing this and got something that was functional and learned a lot in the process (I tried to use as little web frameworks as possible). It’s an MVP so it, again, has no bells and whistles or even any features I would love to have. I was pretty satisfied with the site and then I came back to it the next day, what a load of shit that was! So I’m scrapping it and I’m going to redo it with a bit more focus and direction. The problem was that I was trying to implement all of the things I like about web design. Folks this doesn’t work! There is a reason why art has many styles and genres, web design is no different. You can’t mix impressionist art with postmodern art and hope to have it come together in a cohesive and fluid manner, it just doesn’t work, same goes for web design. The site looks like garbage and since I’m a strong believer in “if don’t like something change it” I will be scrapping and starting over but this time with proper direction. There’s a reason why we wireframe and do our best to stick to that structure.

Finally in the last few days I’ve been working on building a Jekyll theme that I will possibly be able to use in client work or my own projects. It’s been a great process of understanding Jekyll even more and having a great opportunity to build up my foundational knowledge of SASS and using Bourbon mixins versus relying heavily on Bootstrap. It’s been a joy to go through the process so far and have been making some great headway on it. While I’m loosely following a guide on this one it’s giving me the understanding to keep building more and more themes for future projects. It’s also the first time using pure SASS vs SCSS and that’s been an interesting journey. It’s been an enlightening experience so far, that’s for sure.

That’s what I have this week and next week should be just as packed with activities. Looking forward to sticking to my old daily routine of filling my mornings with positive wins and building more cool things. It’s been a great week and I’ve managed to get a lot done in the process. It’s amazing how switching a couple small things right away in the morning can lead to huge wins throughout the day.