Some people start their days with a to do list. I like to also have at least one "quest". What is a quest? It is anything I plan to put my head and heart to work on. This week's quest was to get this blog started so I could begin sharing my thoughts with you. I will add a comments section and some more features in some of my future quests. If you have a quest as well, that's awesome. The more the better.
K, I am going to take 2 hours and do a mini app for creativecalgary.ca (one of my projects). People need to be able to spot a favourite place, person, or event. So I am going to create in intake form. I have the ability to sign in but people don't like signing in, and I need to moderate content so here goes.
I am creating a website. I want people to post their favourite interesting places and people on a website about my city. I played through what that would look like and it makes no sense to add items without first searching what is already in there. So Today I am exploring a RailsCast and will make a mini app. This may not go into my app right way but will enhance my skills and keep the juices flowing.
Credit to Justin Wiess in Practicing Rails. Take a wide view and dive in. Today's quest is building a mini event planning app in Rails. Tips, be quick, got an app with repository less than a minute. Goal KISS, and add features as needed, starting with event. (no users, no master event yet, just a calendar and event). Will let you know how I made out at end of week, got a few outings this week.
Rainy cold morning, easy to get into coding. After a refresher on file directories, and checking a few of my bad typing habits, I have recreated a calendar with the ability to add an event. Just getting started. But time for a break, (before I break something) .. :)
I know documentation sounds boring but it is intended to capture ideas, be people oriented (as opposed to code oriented) so over the next day or so, I thought I would spend some time learning how to and creating documentation for my projects. It will help me capture the lessons, make repeatable instructions, and get my ideas down some where. Wish me luck!
Projects can feel messy. When I walk my dog I pass by a construction site where a community outdoor pool is being rebuilt. To say it looks like a mess in an understatement, the demolition took place last year, this year it looks like concrete and dirt and construction mess. Only the vision of a beautiful outdoor pool makes it fun to watch. There is not much evidence of a final result but it is clear activity is taking place and the area looks different each day. It tells me tasks may not provide instant gratification but they do lead to progress. When I work on tasks, I am simply working on different things that on their own can seem tedious. The end goal is simply an accumulated result of tedious tasks. This is includes learning, deconstruction, doing, fixing, learning, more doing. The end is in the means.
The forecast here is awesome. I like to pretend I am in a warm place with beautiful parks and places to enjoy on vacation. Wait a minute, that is home right now. I plan to get to know my garden, by bicycle, my dog and interesting patios around the city. At the end of the summer, I want a list of fun memories! This is part of my quests. Balance. Instead of a bucket list, how about a summer list.
I thought I would stop and reflect on top 10 things I do (patterns) in making coding errors. As it applies to other things, worth sharing. 1) Doing the same thing over again. Churning. Instead, it is best to repeat the error by trying something brand new. Make it simple and layer on the steps til the error appears. Sometimes it nicer to find what works first. 2) Trying too many things at one. Save, test, save test again. 3) Being fearful of destructive actions. Testing is about finding things that go wrong. Failure is a good thing. Trying intentionally to break things is healthy when creating and testing. 4) Not writing it down. I keep a refections document in every project. 5) Working too long without breaks. My dog walks are sacred and 9 out 10, I figure out a solution during the walk. If not, I come back with cold eyes and have a better chance of finding it. 6) Being too linear and sticking to one task too long. Sometimes things need to evolve. For example, while learning to send automated emails, I had a lot of information in the email that broke my code. How about sending an email that says, "thanks". Work the details later when the processes are clearer and the message is more fun and relevant. 7) Not looking for help. I got 10 points this week on stackoverflow not for asking but answering a question. It turned out answering the question helped me understand things more by teaching/explaining. 8) Forgetting to journal my goals. Each day, I have a notebook and write down what I am working on. It's not much more than a to do list but it helps keep things focused. 9) Recognizing progresses. When I the the "yesss", it's arms up, shout for joy. I went and grabbed a jar that I through some stones in when I get that. It helps when the next rabbit hole emerges. I have 3 stones this week! 10) Remember screw imposter syndrome. I keep thinking I don't know enough. The best way to overcome this is set a simple goal. Do it, say I did it, set a new one. That's not an imposter. Imposters are people who intentionally mislead others for some agenda and are easy to spot. If you are learning, you are far from an imposter.
Defining a Quest Posted: 2017-05-10
Creative Calgary mini app Posted: 2017-05-10
Feature for a website - Full Text Search Posted: 2017-05-13
Gotta Love the letter "T" Posted: 2017-05-16
Creating a mini event planner app Posted: 2017-05-17
Brushing up on Documentation Posted: 2017-06-05
The stuff in between Posted: 2017-07-05
Enjoy Summer! Posted: 2017-07-05
Take a challenge and make it a quest Posted: 2017-07-12
Top 10 mistakes I make learning code Posted: 2017-10-25