Week Notes 007

This week was pretty good at work. Got some long-standing work accomplished and tried something new.

The Week

This week, as most weeks probably are I suppose, was a mix of successes and things that didn't go so well. Might as well start with the latter.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago we have been having trouble with work sitting at the 90%-done mark. We called it out in our retro, and I've been trying to keep an eye on it. To that end, I tried a couple times to move things along by asking after some cards in the review column of our JIRA board. This didn't go so well. My intention was to be helpful, to offer my support in whatever was needed to move those cards over to the done column. But, I think I came across as push or overbearing or in some kind of "So when are you getting that card done?" way. And I get it. It's easy to be defensive; I know that from experience. I'm just looking back on it and wondering how I can handle that situation better. I'm trying to come up with a way to convey that I really do want to support that pair in any way I can to help things move along. Any suggestions are welcome. Please tweet them at me if you have any ideas.

The other thing I felt didn't go super well for me this week was I participated in my first design sprint. I've met for the last couple days with bunch of different kinds of designers and UX folks along with some product people and engineers to ideate on a part of our product delivery that's a little ways down the road. And overall the process seems to be going pretty well. I'm lucky to work with some very smart and clever people, so the ideas are flowing. For myself, though, I'm just feeling out of my depth. The whole thing is so open-ended, and that's not what I'm used to. I'm used to working on a problem and breaking it down, or I'll look at designs or UX flows with designers to tweak things and iterate on them. I'm not used to this "How might we..." thing too much, so the process has been fairly uncomfortable for me. Not that that's terrible; on the contrary, it's probably good for me. But, it was a lot, that's for sure.

On the successes side of things, I finally made it past all these little obstacles to get this long-standing card done and approved by our product manager. It took so long to finish this work that, in a vaccuum, just should not have taken so long to complete. But, there's so much "new" on this project and for this card in particular, that the effort really ballooned on me. We were setting up some new capabilities on CI, dealing with all the fallout from that, making API calls for our acceptance tests and authing with a system we hadn't really used before, adding new PR checks halfway through that immediately failed, and flaky deployments all on this one card. Just turbulence on a new project, but wow did it get in my way. Really happy to see that one go into the done column this morning.

I also had some great interactions in my tech lead role this week. Mostly around working with some new folks on the team and getting them up to speed. It's been great to have them test out the dev environment setup instructions I wrote a few weeks ago. And having to explain how all of the different parts of the system work together really helped me see how familiar and comfortable I've become with this system over the last few weeks. The new folks even contributed to that documentation already, which is fantastic. Over the course of the week, I only paired with them a couple times, but those interactions were pretty nice, so I'm glad they happened.

The Links

  • Skateboard Loader

    Saw this on Codepen and really liked it.

  • CUBE CSS video by Kevin Powell

    Another link about CUBE CSS. I re-read that intro article from Andy Bell about CUBE CSS, so it's been on my mind. This video from Kevin Powell, a great youtuber for web dev content, was a different perspective I appreciated.

  • Shader Park

    This is a new JS library for creating procedural shaders I just thought was neat.

  • Delightful React File Structure

    Article from the knowledgeable Josh Comeau discussing his thoughts on a file strucuture he uses to wrangle the notoriously unopinionated React library. Oh, and there's an interactive file system in there. I mean, that's just cool.


And that's it, folks. Thanks for reading, and I'll be back next week. Have a great weekend!