Week Notes 011

Finally, a positive week. Really worked on improving my mindset, and things are going so much better.

The Week

I am certainly feeling a lot better this week. Over the weekend, I got some rest, did an easter egg hunt with my kids, and baked this delicious apricot couronne. It's this twisted circular bake where you make the apricot yourself with dried apricots, sugar, and some orange juice. It's really good; it only last two days in the house despite being the size of a dinner plate.

And this week at work just held a lot less tension and frustration. On Monday, I went for a walk and thought a lot about why last week sucked. My conclusion? I spent way to much time, energy, and emotion trying to force people to see things my way. Which, as I'm sure it will come as no surprise, does not work.

Pushing people that way just puts them on the back foot. It doesn't matter that I have not only my personal experience with the efficacy of the practices I'm trying to implement as well as the research and anecdotes of a good portion of this industry on my side. Talking so much at the people I was trying to convince was never going to get them on my side. This kind of thing only really clicks when it saves you from a big problem; each person almost needs to have that "Aha!" moment for these practices to really feel worth the effort. And you really can't force that moment on anyone.

I'm not giving up with talking about why I want to work a certain way. And I have the support of client folks in wanting to work that way. But, I need to recognize that my current path is just not working. And I need to find a way to be more flexible. I need to meet people where they are and show them why I want to do it rather than mostly talking about it.

So, I had to take a step back and look really hard at the kind of tech lead I want to be. Because I felt like I was more successful before these last couple of weeks. And it was because I did two things I simply can't do if I'm so focused on getting others to see things my way: asking questions and listening a hell of a lot more.

I think that's the kind of tech lead I want to be or just naturally act like. I'm focused on supporting the people on my team however I can and building a product with as much technical excellence as we can. And both of those things require a lot of listening. My SOP has been to hang back, listen to others, and collect my thoughts before talking for a long time now, so I guess I feel like I should have recognized this sooner. I think I started letting my frustration and my stress about how the project is going really get to me, and that completely threw me off my game.

And the results speak for themselves. Most of the talking I've done this week has been to ask questions. I've even called out, in chat, that I wasn't going to speak because I wanted others to speak up and give their opinions. Everyone already knows what I think; I've been doing way too much talking for them to be unaware of my thoughts on these matters. But, calling that out, that I want others to be more vocal and that I'm going to be quiet and listen, has done wonders. There's been a lot more engagement and very little tension all week, which has just been amazing.

So, that's my week. Things are looking up. How about you? Learn anything cool? Facing a challenge it would be helpful to talk about? Tell me about it.

The Links

  • Making Ops Work More Visible

    This article talks about devops-y things, but I think it applies more broadly to making the work we do and, its value, more visible.

  • Implementing OAuth2

    I haven't really been involved directly in the implementation of this kind of thing too often, so I was looking into it. Got some advice at work to stick to the "take a JWT for auth" end of this to start, so I'm thinking about putting together a little project for practice.

  • CSS-only Morphing Demo

    Wow, I love seeing these, and this one in particular is pretty impressive.

  • Practical Guide to Forced Colors

    I must admit I didn't know forced colors were a thing. Maybe not something that comes up all the time, but I'm definitely looking into it.

  • Functional Composition - What's the Big Deal?

    I'm sucker for articles like this. I cut my teeth on functional programming in my first internship.

  • Building Interactive Sparkline Graphs

    Data visualization is the kind of work I'd like to do more, especially these interactive kind of things.

  • Mermaid Diagrams

    After reading that GitHub was going to start supporting these in PR comments, I've been taking a closer look.

  • Design for Developers

    An early access book, due out this fall, from Stephanie Stimac.

  • Email Accessibility

    Relevant to my current project, which looks to be sending quite a few different emails.


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