August: Week 1

The first week of August has come and gone. This week went by in a blur; I actually can’t remember where the bulk of my time went, but I know it wasn’t idling.

It’s a reminder to slow down a bit and take inventory. Being busy isn’t the same as being productive. (And to me, “being productive” means making cool stuff happen)

This week there are some noteworthy happenings. I reached phase 1 of my blog redesign, my next technical post is just about ready, and I have some topics lined up to write about.

For today, I have the redesign to share and an interesting article on software debt.

Redesign Soft-Launch 🚀

Over the last month, I’ve redesigned my website, which includes adding a newsletter and feedback form. I launched that this weekend and plan on improving it as time goes on. It will be a web garden of sorts.

Designing the site myself has been a nice experience. It’s rebuilt some of my confidence in putting a site together from scratch. Spacing, font sizing, and color pallets give me a bit of stress.

There’s a bit going on behind the forms too. They have some extra measures put in place in an attempt to make them fault-tolerant. We’ll see how that works out.

If you can’t tell, I have a fondness for a certain shade of green. I use something similar for my Diablo III flag.

I’ll change up the homepage sometime soon so that it’s easier to find relative content. As it is right now, there’s a lot of scrolling involved in seeing what content is available.

July in Retrospect 🎆

This has been a busy month full of learning and renewing my efforts with this blog and my content creation pursuit.

With learning, I’ll actually break that out over the upcoming weeks to cover some different topics.

Test Driven Development

Testing automation and continuous delivery have been a big theme. They’re something I want to integrate into the SDLC at work with my teams. Ultimately it’s about streamlining deployments so developers can spend their time on what they like to do.

There are many hurdles to get over, many of those being related to knowledge in the quality control space.

International TDD Conf

 July 10 was the first International Test Driven Development Conference. The speakers did a great job at covering different aspects of testing.

I thought I knew what TDD was. You write tests first and then the implementation. Right?

I discovered that description doesn’t really do it justice. The TDD demonstrated in the conference integrated testing into development every step through a cycle known as Red, Green, Refactor.

The talk by Jov Mit does a good job at covering what Red, Green, Refactor is, different styles of TDD, and a live demo walking through TDD.

Resting Up

Mid-September marks the end of a peak to work related activities. We hold an annual conference for our users. There’s usually multiple projects that have to be launched right before or the day of the event.

The first week of November is when BlizzCon is usually held, which makes August – November a pretty busy time of the year.

With COVID still here and a danger, there is no BlizzCon this year, which is a bummer. I enjoy being around the community and developers while learning what Blizzard has in the works. I really enjoy the excitement from both fans and developers.

So with no big events coming up and stuff at work settling down, I will have some energy to put towards other things.

Some Downtime

I’ve been recovering from the September conference rush. It was less stressful than previous years, but still took a lot out of me.

I haven’t been feeling like doing much creative-wise, which is unfortunate. Right before the conference I was gathering information about other content creators in software engineering that produce content. I’m hoping to make some progress with content creation soon.

Some Games

I have been catching up on a lot of games, many are titles I’ve been meaning to play for a while.

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Assassin’s Creed I & II
  • Borderlands I & II
  • Tomb Raider
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine

Each of these were really good. Hellblade in particular was a very immersive experience, and I loved the puzzles and combat.

I’m currently working through Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and playing Phasmophobia with friends.

Bendy and the Ink Machine

I played through Bendy and the Ink Machine this month. This is a nice indie game with a retro aesthetic.

I will be covering some spoilers here, so don’t read on if you don’t want anything spoiled.


For me, gameplay over all was fun and entertaining. There was a combination of puzzles, action fighting, and scary-monster hiding.

Henry, the character you play, loses his weapon often. So gameplay transitions between puzzle solving, stealth, and fighting. I think this kept game play fresh and enemies interesting.

With that said, there were some moments that didn’t feel so good.

I played on the Switch, which was mostly fine, but there were some moments that it felt like mouse and keyboard were more appropriate. In particular, the corrupt Boris fight was hard because I couldn’t grab the ink globs fast enough and the second phase of the fight where Boris leap-attacks you if you are too far away was pretty unforgiving.

The last chapter, The Last Reel, was rough and in some ways disappointing to me.

Coming from the Boris fight, the experience was taking a bad turn because the gameplay didn’t feel fair. More specifically, the Switch controls didn’t seem to be working for me. (I’m primarily a PC gamer, so maybe that explains a bit too)

Clearing blobs from the wheel of the paddlewheel was a neat mechanic, but unforgiving if you don’t work quickly. Again, with the Switch controls, this was rough. If I spent too much time trying to aim for the control that makes the paddlewheel move forward, I would die.

After the paddlewheel, the onslaught of searchers, lost ones, and Sammy were a bit frustrating because it was too easy to die. I was unable to attack without getting hit. It’s possible my timing was just bad, but I think I was probably suppose to attack, turn around, and run away before the enemy attacked, which was too much on the Switch.

After this, there was the administration offices. I had to dodge the Butcher gang while retrieving blobs to create three pipes. This was a simple stealth sequence. I was tempted to cheese it by just running through the level, but instead I took my time to properly avoid the baddies.

Youtube Creator Research

I want to share some of the content creators I’ve come across while exploring what content and personalities are out there for web development.

Since I’m planning on generating content myself, I thought it was important to see what common practices and structure is out there.


KimComplete has some videos that cover their own experience in web development, as well as what worked for them and answers important questions that someone new to the industry will want to know.

Reading from the comments of this video, I think it’s really cool how inspirational this content was to others. Not only did Kim successfully get into the web development industry, they are also a woman and person of color.

This video helped remind me that everyone learns differently and that it’s very possible to become discouraged in learning something new if the learning style doesn’t fit.

While written examples and how-tos can be helpful, they aren’t very interactive or don’t have the pacing that some learners desire. This is something I have in mind with my tutorials, I would like them to be interactive.