Content Planning

I’ve been working on plans for web development Youtube content this week. I’m hoping to extend it to game development at some point, but I’m focusing on my strengths for now.

I’ve also started streaming developer sessions again, which will continue and cover both web and game development.

📆 Note: I've locked in a streaming schedule. Sundays at 3:00 - 5:00 PM and Wednesdays at 7:00 - 9:00 PM. 

JS Tutorial Planning

I’m working on putting together a basics series on Javascript programming.

My planning so far has involved breaking out topics and scripting the dialogue/narration. So far there are four higher-level topics: Variables, Control Flow, Functions, and Scope.

I’m happy with what I’ve broken out so far, but there’s still a ways to go to make the content unique from what’s already out there (the web development topic on Youtube is pretty saturated).

The most challenging of things to figure out is actually how I want to present the content. I still don’t have a clear idea of the approach and style I want to take.

Presentation is especially going to be difficult for me, I tend to be very mono-tone and over-complicate my explanations. This is actually one of the reasons I want to create this content, so I can improve how I present information.

The Journey

Lately I’ve been thinking more about a narrative for my life and how I can encapsulate my interests and experiences so that I can share and also reference them in the future.

To help with that, I created this journey section, to separate posts meant for sharing knowledge and other posts that are, well, focused on me as a person and my interests.

That may end up being a ton of cat pics 😻 and some technical articles on software engineering 🤓.

The Bigger Picture

There’s a lot of directions I want to go in –a lot to learn and master– which has made it difficult to focus on any particular path or feel dedicated to any one track.

I have a list of skills or hobbies I would like to keep and some I want to expand. To put it simply, I want to be creative and I want to lead teams.

A short list of what I want to do:

  • continue my software engineering journey
  • work on games
  • be creative with art and music
  • lead and organize my teams
  • become a better teacher and mentor
  • do some streaming

The Pull

Do you remember that feeling when something you’re interested and passionate about pulls you in and keeps you motivated?

With some things, I’m not feeling the pull of interest and enthusiasm that I did a few years ago.

This could be because I had a pretty rough year in 2019 that zapped all my focus and energy, and more recently a big personal change this year while in the midsts of a pandemic.

Turmoil and uncertainty aren’t good motivators.

Scheduled Maintenance: April Edition

In February I wrote my first scheduled maintenance piece. It’s my chance to reflect and plan on career goals.

In February I was concerned about keeping my skills sharp. I spend a good chunk of my day talking to people, coordinating on projects, and gathering business requirements. This leaves little time for actual coding.

To be honest, one of the biggest challenges I have been running into for the last year is staying on top of changes and new trends in the stacks we work with.

React and state management tools in particular have been challenging to keep up on because those libraries are evolving quite rapidly and in some cases like React hooks, very dramatically from a design perspective.

Building Tools

I found a nice middle ground here, thanks to some coaching advice. I can use my my spare time to develop tools that help me in my role as a manager while staying in touch with changes in technology.

This inspired me to fix up a custom burndown chart and get it working again. As well as adding a new tab with Github activity stats.

I’m using the burndown chart in our standups and retrospectives, it has been really useful.

The Github activity report is pretty early in development, but it helped me become aware of a SASS file that was refactored (nice improvement) and another file that probably needs to be broken up.


As I mentioned, my progress was inspired by a coaching session. I feel very motivated and have several more things I want to try now.

In addition to the coaching session, I finished the book The Phoenix Project. This has me thinking about continuous deployment and streamlining our development process.

I also virtually-attended Failover Conf, which exposed me to the dev-ops world a bit. There are many takeaways I got from that too.

What’s Next?

So what’s next? Work-life balance.

My goal this month (May) is to work my leisure and hobbies back into my routine. This past week I was really focused on the burndown chart and Github reports and didn’t give myself enough time to relax. I felt this towards the end of the week.

In addition, I want to see how I can cut down on meeting. These days I hold and attend LOTS of meeting. I need to have some time for engineering.

Some learning I plan on picking up Testing Javascript by Kent C. Dodds.

What is this Docker Nonsense?

This last week I’ve been working on getting Drupal running through NGINX so I can test out a page builder feature. I was getting a weird error with the dev-server built into PHP.

I didn’t want to have NGINX running on Windows, so I spun up a VM. Setting up an environment can be time consuming and sharing content between host and client is a bit of a pain.

The last two weeks has had a theme: environment/tools setup. So my mind has been on “how do we improve this process?”

Documenting the process helped a little, but it is still a time consuming process. It also seems like there’s always some new gotchas that eat up time. If only there was a way to automate this…

Here is where Docker enters the picture and where it’s suppose to shine. We can create a group of containers that run a web server, database, and other needed services. This setup can be shared across workstations so we maintain a consistent work environment. We can also use Docker in production too with Amazon’s ECS (Elastic Container Service).

It sounds like a smart move and everyone is on board.

Great, now let’s tear down this idea and look at use cases and scenarios, starting with security.

But in order to feel out security we need to know what Docker is. That can be a little confusing. To be honest, I’m still a bit fuzzy.

My understanding is a Docker container is a very thin layer that can have libs and executables. When you run the container the processes run in their own isolated namespaces.

This diagram is the most helpful of everything I’ve come across.