Week Notes 03/03/23
In my first week note, I pondered whether I might do another one. Well, flipping heck, here I am.
It has been a week of learning, in what I hope will be a year of learning.
Most of my digital career has been spent doing an idiosyncratic mixture of digital leadership and web development. I started back in 1998 making a website for a ethical cess-pit of a parcel delivery company (of which I could tell many dark tales) but amidst the greed and depravity I fell in love with the fundamental mechanisms of the web: HTML and CSS. Even then, it was clear that there could be sufficient complexity in website development to build a life's work around.
Back then I was doing pretty much everything single-handedly: development, design, website management. Over the years, I got increasingly pulled away from making things for the web and towards management. What development I got to do was mostly "back-end" development but I did less at the "front-end". So recently I have been re-immersing myself in, and falling back in love with, all aspects of web development. You never stop learning.
In that spirit, this week, I have:
- Been a good boy and completed my exercises for the week on Ferdinandi's Vanilla JS Structure and Scale course - I did Vanilla JS Essentials last year. I can recommend the courses. Having to do three practical exercises a week helps to reinforce the learning.
- Practised some of my recent learning refining the performance of our company website, stripping out the last remaining framework (Bootstrap) and using vanilla CSS instead. Some good results already.
- Spent some time thinking about web typography and fonts. Guided by my good friend Charles Roper I've been exploring the lovely fonts at https://beautifulwebtype.com/. For now, I've decided to use IA Writer Quattro. I'm also taking the email course at https://betterwebtype.com by Matej Latin. Feels good to be moving out of my developer comfort zone, though I have so much more to learn.
On the communications side of things, I've also started reading Everything I Know About Life I Learned from Powerpoint by Russell Davies. So far, I'm enjoying the defiant way in which Davies defends and praises Powerpoint. It's easy to get into a certain pattern of thinking (e.g. 'all the best software is created by small independent producers, corporate software sucks') but like all patterns of thinking, that misses a lot. I'm now thinking: oh, Powerpoint was pretty cool..
I'd emphasise: all this learning and discovery is a joyous break from my usual full-on get-stuff-done work ethic. I deeply appreciate the space to explore, and I want to find ways of balancing exploring and doing.
So Week Notes: will I be writing again next week? I love the words of Count Alfred Korzybski: "I don't know. Let's see."
(Korzysbki was sole proponent of an obscure field called General Semantics. He also coined the phrase "The map is not the territory.")
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