Week Notes 15

— 4 minute read

This week has been pretty mixed. I’m getting right to the end of my time helping Clearleft now. Clearleft have been an absolute dream client to work with and they’ve got a ridiculously talented team of people there. I very much hope that we get to make some more stuff together in the future. They’re also hiring a new head of front-end development, so you should apply!

I hit my breaking point earlier in the week, when I was building a pretty wild component that made my brain melt. There was some improbable responsive stuff that worked for the designer in Sketch, but not so much for me with CSS, without writing a lot of code. I think I was probably too tired to have the patience for it, this late in a big project. It might have been different had I approached the component in February, at the start of the project, when I was (reasonably) full of energy.

Situations like this remind me that my method of using HTML, CSS and JavaScript as my primary design tools is probably a good choice. I’ll write some stuff about that in the future because I have had a lot of success using the web as a design tool—especially when I’m designing for the web itself. I’ll certainly say this: I’m very much in the designers should code camp—especially digital designers.

I did some work on Stalfos v2 this week which mainly revolved around a test-run of the library, which was a quick refactor of Dev Pal. It’s exposed some weak points and also given me some ideas for useful Sass functions and mixins. I’m really enjoying this little rebuild of Stalfos and I hope it’ll be beneficial for the community when I release it. There’s a hell of a lot of work to do still, though.

As part of the Dev Pal refactor, I removed the third party chat system that powered it. I hated how a user needed JavaScript to get help from me and I also hated how the chat system tracked the heck out of all users. I’m glad that a good ol’ HTML form with a specific mailbox does all the heavy lifting now. Netlify form handling has been a dream for the whole thing.

The refactor has cleaned up my very loose MVP code, so now, I might finally build the FAQ section I’ve been promising for the last 12 months. I think I’ll give Sergey a run-out for for this stuff, too.

I was also getting a lot of time wasters on Dev Pal—specifically folks who presumed I was online, waiting for their questions, or people that thought it was a bot. Hopefully a form system will help to manage their expectations and free up time for me to help people who actually need it.

I’ve got to admit, I’d massively fallen out of love with the project because of the relentless time wasters on there. These updates—along with the FAQs should hopefully restore that initial pleasure, because I do love helping beginners out.

This is Week Notes #15 which feels like a good milestone to take a break from them for a little bit. A season one finale, as it were. I’ve done a lot of writing this year and I want to use the time I spend writing these notes, doing some other bits for a while.

I’ll probably get back on week notes in a couple of months. For now, I’m going to enjoy a well earned week off.

Until then, take it easy 🙂

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Hi 👋, I’m Andy — an educator and web designer

I produce front-end development tutorials over at Front-End Challenges Club and Piccalilli. You can sign up for updates on Piccalilli to stay up to date with its progress.

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