What's working for me: Jan - Feb 2015

I have a couple posts in the works, including the follow-up to my post on what stopped me from trying code for so long.

But I’m trying to record more of my own experience in the moment this year, so it felt right to capture things that are working for me lately: apps, workflows, mindsets, etc.

JAN - FEB 2015

The sitch is that I’ve basically become a (more-than) full-time consulting developer– I have a full-time job, but it’s contract work.

Additionally I’m freelancing for my former employer, Organizing for Action, as well as an LA-based healthcare startup.

Consulting developer Consulting developer – c’mon, you KNEW this was gonna be in here.

So, there are lots of new responsibilities in my life (time-tracking! rate-setting! schedule management!) that I’m working out, and here’s how I’m doing it and how it’s going so far:

  • Postprocessors, specifically Autoprefixer - I love me some preprocessors but as a long-time user, they definitely come with caveats / pitfalls and shouldn’t be used for everything. Case in point? For a while I used mixins for cross-browser CSS3 prefixing, but once I got into animation and transforms, the mixins and the multitudes of ways they could be formatted and shorthanded was painful to maintain. Autoprefixer to the rescue. Throw it in your task runner, config to the browsers you want, write standards-compliant code, profit. BRILLIANT.

  • Doing as much animation in CSS as possible. - I’d used a lot of animation libraries, but I’m really trying to push myself to native CSS solutions as much as I can. It’s working out so far, and there’s even a JS Callback if you need to chain the animation to other actions.

  • HR App for OSX - I searched around for time-tracking apps and considered a few that were linked into invoicing software but that ultimately seemed like overkill. I just wanted, basically, a little timer that ran in the background. HR is perfect – I can have categories, projects within categories, and sessions for a project. I donated to the dev. This was just the right app – not too complex, doesn’t get in the way.

  • Victory Journal - Another great idea I poached from Write Speak Code:I have stopped journaling a complete picture of my day and have just started writing down accomplishments, either taking steps toward larger career goals, or simple To Dos being checked off. It’s so easy for me to focus on negativity and I’m just not letting myself have the ability to do so right now.

  • TouchID, esp. integration with 1Password I put my finger on a button and get access to my secure passwords. DROOOOOOL.

  • Retina MacBook Pro, 13in - This probably goes without saying, but this is a stunning piece of hardware. Jeez. My unboxing and setting up process for the last couple of Macs felt a little, well, dull. Basically the same machine. A little faster, a little more space. But the Retina is a whole new animal. The SSD responsiveness it shared with my old work MacBook Air is great and the screen is phenom – I can use lighter, crisper fonts in my editor and terminal. It’s just a treat.

  • Scheduling - The more I get myself on a schedule for freelance, the easier it is to see as part of my normal life / workflow and the less likely I am to have a conflict. Sounds stupid but worth saying.