Category Archives: development

Flexbox Froggy

I first learned about Flexbox Froggy quite a while ago – it’s a wonderful resource for both learning what flex can do and as a resource for remembering a specific flex property. Sure, a site like CSS-Tricks has a great flexbox article which I refer to just about every time I work with flex, but sometimes you just need to put some frogs on lilypads. I saw it in my bookmarks earlier today and ran through some of the exercises again. #24 is still pretty intense for how it works – and works without class-specific order rules, which is incredibly impressive in my book. Continue reading Flexbox Froggy

Code 201 Final Project: Welcome to Seattle

The final week of Code 201 was essentially a small hackathon: Taking everything you’ve learned (and anything you’re willing to learn quickly), make a project concept, model the domain, and then, as a team, build it. I worked on a team building a Welcome to Seattle web app, answering the first question any potential resident would ask themselves. Where should I live?

Continue reading Code 201 Final Project: Welcome to Seattle

BusMall: And you thought SkyMall was bad…

In week 3 of Code 201, our project was BusMall – think Sky Mall for people trapped on a long bus commute. Something of a familiar issue to Seattle commuters! From the programming end, it was an exercise in tracking and storing data persistently, then using Chart.js to render results. Object constructors, event listeners, randomizing functions, and more… Continue reading BusMall: And you thought SkyMall was bad…

One-day design comp

As a one-day lab in 201, we were given an image of a website and told to go make a design comp in teams of two; basically a day of pair programming. It made me think our instructor really has a pizza thing considering after pizza 3001 we went right into a chocolate pizza design comp. Our task was to replicate an image of a website as best we could. That turned out to be “pretty well” in my opinion! Continue reading One-day design comp

Pizza 3001: Our Last, Best Hope

Our second 201 project was to create a pizza shop. Not just any pizza shop, but Pizza 3001 – A cheese odyssey from the future. I’m not making that up.

At the start of the week, this was an introduction to javascript object literals – lots of them. Copy and paste, change a value, copy and paste, change a value, rinse, repeat. But in just a few days, we went from object literals to constructors and working on the prototype – and from static, predefined data to user-provided dynamic data. Hundreds of lines of manually defined javascript became, well, a lot fewer lines and a whole lot more functionality. It’s almost like they wanted us to learn exactly how valuable constructors are. Answer: Very. Continue reading Pizza 3001: Our Last, Best Hope

Agile in the unlikeliest of places

Two weeks ago, several of my friends and I – who play a cooperative videogame together – were a little frustrated with some changes made with no warning by the developers. We didn’t understand why they made them (they never communicated a clear goal or process or … anything, really) and we certainly didn’t like many of them invalidating previously useful pieces of equipment and strategies and so on, without giving us new, similarly effective stuff. It was, more or less, a global nerf. To a free product, that’s one thing, but to a product people paid money for? And to a product with many, many DLC items people paid more money for? A no-warning, no-explanation global balance change was awful.

On the other hand, the developers helpfully left the entire code to change everything in unencrypted lua, and the clients trust the local lua … so if we modified the values and all ran with the same code, we’d all experience the same balance. Security? What’s that? But convenient for our purposes.

After reading a lot of community complaints about the changes, I thought “…I can do this. I can make this.” So I took it upon myself to redo the balance values, distribute a lua override file to my friends, and for us, at least, we’re playing the game we want to play. It wasn’t until I was having what amounted to an impromptu standup over VOIP that I realized …we’re basically doing agile videogame modding. Continue reading Agile in the unlikeliest of places

Website Redesign Lessons Learned

In late 2014, I went into a … well, not crunch, but let’s say an extended period of head-down development and content migration for a much-needed new website redesign at my employer. My organization started the website redesign project in July 2013 and we  launched a new one on January 23, 2015. Switching the A-record that afternoon was one exciting moment … mostly because we weren’t sure the website was going to work.

That’s always comforting, right? Continue reading Website Redesign Lessons Learned