Monthly Review: October2018

Development

I’ve had a really hard time trying to figure out a schedule and a plan moving forward.  I absolutely love WordPress and want to continue working with it. I know I can’t learn it all, but I want to.

This month I’m trying something new: I’m going to learn JavaScript and do WordPress. What’s the difference from what I’m doing now?  Instead of trying to learn everything about WordPress and JavaScript, I’m going to focus on learning JavaScript.  I’m not scheduling any more time to learn WordPress.  That might sound a little misleading.

I’m not done learning WordPress – not by any means.  It simply means I won’t be scheduling my time around that anymore.  I have time each week scheduled for learning and I have time scheduled for projects.  The time for learning will be spent on JavaScript.  The time for projects will mostly be spent on WordPress, since most of the projects I want to do are WordPress.  Most of the projects I have in mind will require skills that are beyond where I currently am.  Instead of trying to learn everything about WordPress up front, I’m going to do my projects.  As I come to something I don’t know, only then will I focus on learning it.  This will certainly cut back on my overall progress on projects, but it’s going to keep me moving at the pace I want. 

GeoffreyShilling.com Redesign

Goal from last month: Plan a new design for GeoffreyShilling.com that I will ultimately build using the Underscores starter theme.

Progress:  I figured out a basic design for the site and started working on the theme I’m calling “Kope 808.”  Kope is the Hawaiian word for coffee and 808 is Hawaiʻi’s lone area code.  The theme is, of course, coffee inspired. 

There was a slight change in that I decided to go ahead and use the Gutenberg Starter theme instead of the Underscores theme. I started working on some drawings but I was anxious to try out the Gutenberg Starter Theme so I worked on code a little bit.

Aloha Friday Words

Goal from last month: Continue to work on the plugin and have it functional by the end of the month.

Progress:  Goal met! The plugin is now working as expected.  I’m sure I’ll run into a few small things along the way, but I’m just about ready to put it on this site and start using it.  The last thing I want to do before then is to go through the code and make sure it’s following all the WordPress coding standards and styles and that it’s following the plugin best practices and standards.
I learned a lot this month.  I had some frustrating days working through adding a default featured image, but I finally got it figured out.

Learning

As much as I want to get into JavaScript, I want to make sure I have a solid foundation of the basics.  I started making websites in the late 90’s.  Although I’ve done plenty of tinkering since then, I want to make sure I’m doing things correctly.  I completed the Become a Front-End Web Developer learning path on LinkedIn Learning and started on Become a Vanilla JavaScript Developer.

Courses Completed:

  • WordPress: Workflows
  • WordPress Essential Training
  • SASS Essential Training
  • Making Sense of the CSS Box Model
  • Learning Responsive Design
  • Learning CSS
  • Learning App Building with Vanilla JavaScript
  • JavaScript Essential Training
  • Introduction to CSS
  • Git Essential Training
  • Bootstrap 4 Essential Training
  • Learning React.js

Personal Development/Improvement

I’ve been making big progress the past two months in the amount of things I’ve been learning.  I’ve been working on several projects, but it adds time going back to make sure everything is coded properly and following the styles I want.  This month I started taking notes for my own style and development guidelines.  Although this will mostly be based off WordPress.org’s various coding standards, there will be a few minor changes.  One of those being CSS: I like to organize my CSS alphabetically within elements and sections.  This style guide will help me as I’m working on new projects and continue to learn so I won’t have to go searching for how I want things.

Fitness

I took a couple weeks off from fitness in October but now I’m back! As much as I would like to run every day, I really need to get in some other training as well.  I’m still trying to figure out what’s going to work best, but I think I’m going to do P90X three days a week and run 3-4 times, maintaining my mileage that I was with 5k/day.

  • Running Miles in October: 79.23
  • Total Miles for 2018: 491.9

Reading

Here’s what I’ve been reading this month:

  • Physical: Hawaiʻi Magazine.
  • Audible: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) by Timothy Ferriss.
    Thoughts: So far it’s an interesting book. I’m not trying to make millions or get my work down to hours a week, but I’ve heard a lot of people recommend it.
  • Kindle: How to Parent a Genius: Raising Kids that are Smart, Successful, Nice and Happy! by Pat Quinn

Productivity

I’m always on the lookout for more efficient ways to get things done. Here’s what I found this month:

  • “To-Do” Email Address.  I use Trello a lot and there are plenty of ways to for it to help make you even more efficient. Trello allows you to create cards by email and add them to a specific list. I created a very short email address, such as todo@example.com ,and have it forward to the long email address Trello gave me for my “To Do” board.  From there the item is added to my “Inbox” list until I move it where it needs to go. Any emails I receive I can easily forward to this address and have it added to my to-do list.
  • A Week of Sandwiches.  A couple weeks ago I heard a suggestion about making sandwiches and freezing them. I really wish I remember where I heard/saw this so I could give credit.  My son makes his lunch the night before school.  I had him try freezing one sandwich to see how it worked and he said he couldn’t notice any difference in taste.  This is the second where he’s made his lunch on Sunday night and four more sandwiches for the rest of the week. Each sandwich goes in a bag, he puts them in the freezer, and grabs one as needed when he’s making lunch. It’s amazing how much time it saves him getting things out just once instead of every school night.

My News Highlights

A few of the things I found interesting this month.


Goals for The Month

  1. Aloha Friday Words [Plugin].
    URL: https://geoffreyshilling.com/plugins/aloha-friday-words/
    • Review the code, ensuring it meets WordPress coding and Plugin standards. Start using the plugin on geoffreyshilling.com. 
  2. GeoffreyShilling.com Redesign Plan [Website].
    URL: https://geoffreyshilling.com/
    • Finish sketches of the site before I do any more work on the theme itself.  The theme will be called “Kope 808.”  It should be built mobile-first and will likely include designs for small, medium, and large screens.
  3. Posts as Grid [Plugin].
    • I want to work on a plugin that will display the posts in a category as a grid using the post’s featured image and title.  This will be used on my recipe pages so you can see what there is without scrolling through each recipe.
  4. Password Generator [Bootstrap, JavaScript].
    • Start working on a JavaScript password generator that uses Bootstrap. I had been using Norton’s Password Generator, but their defaults are different than what I would like them to be. Since this is actually something I use almost daily, I figure it’ll be worth my time creating. 
    • Of course there are plenty of options out there I could use, but this will also give me a good reason to practice Bootstrap and JavaScript.
  5. Laptop Rebuild.
    • I had ordered an SSD and plan to rebuild my laptop this month.  I’ll be upgrading from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS to 18.04.1 LTS. I use VVV for my local development. The biggest change is that I’m hoping to get rid of my dual-boot system (Windows and Ubuntu) and only run Ubuntu with Windows in a Virtual Box.  I’d love to ditch Windows completely, but a couple things I use for the Navy require it.  I don’t want to mess around with the hacks that would let me potentially run a Windows program on Linux. 
  6. National Registry Exam.
    • I want to try to schedule and take my National Registry Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) exam this month.  We took a class with our fire department a couple months ago and I’ve completed that, but I won’t be certified until I pass the National Registry.