Seven days of development

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2 minute read

And on the seventh day 👨🏼‍💻

I did the same as I had been doing for the last 6 days.

Starting way back last year, on New Year’s Eve 2020, each day I’ve been building a new feature into this blog, “just in time”, at the point that I need the feature:

  1. Set up a rudimentary blog page and article - I needed this to begin writing.
  2. Build a blog index page to list all articles - I needed this after writing my second article, “I’m going to write more”.
  3. Script to generate a new article file - I got bored of copy + pasting files. An inherently lazy bunch, programmers generally automate something if they have to do it more than thrice.
  4. Embedding media - Embedding iframes so I could embed my Life List in the “New Year, New me” article. Adding images to the day’s article on Taking photos.
  5. Draft articles - I started drafting “Racing Schedule 2021” straight after “Training Schedule 2021”, as they were closely related.
  6. Tags - I’ve written a few articles now, time to organise them by Tag.
  7. Categories - My articles are about such a variety of subjects that they now require more complex taxonomies.
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Roadmap

Here’s my public Trello board with article ideas and features I see myself needing on this blog as it gets bigger and requires more functionality.

The tasks I take on have been small pieces of work, easy to complete within an hour or two in the evening alongside writing that day’s article. They have been providing incremental new functionality as the blog gets more complex.

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Focus

This agile, just in time approach has allowed me to focus on only what’s imminently needed, code for short bursts of time and feel a regular sense of achievement when I complete a microtask.

Pagination is a great example of this - a small feature that you see on most blogs, but not needed until I have over 10 articles. So I’ve scheduled that in for day 11, “just in time”. Further down the line when I have 10s of articles, I’ll likely implement some form of Search to allows readers to filter my content more easily.

Breaking down work into the smallest deliverable chunk is something I do in my job every day. It’s an important skill to have in work and life.

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How long will I continue? I don’t know. I’m not going to code new features for the sake of it, but I will use this blog building to learn and keep my skills fresh throughout the year. It’s fun so far.

On retrospect, I should’ve added this to my habit tracking article to track my streak! In fact, I’m going to.

Thanks for reading! 👋
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