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Warren Shea

Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

The miracle of creation

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 at 12:36 am

3/4 today …

I’ll say that as a developer, I feel incredibly blessed in my profession to create. To code something from scratch and behold it’s functionality, clean code, small file size, efficiency, and optimization. It is not unlike a musician that composes a song. Or a baker that bakes a cake. Or a cook that creates a stunning dish. Or an painter that paints a masterpiece. Or a concept artist that creates a cool character.

Basically, it’s extremely rewarding and fulfilling to be in a profession were you create. Creating/building relationships, creating campaigns, creating marketing, building houses, building websites, cooking food, making music, writing books. They’re all professions you can enjoy and feel a sense of accomplishment while working.

I’m very happy I’m not in a profession that is less rewarding – I don’t imagine cashier or waiter to be self-satisfying in the same way. But I could be wrong.

There’s no greater professional joy to me, as a developer, than building something to the best of your skills and perfecting it to the last character. And beholding its mastery. This is how I felt about when I built it. For that project, is me. And while people could do it in different, better, or worse ways, that project is effectively me and all my development “art”, experience, and skill, in project form. And that is something that, dare I say, is a ‘miracle’ of creation for it is infinitely unique, as is its creator.

I would wager the greatest personal joy would be fathering a son (note: I specifically say son as they would likely be more like me than a daughter). Though I imagine fathering a daughter wouldn’t be too far off.

The greatest professional joy to me, as a manager, has yet to be achieved. But a manager friend of mine has said that his most rewarding moment as a manager was promoting someone that deserved it and the elation of said person. I imagine that that feeling, the feeling of rewarding someone with years of good work, is quite rewarding in itself. And to know you’ve helped assist with that progression is its own reward.

I watch shows like MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen. Bob Ross’ Painting. Those home improvement shows. And I just think – why is there no web developer show. And the answer is so obvious I shall not say why. But effectively, these shows are about creation. And that is no different from a web developer. I’d freaking LOVE to watch developers compete, talk trash, analyse each other’s code, etc. Just as home cooks can learn a thing or two from MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen, I’d love to learn a thing or two from a non-tutorial based show about developers. I wager I’m likely the only person ‘in the market’ for this programming. But in 5 years, when they’ve exhausted their ideas…it could happen.

So you think you can write code?
So you think you can compose a song?
So you think you can bake?

It’s only a matter of time…

The Art of Development

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 at 12:35 am

1/4 today…

I’ve spent my career being a developer/front-end developer and I can say that of all the types of development I’ve seen – front-end is the easiest. It’s easy to grasp and there’s a lot of room for error. Though that’s true of any kind of development when you get into it; it can be forgiving. There are an infinite number of ways to get to the best solution and the top 100 ways might not be clear unless you’re really good.

I’ve always thought that anyone who has done any development could do front-end development but I’ve often found that some developers I’ve met absolutely suck at front-end development. I see people doing crazy back-end stuff on their resume but still don’t know that a table shouldn’t be used for layout purposes.

I’d say that good front-end development, like any development, is like an art. There are ways to do things and ways not to. But they’re learned from experience. And that makes the difference between a good front-end developer and a bad one, despite it’s ease. Every kind of development has a box that must be played in. And it’s our job as developers to explore this box and discover how we can play inside (or outside) it. But anytime we play in or outside of the box, we’re creating development “art”.

I look at some pretty good back-end developers, still using tables for layout and I cringe. But they’ve obviously spent their careers learning the “art” of back-end development. And a front-end developer would be lost in this art. Such is “experience” and its value. (I’m almost saying that development “art” is gained through or IS experience).

My point is that, despite having spent a career in front-end development and thinking it’s the easiest of the developmentS, it is not without its unique rules, difficulties, and constraints. But I think the rules and difficulties are more artistically driven than conceptually, logically, or methodically driven. That is to say – you can do less with front-end development but it is, in its way, a skill that takes a lifetime to master.

Well, especially with a breath of new life to front-end. HTML5 and CSS3 both have some aspects to learn to even a seasoned front-end developer. HTML5 Canvas in particular is its own beast. But the new breath of life are the JavaScript frameworks introduced – jQuery, node.js, backbone.js (MVC) are all front-end tools/frameworks/techniques that can be explored with no less difficulty than any back-end language (that is, if front-end had a database…). updates!

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 3:26 pm

LULUL touched this site like, 2 times in 7 years.

Recoded ASPX to PHP

It’s crazy to see the code there from 7 years ago.
I didn’t really understand CSS at the time.

Responsive Layout +

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 1:04 am

About 5 minutes after my last post, I realize…I can’t really do a fully responsive layout with all my themes. Some of the themes will work with a responsive layout (gmail, google+); some (megaman, naruto) will not. So I’ve decided not to support multiple themes on mobile devices, much to my girlfriend’s dismay (she likes the megaman theme).

As such, I’ve been able to create a responsive layout that will occur upon using the Google+ Theme (which is the default theme).

Going to my site on a variety of resolutions will now show different results. Breakpoints are:
1000px, 768px, 480px.

It looks like:

Click the picture for a bigger one.

It was pretty easy. While it’s not the proper 16-grid responsive layout that I originally wanted to do, this custom responsive layout serves its purpose. If not for my multiple themes, I’d definitely want to properly do this. Not sure if I should be doing it for my site. Its current layout is so much a part of the site…I don’t know if I can/want to mobilize it.

Anyways, feel free to check out this site on your iPhone or Android! I’m very happy with the results. Having the navigation in a dropdown; having the search at the top will really make going to my site on those drunken nights at the bar when I bring up something from my life easier. That’s the main purpose for this responsive layout, to make my site more usable when i’m drunktarded.

Also – two resources I found useful to do a responsive layout:

  • – a good place for a responsive template. Rather than use some person’s template, I found (and asked around) that it was better to create your own to understand and eliminate bloat.
  • Viewport Resizer – The best thing ever! Saves a bookmark to your bookmarks which, when clicked, adds a small viewport toolbar to change the viewports of your webpage but stay on the same page. You have to see it/use it to believe/understand it. But this thing is AWESOME.

Site Updates – Sections

Sunday, January 6th, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Whoa. When was the last time had updates!?

I’ve been meaning to create a TO DO list section for a while. I had to make it in a way that would be easy to edit – that is, NOT a code page (cuz opening up code via a code editor is a pain), and NOT a wordpress page as finding that wordpress page to edit is a pain. Also, editing a wordpress page is a pain.

Also, my co-worker, Grant, said that he doesn’t consider watching a movie as an achievement. But I do (my threshold of achievements is lower :S).

So I made an Achievements section. A place to track things in my life in progress, things to start (TO DO List) and easily track things I’ve done (Achievements).

I built a simple admin section on Friday: Achievements Admin. And no, you cannot edit anything in this section.
Originally, I created a textbox where I had to fill in a password – that was the only way you could edit something. But I changed it around so that the password input is hidden and the value is derived from the URL (so the URL linked above is not the URL *I* use).

The cool thing is that while the INSERT and DELETE only activate when you click their buttons (as the page needs to refresh to add/remove the item), the UPDATES to any existing item are updated via AJAX POSTS. So there’s no “Submit” when you make an edit, you edit the textbox and it will change the database. Assuming again, that the password works. Beautiful :)
(and yes, I could have made the INSERT and DELETE AJAX POSTS as well but I don’t think it was worth the effort).

Links sections removed.
I moved Friend’s links to the right side of the homepage.

Projects sections removed.
I combined it with my Hobbies section.

Figure Review sections added.
I’m not sure how much use I’ll get out of this but I wanted to do figure reviews for my non-Kotobukiya Bishoujo figures.