Process

It’s been a heck of a week – one of those where I’ve beaten myself up for not solving particular problems or delivering work I’d committed to doing. I close my eyes and see Chrome’s Developer Tools seared into my eyelids. The toughest part has been not finishing the first draft of an article I’ve been due to write for a while. A combination of writer’s block, imposter syndrome, and disappearing down a code rabbit hole has ended in the inevitable result: no words on the page.

Earlier this summer, I completed a documentation project at the University of Warwick (my employer) for a web application called Tabula. The design and development teams rewrote the coursework management component, roughly a quarter of the app, from scratch. I was responsible for writing the support pages on the IT Services’ website for use by staff and students, and contributing to alpha testing. The development team releases new versions of Tabula iteratively, typically once a week.

I attended a training session recently on how to organise your work and life based on David Allen’s GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology. The trainer covered how to define your own ‘contexts’ or tags – common identifiers for tasks based on type, geographical location, relationships with other people, timeliness and energy level. He then described how to implement this system in Outlook and OneNote. Thinking about how and where I work, and who with, I made the following tags:

Learning a blogging platform outside the WordPress domain has been on my mind for a while. I’ve been working with WordPress sites as an author, editor or general maintenance man, for ten years now and I felt it was time to expand my horizons. I researched static site generators and settled on Hugo as a new platform to learn. Aside from learning a new technology, another reason for moving the blog to a static site generator is that my WordPress sites just seem so slow these days, despite optimising and aggressively caching where I can.