• Week 21

    11 March 2013

    Very busy this week.

    Early in the week, I helped Amblr with a workshop in Bristol as part of their REACT Sandbox project, The Next Time[line]. Coming into a short project very briefly, I wasn’t quite sure what role I’d take – design? Code? Something else?

    In the end I bounced between people, in a role very similar to what we used to call “Sheriff” in Berg workshops: holding people to their word, making sure explanation is clear, being firm, pushing through to get decisions made. Hard work, but it was a productive two days, and everything’s lined up for the final weeks of the sandbox. Always interesting to work on other projects like this.

    However, the bulk of the week was focused on bringing Dundry in to land. That means: implementing one last feature, just enough polish to make it feel less hacky and more like it has the potential to be a thing, and lots of documentation.

    I’d produced wireframes early on to sketch the interactions in the project – but they’re not the only documentation I’ve been working on. I’ve also been making notes on the data structures within the project – simple explanations of the schema, of course, accompanied with some of the reasoning behind how they ended up there – and talking a little about the decisions made in the rendering layer, which, though not the focus of the project, turns out to be where a lot of the engineering meat of the prototype lies, and which needs to have a very carefully considered architecture in any future versions.

    And I’m probably going to produce a short screencast. Videos are useful cultural currency – easily shared – but also serve as documentation, illustration, and proof of a project that works even offline; live demos are great, but not when you haven’t got a network connection. I’ve been making little videos throughout the project to demonstrate it to the client, and it appears to have been helpful.

    I’m hoping to ship final documentation and code – or at least, nearly final – before the beginning of Week 21.

    And then it’s onto new things: next week sees the beginning of Detling over at Caper, which should be really interesting: a tight, creative project, about social listening.

    Busy, then – and a learning experience about how to slot various projects together, how to make sure that timelines don’t collide too much, and how to push myself forward at a reasonably rate when I need to get things done. As ever: onwards.