One way to have more fun as a software engineer is to learn your craft via resources like books, videos, and courses, but then also track the progress of it and finish useful byproducts on the way.
If you've done side projects before, you might know that they get dropped from time to time prematurely, without a chance for a glimmer of light.
Shape Up is a project management framework that 37signals uses to get projects done. So why not try it in a team of One?
A part of the framework, at least how 37signals use it, is working in 4 to 6-week sprints.
I found it appealing to try this out more consistently in my own side projects this year.
I've started doing this with an 8-week sprint, working on an app that stayed unfinished for more time than I wished for:
memocortex.com, an app to train your (developer) memory.
First, a little legend because every sprint consists of different ways to be finished successfully. Yes, I organize things with emojis.
✅ - done
📕📗📖 - book
📺 - video (course)
📝 - text-based course
👩🏫 - workshop
🏟 - conference
🎨 - drawing and sketches
📽️ - project
📣 - networking
💡 - idea (maybe worth, maybe not)
Sprint 2023/01 - memocortex.com
Memocortex.com is a collection of mnemonic memory major systems in different languages that facilitates learning those systems.
29/12/2022 - 26/02/2023
Byproducts of the sprint:
✅ 📝 https://www.hotrails.dev/ - to get some more insight into Hotwire
✅ ✍️ a post about developer memory training
🎨 ~300 simple sketches of simple objects, either sourced or created 🙈
✅ 📕 Why's (poignant) Guide to Ruby by the lucky stiff (a bit unrelated, but long overdue from my reading list)
✅ 📘🎧 listening to Moonwalking With Einstein
📣 reaching out to memory people from Moonwalking With Einstein and asking about including them into the MVP (Also reach out to Stenger, Buzan, and Co. to ask permission to use their major system)
Future sprint ideas
After a sprint, I'll get a bit of idle time where I'll shape and decide on 1 of the following projects...
Ruby and Rails TDD workshop
📖 - https://chriskottom.com/resources/TheMinitestCookbook-sample.pdf
📺 - destroyallsoftware testing and upcase testing
📺💡 - RubyGuides video course
📽️ - minitest TDD workshop repo => interactive integration in blog (based on my Le Wagon workshop from 2022 => there could also be something like a Rebuilding Minitest resource)
I got some incredible feedback from a friend who actually went through my self-rolled Le Wagon TDD workshop with Ruby and Minitest alone.
This pumps me quite a bit to finally make it a fun, free, interactive, and easy-to-use course resource here on my blog 🤔
QuickAPI, like FastAPI in Python but for the Ruby world
📖 - API Design Principles
📖 - Chris Kottom API book
📺 - Rebuilding Rails Workshop
📽️ - QuickAPI
Visual resource creation
🎨 consistent (daily?) creations to visualize coding concepts, algorithms, and cartoony real life situations
- something with data and AI in Ruby
- potentially, port missing data/AI libs to Ruby
- Daily usage of GPT and GitHub Co-pilot
- specifically, try out co-pilot for replacing intellisense auto-completion and writing tests
- try GPT for blog post outlines
There are a couple of pipelines in my personal work I'd like to automate, some examples in this order of appetite:
- obsidian note publishing to Ghost blog (automating new posts and updating posts)
- I've built "CrossPost markdown" before, would be interesting to see if this CLI still works and maybe extend this whole framework
- cut audio version of curious coders chronicles webcast => put in google drive => automatically add to excel => read description and title (from API based on file URL or name?) => add new episode to Podcast.co and YouTube
Revisit previous programming languages
📕 Must be accompanied by Seven Languages In 7 Weeks
Shallow dive into some new hot prog language or framework
Dunno yet what could be more exciting than Rails and Hotwire 😅
Systemizing Mentoring and Coaching
My dear friend and tech brother Tobi, the master of the le4f.agency, is a visionairy systemizer. I was happy to be mentored by him on systemizing and automating my coaching to make the most out of my and my mentee's time. There are a lot of ideas and approaches to implement which can definitely be a low code 6-week project.
More ideas that need shaping
- First physical and version of: https://developer-pursuit.fly.dev/
- Productize King Of Vegas boardgame and create online card game
- bust toptal challenge, just for fun and unlocking additional freelance markets/communities
- Build an app and dig some books in the mental health space
Powered by books
All of this is powered by book reading 📚
I'm tracking my reading in a separate post about a reading list of a random software developer dude.
Shape Up Resources
As I'm doing this thing, I'm planning to get to reading (listening 🎧) Rework and Shape Up this year from my reading list to refine the processes.
Since Shape Up is only available in written form and I'm not sure when I'll get to it, I've dug the audio-based materials which you might also find useful:
✅ The original intro from 2019
✅ Creator of Shape Up with more recent thoughts around the framework
✅ Shape up in a nutshell by the creator himself