Talk: What I’ve learned as an Email Developer

Thanks for tuning into my talk, What I’ve learned as an Email Developer during the Moms Can Code Virtual Summit!

Here are links to the resources mentioned during my talk.

Resources

Email Design on Pinterest – A sample of some beautifully designed emails

Really Good Emails – A collection of hand-picked email designs and resources

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Informative site about GDPR

CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business – An overview of the CAN-SPAM guidelines for businesses

A Snapshot of an Email Team – A breakdown of demographics of email teams, according to a survey by Litmus

Creating your own Gulp Based Email Workflow System – Story of how Tori, an email developer, created her own email workflow system

What’s Goop – Launched in the fall of 2008, GOOP was originally conceived as a weekly email sent from Gwyneth Paltrow’s kitchen

Email Testing – Email on Acid email testing

The Ultimate Guide to CSS – In-depth list of which CSS features are supported in which email clients

CSS Inliner Tool – Mailchimp tool for inlining CSS for emails

#emailgeeks on Slack – A Slack community where email marketers, designers, and developers meet to talk shop

Email Client Market Share – Email client usage worldwide, collected from 1.03 billion email opens.

Litmus Year in Review – 2017 stats from Litmus

13 Email A/B Testing Mistakes that Limit Your Success – Tips to ensure you are getting the most out of your email A/B testing

Follow me on Twitter. I tweet about email development, tech and reaction gifs

Talk: What I Learned From Managing My First Open Source Project on Github

Update: Links to my presentation slides are now available for download


It’s hard to believe that Codeland is only a few days away!

via GIPHY

Here, you’ll find some resources and links related to my talk, What I Learned From Managing My First Open Source Project on Github. The conference will be recorded so check back later for slides and video links.

Project Files

How Many Days Until Halloween? – The project that started it all! Not sure how many days until the spookiest day of the year? No worries, this webpage will do the counting for you.

Fork the project files on Github – Peak behind the code and see firsthand how this project evolved over time. Contributions are always welcome!

Presentation Slides [6.5 MB] – A PDF of my presentation slides can be downloaded here.

If you are attending Codeland, these links can also be found in the conference booklet

What I Learned From Managing My First Open Source Project on Github
What I Learned From Managing My First Open Source Project on Github, Codeland 2018

Resources

  • Bootstrap – Bootstrap is an open source toolkit for developing with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • GitHub Glossary – A list of common Git and GitHub specific terms
  • GitHub Guides – Short guides or tutorials covering various GitHub topics and features
  • Hacktoberfest – Hacktoberfest is a month-long celebration of open source software
  • Open Source Guides – An extensive collection of resources for individuals, communities, and companies who want to learn how to run and contribute to an open source project
  • Open Source Survey – The Open Source Survey is an open data project by GitHub and collaborators from academia, industry, and the broader open source community

Terms

  • Conflict – Competing differences between code files
  • Git – A free and open source distributed version control system
  • GitHub – Git repository hosting service and community
  • Markdown – Markdown is a plain text markup language
  • Open Source – Open source software is software that can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone.
  • Squash – Combining several commits into one

See you at the Conference!


Photo by Shannon Crabill is licensed under CC BY 2.0

#CNC2018 “Code More” Mission #1: Goals, Assumptions, Risks

Photo by Anas Alshanti on Unsplash

Now, we’re in the first official week of the Code Newbie #CNC2018 “Code More” Challenge! Last week, I wrote about what has worked and not worked when it comes to goal setting. This week, the challenge focuses on what can prevent us from reaching the goals we set. Here are my thoughts.

  • I want to code more because:
    I really like learning about coding for the web. I’ve worked with code in one way or another for the past five years and I always come back to wanting to learn more about building websites. As a self-taught developer, I felt like I was always missing something from being an actual web developer (hello imposter syndrome!), so I tend to focus my energy on building that skill set. The web changes fast and I want to avoid becoming stagnant or falling behind!
  • I know I’ll have reached my “code more” goal when:
    This is a tough one. You’ll never know everything about code, or the web, or coding for the web. However, I consider myself as having met my goal when I can look back and clearly see what skill gaps I have filled or are working on filling. I also consider feeling more confident in my skillset as a sign that I have completed my code more goal.
  • My top three assumptions for reaching my goal are:
    • Working full time. After being in the office, sometimes, I do not want to spend more time staring at a computer screen. Also, my brain hurts sometimes 😐
    • Managing my time. See above. If I am clear about my goals, I can better manage my time and make progress. However, that is easier said than done
    • Personal life. As much as I love to learn to code and wish that was my full-time job, it is not. For me, there is more to life than sitting in front of a computer screen. Health, family, and friends are priorities too.
  • Of these assumptions, my riskiest is managing my time.
  • When I think about my riskiest assumption, three possible root causes are:
    • Prioritizing easy/instant gratification over long-term goals.
    • Saying “yes” to being lazy, instead of “yes” to being productive/working toward my long-term goals.
    • Being too generous with my time. I need to respect my own time in order to be successful.
  • 3 ways I might address these root causes are:
    • Do not overcommit! I’m guilty of taking on “all of the things” and not really having time to do them all. Or letting not-as-important things (I’m looking at you Netflix!) take up the time I do have.
    • Focus on one thing at a time. Humans are terrible at multitasking.
    • Track accomplishments. I did this last year and it made a big difference when I was feeling unaccomplished.
  • Of these, the biggest cause that’s worth tackling first is focusing on one thing at a time.

Photo by Anas Alshanti on Unsplash

#CNC2018 “Code More” Pre-Mission

Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash

As part of the Code Newbie #CNC2018 “Code More” Challenge, here is my pre-mission homework:

GOAL: Understand what has and hasn’t worked in past attempts to code more, and start thinking about long and short-term goals.

What has worked?

  • Having an accountability buddy / going through a challenge with other people in my network
  • Saying my goals aloud (or on Twitter)
  • Setting SMART goals
  • Writing down my goals so that I can refer to there
  • Having a project where other people depend on me – I don’t want to let someone else down. For example, I was really happy with my Halloween countdown timer project that I did for Hacktoberfest. I didn’t talk myself out of participating. I was so excited to practice merge commits / etc that I was easily putting 3-4 hours in daily to keep it up to date. It was a project I was really excited about, it was fun, I learned a lot and was able to help other people practice as well. I really enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with other people. The positive feedback is a confidence booster too!
  • Based on the above, I know that I am someone who learns by doing. More than that, I like having a project that means something in the end. That is probably why most classes with fake projects don’t go well for me. I work full time so I don’t have unlimited time resources like I did in college

What has not worked?

  • Most free / cheap Udemy classes. The quality can go either way and I’m not as motivated to move through the material.
  • Setting goals that were to vague or unrealistic. I’ve since learned that I do better when I write things down and break them into smaller pieces. Sometimes learning to code every night isn’t realistic
  • Daily challenges don’t work so well for me. My mood, energy levels, priorities, etc, vary day by day, so the daily stuff doesn’t usually happen. For something that has expected checkpoints / time commitments (1hr a day OR 5 hours a week) I do tend to do better. Some days I feel like coding for several hours or I am in a good headspace to learn, others I am not
  • Rebuilding my portfolio has not been a project I’ve successfully completed since the last major redesign in 2013ish. I keep starting with great intent and not really going anywhere. I’m embarrassed at not having a site (or rather, an online presence that speaks to the work I do, etc) but it keeps not being a priority for me. I need to be ok with using a theme and filling it in with some killer content then waiting to build something from scratch that is perfect. I think I focus on the bigger picture and don’t break it down into small enough chunks. The deadlines I set are arbitrary / etc so I tend to scramble to having something up before a conference, etc.

What are your long-term goals?

  • To be a front-end developer! I can do front-end development work, but I feel like an imposter. I don’t feel comfortable as a front-end developer or that I’d be able to make it in a front-end developer role, and I would like to fill that gap. I’d like to learn or improve my skillset in the following areas (to start)
    • AWS
    • Bootstrap
    • Git
    • SASS
    • Javascript / Jquery
  • I’d like to expand my comfort level with design thinking and leadership. I’m torn between sticking with the developer route (which seems hard to get into) and the designer route (equally challenging since I’ve been out of the design game for a while).

What are your short-term goals?

  • By the end of this challenge, I’d like to have my website hosted on either github pages or AWS.  I would also like to make significant progress in the Udacity course I am taking.

 

 

The One About Self-Care

Rainbow Loom Elastics Macro by onetreehillstudios on Flickr

It’s been almost a month since I last posted on this blog.

And it’s been (somewhat) on purpose. However, a recent tweet and its responses prompted me to write this blog post.

You see, I felt like I was starting to lose my mind. Stress was getting to me. I was overwhelmed, negative, probably not fun to be around and found myself binging on Netflix more often than not (3hrs of NCIS? Yes please!)

It got to the point where I wasn’t excited or interested in learning to code. And that was huge for me. I love learning! I had spent most of my spare time this calendar year learning Javascript, Git, attending conferences and writing about my experiences.

Then, almost out of nowhere, the spark was gone. I’d go days without touching my home computer. Nighttime reading was comprised of clickbait and listicles instead of the literally hundreds of code or tech articles I had saved in the past few months. I just wasn’t interested in reading them. I didn’t feel like learning. I was burnt-out.

So I knew it was time to step back. I needed to take the pressure off. I put my “learning to code” goal on pause and felt ok with that decision.

Committing to not doing something that I was already not doing was easy. I put it into the universe and made peace with it. Saying it was easy, but I also had to avoid the urge to dive back in too soon. I set the loose deadline of “until December” in my head. Really, I wanted to “take a break” and focus on self-care.

via GIPHY

A few weeks into my self-care / no coding break and I’m feeling pretty good. I took some time off work, spent time with the people I care most about, ate so much good food / drank and even attended a cozy Harry-Potter-esque wedding. The stressors are still there, yes, but they don’t feel as overwhelming at the moment. Perhaps taking a break has given me some much-needed perspective.

I’m still exploring what self-care means for me, but I know comfort is a part of it. The weather is getting colder so the physical comfort of soft clothing, hot cider, cozy socks have been relaxing for me. I’ve rediscovered the term hygee and the idea of a minimalist lifestyle which I see as long-term ways to incorporate self-care into my life. I’ve also been reading more about self-care via Girls Night In.

How do you practice self-care?


Photo by John Douglas on Flickr