Little and often

This phrase has cropped up in a number of ways over the last week or two and it’s starting to sink in.


Just the right approach

As I’ve already demonstrated, life often gets in the way of spending time here at my desk learning more about development.

It feels like having to start again to be able to get back to spending hours at a time and that just makes it seem even harder to achieve.

On the other hand, the little and often approach makes more sense.

If I can only spend half an hour learning, then how many half hours can I squeeze in around my commitments?

It’s probably going to be easier to do that than it is to find a couple of hour long blocks throughout the week.


Breaking it down

What this does mean is adopting some kind of plan.

This is true for me at least, I love to plan things – it’s a great way to procrastinate and send yourself into analysis paralysis and the inevitable apathy that that can bring.

I’m joking, I’m not usually quite that bad.

But I do imagine projects and ideas that are just too damn big!

I remember reading about learning React, and that it made sense to think of things as components – even components within components.

That’s the way to think about practice projects – the little pieces that all go together to make the whole.


Making a start

Codecademy make the learning part quite easy – I can aim to spend half an hour on a lesson, and try to get each of the steps completed in that time.

Maybe I’ll run-over my time if I get the opportunity – maybe I’ll have to cut it short.

Codecademy at least will keep my progress and let me jump back in where I left off – even if that was midway through a lesson.

Cool. That makes me feel better, good even!


Planning my practice

This is the bit that I’m going to have to work on a bit harder.

An early half hour block is going to need to be spent picking an idea I’ve had and exploring it further.

Mapping out all my ideas in Miro, and then trying to work out how to componentise it all into bitesize pieces to work on.

I’ve got a couple of ideas noted down in Trello, they can be my starting point – but I’d also like to find a good way to organise the work.


The search for tooling

At work, for another week or so until I leave, we use Jira.

Although I’m not doing any development tasks, all my research & design work is logged there and Jira lets me create the right structure around things to stay organised.

I really f*cking hate Jira!

So I need to explore other options.

GitLab was useful in the past, even Azure DevOps was a nicer tool to use, but I also want to stay within the Github ecosystem (gotta fill up that activity panel!) so I shall be exploring Github Issues & Projects to see how they can meet my needs.