August Homecoming

I got to fly home, visit with family and participate in my brother’s Seattle wedding reception in early August. It was great to see Ian and Jan again! The reception was awesome – my mom never ceases to amaze! Live magic show, live music, good food, and most importantly, a great time with friends and family. My family did not come as… well, we’ve been on too large trips as a family already this year and the kids needed some at-home summer vacation (blueberries have been picked and sand played in). The flight home was an adventure – I’m working on getting reimbursed by the original airline and my flight trip insurance for that hassle. I ended up purchasing a new ticket from a different airline just to get back to Michigan in time for a business meeting I had the next day.

2019 Mid-year Updates

What a busy year – it’s already August! I haven’t posted anything in a long while… So let’s fix that shall we?

Life in general

  • A new bike – I have been able to ride into work this summer – lots of fun and good exercise!
  • The garden is blooming – fresh strawberries, peas, and raspberries make for some fun treats!
  • Serving in a leadership position in my church – an amazing rewarding (and draining) experience.
  • Finally kicked myself into doing a daily exercise routine.
  • Playing D&D again! Soooo fun!
  • My kids like to play D&D! (fun x 10!)
  • Brother got married! I was honored to be best man (and I didn’t roast him much – there was a lot of dust in that room though!)
  • Visited the UK – London, Isle of Wight, Bath, and Dorset coast (Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door). Didn’t get to hit up the Bovington Tank Musuem though. Next time… ?
  • Two-week family vacation trip to Utah for a family reunion. We drove across Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska. With the schedule flexibility (only two points had strict dates/times we had to meet), we got to see and do a lot of cool things. The kids did great. I would do a similar vacation again.

Work

  • Converted a custom .Net/static HTML hybrid site to WordPress. The data migration was intense but everything is running great. Client is really happy with how easy the new site is to update.
  • A web app we built for a client passed client accessibility testing in only two tries! (I’ve heard normally it takes 6-8 tries). I provided the design and accessibility guidance for this app so having us pass in only two tries – not to toot my horn, but awww yeah!
  • That same app was so well received that the client asked for additional modules to be built for it – extending this into an amazing system. Major kudos to our tech leads and developers!
  • With some plugins and a bit of coding on my end, I created a reservation and scheduling system for a conference center on top of WordPress – perhaps my most complex WordPress project to date.
  • Building a much improved MPHI deliverables system with Peter Jantos. Peter added a web service API to an internal business application, which generates a JSON feed that my front-end static deliverables site can consume. This will easily save an estimated 160 man hours (4 people * ~40 hours) a year to prepare and deliver end of fiscal year deliverables.

Conclusion

I had to skip over a lot here but in general, 2019 has been a busy and rewarding year. I hope it’s been good for you!

An Event Apart Seattle 2018

I’m back from the An Event Apart Conference which is really awesome – if you work in or around the web, you should go sometime. A great mix of speakers, great range of topics, and how cool is it to have dinner with Eric Meyer? This is the guy behind the famous CSS reference book CSS: The Definitive Guide from O’reilley (now on it’s 4th addition) and he was a major influencer in helping get browsers to adopt CSS as a standard. I also got to have breakfast with Jeffery Zeldman – a major force behind the Web Standards Project which led the way to why we even *have* web standards now. I love his gruff, honest personality and approachability. It was a blast just hanging out and learning with a bunch of my peers across the amazingly diverse web industry. I highly recommend the An Event Apart conferences. I hope to post more on some of the things I learned at this conference.