I might come off as a bit tired sounding in this one. It’s 28° outside, and that feels like 33° with the humidex. Even with air conditioning, my office upstairs is a bit… warm.

What I’ve been working on

I’ve been thinking a lot about WordPress, and how to reshape my understanding of it. While I’ve had some exposure to WordPress, and I’ve set it up about a dozen times over the years, I keep hearing it brought up as a “good” CMS for documentation. I’m not sure whether I agree or not with my sort of understanding of docs, but that’s another post for another day.

I’m a little under-motivated to dive in there these days because I’ve been working on hardening my JavaScript skills, and I’m worried about the Homer Simpson effect with regard to learning PHP:

Every time I learn something new it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.

What little PHP I knew has sort of fallen into disuse. Talk to me in person, buy me a beer, I’ll tell you more about it. However, Laravel makes me want to dip back in once I’m sick of JS. Maybe I’ll check out the latest from PHPSchool, which is a pretty interesting way to teach code.

Over the last couple weeks, my colleague Luc and I have been slowly working towards a collaborative blog post about testing the docs, kind of in the same vein as Lyzi Diamond’s “Testing: It’s not just for code anymore” talk from Write The Docs 2017.

In my last role, I worked with some automation to create a decent set of quality-assurance measures for my company’s documentation. I used tools like mdspell and write-good, as well as stylistic tests like RoryBot from Shopify. I’ve been meaning to check out Vale as well, but I frankly haven’t had the motivation or time.

The job hunt is going well. I’m always looking to pick up a freelance contract or two, in case you’re in the market, but I’ve been a bit distracted by trying to expand my skill set, and like I said, harden my JavaScript skills.

For the most part, I’ve been working with Node to practice a bit with MVC, because I’ve got a project I’m working on for a friend, and it’s going to involve pushing and pulling to and from some APIs, so I’m trying to get a bit more competent in that regard. It’s newer territory for me, and it’s pretty exciting.

I built up a simple API-only todo list based on this tutorial. Getting MongoDB set up was a bit of a thing, but I did get it to work after some gotchas:

  • you need to have a /data/db directory set up with correct permissions, which you can do using chmod on the directory with 0755, and chowning the directory with your user name. I found that out using Stack Overflow of course.

  • If you don’t boot up MongoDB (in my case, using the mongod command), your app won’t work.

  • after you POST a todo to the database, you have to point your API endpoint at the specific task ID in order to PUT or DELETE, which is something I didn’t think of.

I’ve also been working my way through some React tutorials, because React is so hot right now. I built a tic tac toe game based on their tutorial. Admittedly, I haven’t had the time to finish the rollback function that lets you learn more about states, but I’ve had other things going on, and the tutorial, frankly, is a bit of a snoozer.

Once I learn a bit more, I’ll be putting together some kind of React-y thing on this project, but again, with the heat, today’s been a bit of a slog.

Talk to you soon!

Matthew Buttler