A new project

So I’ve been thinking of building a new site lately and I’m going to use it as a learning ground for new processes and tools. The project is going to be a release date calendar and I’m going to document the process and decisions I make on this blog.

This is a list of all the things I want to include, consider or use:

  • Prototyping / Design
    • Sketch – I don’t do much design anymore but Sketch seems a tool for building responsive designs
    • Invision – Started using this in work and it seems a much better way of tracking designs.
  • Yeoman – Interested to see how this could save time. We usually have barebones git repo’s in work so not sure if there would be a benefit to using it
  • Grunt – Confident in it’s use but would like to build more a more robust toolset in it and automate it in CI
  • Bower – Used it a little. Want to see how it ties into Grunt
  • Sass – Pretty confident with Sass but there’s a lot of room for improvement
  • Bourbon – Lightweight Sass Mixin Library. Also has a grid framework called Bourbon Neat I would like to try
  • Iconfonts – Serving separate images is slow and sprites are a pain to maintain and make changes to. Iconfonts can help solve this problems
  • SVG’s – Being able to animate a vector image opens up a lot of possibilities
  • Angular or Backbone – I’m using Backbone on a project in work. I’m not sure whether to use that to get more insight or expand with Angular. The main idea is to go down a Single Page App with routing though
  • WordPress or Alternative CMS – I’ve used WordPress a lot but I’m considering looking at something else for this project
  • Git – The standard for Version Control. I use it in work but I’m interested in learning a little more of the deployment process
  • Continuous Integration – This seems like a good place to improve and tie grunt into. Codeship, Jenkins and Bamboo and ones I’m looking at now
  • Automated Testing – Definitely a new area for me but something I want to improve upon. At present I’m looking at CasperJS and also a tool called Ghost Inspector. There is also Selenium to consider but that looks more complicated. I would like to tie these tasks into Grunt and the CI

Also whilst building the site I want to be checking out new best practices for HTML and CSS. I want to continually think about Accessibility and User Experience. I would love to get to the end of this project and have a whole new set of skills and a prime example of a full stack of front end tools.

Edit :

Some additional things people have mentioned to me are Anchor CMS and Nightwatch.js

This blog is getting a reboot

You heard it here first. This blog is getting a full reboot. Gone are the days of meaningless reviews and pointless opinions. I’m deleting it all and starting again. To be honest no one is really going to notice as I haven’t updated this blog in a while anyway – actually not since January 13th 2011. That was a completely different time in my life and a lot has changed. I’m no longer freelance, I own a house and I’m getting married. My job is stressful but I learn more and more each day, and I feel more vitalised to learn new development skills than I have ever done.

I’m going to use this blog as a sounding board, code diary and research tool. I’m going to write about decisions I make on personal projects and maybe a few work ones if I’m able to. I’m going to use it as project journal for a new personal project I’m working on so feel free to comment on and dissect my code.

Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this blog more maintained than previous attempts.

Get past a motivational brick wall

I recently got my first article published by another blog. So far I’ve had over 30 positive comments on the article which I’m really pleased about. Below is an extract from the full article. Head over to freelanceswitch.com too read the whole article and let me know what you think in the comments there or on this post.

“If that project your working on is getting on your nerves or just getting you down then stop fretting. Just move onto something else. Yeah you may have set aside time to work on this project or you might have a deadline approaching but if you’re not doing anything then it’s wasted time. Try moving onto a different project and see if that can get you motivated again. Spending an hour on a blog post or a t-shirt design is a good way to get you back in the mood.”

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Freebies – The Creative Company Email Template

Everyone loves free stuff so here’s a lovely free email template for you to enjoy.

The Creative Company Newsletter is ideal for those companies that want to brighten up their customers/clients day. It comes in 6 colour variations; Blue, Green, Grey, Light-Blue, Orange and Pink and the source files are included so that you can customise the main header and colours yourself. The main header is an image and the font used is League Gothic an open source font created by The League Of Moveable Type. The font is supplied in the download so that you can change the image.

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