Time and Decisions

Seth Godin has written a lot of classic posts, but this one is my favorite. He talks about how time and decisions become interlinked. He says:

But…
That’s our work.
We don’t make stuff as much as we make decisions.

Seth Godin

As a leader, I do this every day. I used to produce code, but now I produce decisions. If it’s a good day, I make clarity. That clarity often comes if I put the right amount of time into the needed problem. If I don’t, I start to lose momentum and the clarity becomes more elusive.

James Dyson on Luck, Distance Running and Success

I heard a quote recently on an NPR podcast featuring James Dyson, the inventor known for his vacuum cleaners, that I love:

“…And I do believe, though, that you create your own luck. Because luck is around. You know, I’m a – I did long-distance running at school. And you only succeed by doing a huge amount of training and then having great stamina, understanding that other people are also feeling tired. So when you feel tired, you should accelerate. That’s when you start winning. So – and I’ve learnt that with developing new technology, that when you feel like giving up is precisely the point everybody else gives up. So it’s at that point that you must put in extra effort. And you do that, and then success is literally just around the corner.”

I relate to it since running has influenced a lot of my perspectives in life, even though I don’t run regularly these days.

Goodbye Firebug

When it came out in 2005, Firebug was the first tool to let programmers inspect, edit, and debug code right in the Firefox browser. It also let you monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page, which was a huge step forward.

Saying Goodbye to Firebug

Another classic web tool says goodbye. Just like Thematic when it reached its end last year, I have fond memories of Firebug. I haven’t been in this business as long as some of the people I admire, but Firebug helped teach me a lot about web development. It’s how I learned to debug a website. Thanks for letting me view source in style, Firebug!

Focusing on What Matters

Tim Kadlec gave a powerful, recent talk called Focusing on What Matters that you should watch. It touches on the three areas of the Web that we web workers often overlook or neglect: accessibility, performance and security. Yet, those end up being the factors that have the most impact on the people using our products and services. We have the ability to unlock the Web for everyone – if we focus on the right things.

Themers as Shipbuilders

Working with WordPress themes can often be misunderstood. How could you build sites without knowing the content? I love building themes because I believe that a good WordPress theme can open up a new world to those using it. In turn, also reveal something unique about the site’s owner to the world. I read a quote from Henry Rollins on creativity, success and failure that reminded me of how I feel about themes, especially  when I finish one:

I’m a shipbuilder. I don’t want to sail in them. I want you to sail in them. I’m just happy that they leave the harbor so I can have an empty workplace.

I feel the same way when I launch a theme. I’m more excited to start the next one than continue work on something from the past.

Contributing to Twenty Seventeen

Sami Keijonen shared his experience as a first-time contributor to WordPress default themes on Post Status. It’s an excellent read, especially if you’re interested in getting involved in WordPress Core or default themes.

Twenty Seventeen wouldn’t be the same without Sami’s work. His experience provides a good example of how to watch an open source community, learn from it, find a niche within it and attack when you see a way to give back. My favorite advice is this:

Once you start contributing, you shouldn’t just disappear with no explanation. If you’re running low on time or have other obligations, it’s totally understandable, but be sure to politely inform others you can’t continue anymore, so they can pick up where you left off.