Journal -- January 22, 2023

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Sunday, January 22, 2023 – First journal of the new year. Sorry, it took so long—lots to cover.

Work

Things are good. I recently picked up a new contract gig, helping to mature the GraphQL API for a company called CollX.

CollX (pronounced “collects”) is the fastest way to figure out what your cards are worth. Snap photos of them and instantly get the current market price. Add them to your collection and track your overall portfolio value. You can even buy, sell, grade, and trade your cards with other collectors.

I am friendly with its founders and technical team from other projects, and it feels like a really good fit. I’m anxious to get more production time with GraphQL and Absinthe. This project also uses the Relay pattern, so I’m working on getting more comfortable with that too.

I still have my previous gig going, though its hours will be lessening over the next few months to a more production observation type of role. This project is also the source of my React Native frustrations, and while I’ve made some progress on that front, I’ve started to push harder for the client to bring on someone else with more experience to take ownership of that aspect of the platform.

Given that, I’ve removed the consulting availability banner from the website. I’m fully booked now. 🎉

ElixirClub

ElixirClub officially launched in early January, and while I have aspirations of more members, I’m pretty happy with our initial circle. There are 6 of us in total. Rowland and I regularly meet for coworking sessions, and the rest keep up via the online forum, posting weekly updates.

I need to spend some energy reaching out to the other members and try to spark more activity outside the updates, as well as encourage more people to attend coworking (adjusting hours or adding weekend sessions if that might help). Overall, very excited to get this new group off the ground and anxious to continue to shape and evolve it.

Franklin

Via ElixirClub coworking sessions, I’ve made some small progress on Franklin. I’ve even started to get a bit of a mental nudge to push forward towards an actial release since there are aspects of my current blog deployment that are starting to show some concern.

I mainly speak of the recent CircleCI security breach and the fact that resolving the needed secret rotations was more complex than I would have liked.

DockYard Academy

When I was under-employed over the fall, I used my free time as a teacher assistant for the 12-week Elixir boot camp known as DockYard Academy. Looking ahead through February and March, I’m much less likely to be able to pop in as much. With that change, it was a coincidence that this past Friday represented the completion of their first beta cohort, with the students presenting all their projects. I got to see all the students show what they have learned through the completion of each’s capstone project. It was amazing to see how far they had all come.

I’ll still be on their Discord server and may jump in with an answer or two in chat, but I will likely be on my client project during their standard class times in the future.

There historically has been a lot of overlap in the class with the ElixirNewbie community, which has its own Discord server and Saturday hackathons. I see myself being able to pop in there for mentoring more often.

Hobbies

I’ve been playing Breath of the Wild a bit lately. This is my third time attempting a playthrough, and this is the farthest I’ve ever gotten. I’ve beaten two divine beasts, have the master sword, and continue working around the map. The exploration is fun, though I’ve been watching a Let’s Play alongside my playthrough to help me more quickly understand all the game mechanics. Ingame, they require you to discover a lot of things on your own, and this was one of the historical reasons I gave up because I didn’t know what was going on.

For TV, I’m continuing my watch of Deep Space Nine. Only have a few episodes left and have greatly enjoyed it. I have not kept up with my watching of Quantum Leap (I stopped mid-season two), but might return to it once DS9 is done. I’m also considering working out a list of BIG episodes and just watching those. In particular, I remember enjoying the JFK episodes and the evil leaper plot thread.

The Philadelphia Eagles are doing incredibly well and won their playoff game last night. Next week will be the NFC championship game, and I’ll watch it. I’m WAY more of a baseball fan than football, but it’s hard to avoid the fandom excitement around town during the playoffs.

Exercise

My morning walks have been much less frequent over the past month. Part of that is just the winter. When I have done my walks, I’ve been doing them on the indoor track at the YMCA. It is comfier, though the extra drive time adds up. Ideally, I’ll keep my eye out for the temperature to nudge up and start bundling up and walking closer to my house to save some time and let me finish the morning walks a bit earlier in the morning hours and, thus, better align with the start of my client workday.


Overall, things are busy but good. Now that the overwhelming onboarding weeks are complete and my new schedule is settling down, I can blog a bit more. It is always the hope anyway.