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  • Thoughts

    My personal thoughts.

    39 articles in this category

      A good week and things are a bit weird...

      So this week was a bit hectic to say the least. I had a big training session for Stockholm Exergi where we started up the developers for the new work processes using Jira and Confluence. I also finished up some things here on the site and it seems that I am getting noticed because I have received multiple requests for sponsored articles this week.
      The work I do for Stockholm Exergi is fun and I got great feedback from the education I held on Friday. That was the first education and it was aimed towards the development team. Next week I will do another education session regarding ITIL and ITSM for the management teams. It will be based on Jira service Management and Confluence with the focus on Incident and Change management. I look forward to that.
      Otherwise, on the work side I am getting a ton of questions for employment right now and you can really tell that the market is shifting a bit. There is an increasing need for help with work processes and especially for Atlassian's products it seems. No doubt this is driven by the change in work conditions that for many are strange and unfamiliar. It means I get more work and that is not a bad thing right now.
      It seems I am not the only one being popular lately. This website also start to get some attention. This week I have received a handful requests from people who want to post a sponsored article. This of course is always welcome and I think I need to work on the guest blogging page soon as more and more people are starting to ask about it. I might need to work on the Author database a bit sooner plan planned I think.
      The past months I have been asked quite a few times to talk with friends about their current situation in life. Some ask for advice on work processes, others ask for help with jobs and so on. I am happy to help of course, and I am happy to have helped some friends and colleagues to find new employment. This is something I enjoy a lot and I will look at expanding that a bit more in the future here on the website as well.
      I have started to evaluate a books feature here on the site. Not sure if I like it yet, but I feel that having a books feature is a definitive must. I will continue testing it out as time permit and if I don't like it then I will build a custom database for it.
      Finally, I have been playing a bit of Destiny 2 now with the new expansion and I started to get a bit stressed over it. Not so much that the game itself was stressful, but the fact that I am not leveling up as fast as other players. I know it's just a psychological effect that my mind feel that I am loosing out on things, so I just had to adjust my mindset a bit. Overall I think there are a bit to many bugs right now, but overall it's a pretty fun experience.
      Today is Raid day when the best raiders in the world give the new raid a go in order to try to become worlds first. I will probably watch it a bit if I can as it's often pretty funny to watch.
      It has been a weird week.
      How was yours?

      Almost there and yes, I now have reviews as a standard feture

      This weekend I took a moment to first build a reviews feature for the blog and then I took a look at building a custom form, so I can have better control over the way these new fields are managed. I am also slowly getting back from last week's flu that had me in bed for way too long.
      Building things here is always fun. This weekend I took some time to look at adding a review function using the star ratings that you set for each category. I added it into the standard template, so I can add the fields to any database to have reviews show up. I also defined the colors based on the category, just like I have for sidebars and so on. Overall it turned out pretty ok so far and you can see what it looks like below.
      I also took a crack at the form for creating new articles. It turned out to be much easier than expected, much thanks to the help from Morrigan over at the Invision Community forum. She is always helpful and thanks to her example code it was easy to create the first version of the tabbed form. I will make a little more evolved version later, but for now tabs works pretty well.
      Getting back to work again today has been a bit difficult as I am still not 100%. It is a good thing that the work I am doing now is focused work with few meetings though, so I feel I am up to speed again.
      It feels good to be productive again!

      Happy Diwali - may the light shine in your hearts

      To all my friends and visitors who celebrate the holiday of Diwali I just want to say: Happy Diwali. In a year when darkness truly have been more dense than ever before a celebration of light is even more precious. No matter where you are in the world and what religion you put your faith in I hope this light of Diwali will find its way into your heart.
      While my knowledge of this holiday are not very good, all I need to know can be found in the eyes of those that celebrate it. It is a holiday of family, joy and the celebration of good over evil where the light break through the even the deepest of darkness. What more would you need to understand and who do not wish to celebrate such things?
      To all my friends who have taught me about their culture I wish you a special happy Diwali. It is the light of your kindness and generosity that is rekindled during this holiday. I wish you the best and light a candle in hopes that the light will find its way to you and your hearts.
      Happy Diwali @Praveen S, @Priya Arunachalam, @Mathan Prasad Kandasamy, @Bharath Kumar Dhanasekaran, Ruchir Shrivastava, @Sundhar Manian, @Dipayan Kundu, Martha Jennifer, Prachi Arya, Rahul Tyagi and many others.

      Organizing & setting a course - cleaning things up for the new year

      As I am down with a cold, again, I start to feel the need to organize a bit. Things are getting a bit unstructured outside the site itself, but there are also some things on the site that need a bit of cleaning up. As I am going to make some investments in more images, FontAwesome and so on I also need a more structured setup.
      With the new designs for the site in place I feel that I am in a good place content wise. I will fine tune and fix bugs of course, but overall it is now more an exercise in updating the content according to the new design. In order to make that easier I have moved over the banners to Sketch, so they are easy to update if needed.
      Sketch is also the first stop for making updates. It is now a bit messy because I have not completed the transformation from the old color system to the new with color variables. That have made  few areas a bit messy and I need to reorganize that to make sure all assets are correctly setup. It's an easy task, but time-consuming.
      The CSS in the original design here on the site also have hard coded color values instead of variables. That mean that there are some areas where the colors are a bit off. I need to change that and make sure I have the color values defined properly to ensure that the colors I define are consistent throughout the site. Again, not a big task, but a bit time-consuming.
      The way I organize the content also need to be updated. Right now my Dropbox storage is a bit all over the place. I need a clear definition on what is what, so I can get the structure...well, structured, again. I also need to reorganize things in Eagle because for some reason I have a lot of .eps files as .png, which is a bit of an issue. So I need to download the .eps files again and make sure I have the right structure in place. This is a bigger task, but one I have to do as I plan t make another purchase of 750 images from Shutterstock soon.
      I also need to clean up my Jira and Confluence instance as it is now getting a bit messy.
      There are some things to be done for sure 🙂

      Attitude change - letting go of the grumpy

      After reflecting a bit lately I have realized that I have been a bit grumpy lately. This has been extra noticeable on Twitter where I have been a bit aggressive in certain discussions. This is something that is not really me, so it is time to change that. It is time to kick out the grumpy!
      With the current situation in the world maybe it is not very strange that the mood takes a bit of a hit due to isolation and so on. Not having an assignment also is a bit frustrating, moving to a new company and all that comes with that and cold that never seem to be going away.
      Still, it is not a good feeling and I have decided that the grumpy need to go.
       

      A constructive week - Making progress

      This week has really been a roller coaster. I have worked hard on the Martin & Servera assignment and I also made some slides to present to Stockholm Exergi that led to a new assignment there as well. We got a visit from Alexandra and Milton from Falun and this weekend I pushed through a new design here on the site. Overall it has been a busy week.
      The Stockholm Exergi assignment is a 50% assignment that goes well with the Martin & Servera assignment. I start that tomorrow and it will be a project to test out the Atlassian suite for a ITSM and Agile setup. I will be in charge of setting up the systems, the training and driving the proof of concept project.
      I have also received several offers ranging from design lead on a new startup and Agile coach at a telecom company. It is flattering of course and I probably will have an interview next week if things go as planned.
      On the site here I got inspired this weekend and created a new design in Sketch that I liked and then pushed it out in code. There are some bugs still, but I am working on them. With this I now have a new design in place and I can remove the old plugin I had. The only thing left is to build anew form, but that is not a high priority right now.
      I really enjoyed building this new template this weekend as there were some interesting challenges. I now have automatic color changes based on category for all databases I use. The exception is the Swedish blog that I have given a generic layout. this was pretty easy by targeting that particular database for some classes.
      I also updated the graphics for DISC and 16personalities and uploaded them as SVG instead of PNG. This felt much better and I still have quite a few to create.
      Overall this has been a very good week.

      Book plans and working again - Back in the saddle again and making plans

      A pretty good week have passed, and I am officially working again on two projects. I am also planning a presentation of Jira Service Desk as an ITSM tool for a company next week. To top that off I have also been going over my old book that I have been writing on and off for quite a white and I think I will put it up here on the site. Overall a very productive week to say the least.
      This week I started working on TheLeft, an Invision Community project that I am having a lot of fun with. I also confirmed a project for Martin & Servera where I will do a prestudy to implement Atlassian products. On Monday I have been asked to show Jira Service desk to another company that are looking at tools and methodologies for their future operation.
      While setting up the demo for Jira Service Desk I realize that I have not posted that much about it. I also have not posted much about ITIL och ITSM, even though I work with it quite often. When adding the new ITSM templates currently in early access I have to say things look pretty good. So I will probably write a bit about it in the Atlassian Series that I need to pick up again.
      While I was thinking about the Atlassian Series I realized that I have not looked at my book for quite a while. I do have quite a bit of content already, so I am wondering if I should actually add it to the website. It's not that hard to add a new database and recreate the structure as I have it now. I will need to add another template design of course, but I think the listing version I already had planned would work just fine for that.
      I also realize that I do not have issue types for the ITSM flows in the Jira Icons package. So I will probably add a second set, or update the existing one with the new icons. I will probably add some additional packages, like for the Deviniti app or QMetry. I also feel that I should update the PowerPoint for Designing Jira Workflows as it is branded with my old company.
      There is no shortage of things to do and it feels fantastic to be honest.

      A pretty good week that give hope for the future

      This week was a good week. I had several good meetings, including one long conversation about methods and processes with the always amazing @Nicklas Egilie. I also had a good meeting with a company that might be a future client. We got some great new features from Sketch and I discussed a potential passive income opportunity.
      My cold is slowly letting go of me, which means slightly higher energy levels. This in turn mean my mind start spinning its creative juices a bit more. As we got the new features from Sketch with their Sketch 69 update I am eager to get into design mode again. I have played around with the features a bit and started a new design during the week for a fun potential project.
      I also had a nice meeting with a potential client this week, where organization models and processes is in focus. A lot of talk about the challenges mixing traditional ways of working like ITIL and how that mixes with Agile and Lean, which is similar to the work I did for H&M. So this also means I am brushing up a bit on ITIL 4 and the latest and greatest when it comes to SAFe and other frameworks.
      There is a bit of an influx of potential assignments now, which means a lot of CVs and reading assignment descriptions. Some roles I read are like Frankenstein's monster. It mixes multiple roles that do not really go well together in a way that you almost wonder what the people behind the ad really think they will get with that ad.
      I am also given the task to set up a new hosting and move a WordPress installation there. It is something I have done hundreds of times so it will not be a big thing. I do realize that a lot of people find this difficult to do if you are not familiar with cPanel for example. So I might write a blog post about it later.
      Speaking of writing that has felt a lot better lately and I have a pretty big backlog of topics already lined up. Now that I have better overview of what I will focus on, after doing a bit of mapping, I feel more relaxed about it. I also have a nice breakdown of the different "sizes" so I know what to expect from myself.
      This has been a good week, but I lost some energy at the end of it for some reason. So this weekend I will relax and focus on reading a bit I think rather than planning as I usually do.
      I hope you had a great week as well?

      FontAwesome - Could it be a good investment?

      FontAwesome is a popular service and I use it quite a lot on this website for example, but only the free version. As FontAwesome is moving forward with their version 6 I am considering to purchase a Pro license. The question is if it is worth the cost?
      FontAwesome Pro cost $99/year and with that you get a lot of additional icons and icon weights. You can also upload your own icons to be distributed in the same instance. This is great as I do not need to create a separate icon font for distributing my icons. It is even better as FontAwesome Pro have both a better CDN distribution and also comes with auto-subsetting.
      The downside is that I get stuck with a yearly cost. If I do not pay that I will not just loose the license, but icons part of the Pro package will acually stop working. That is a pretty big drawback as I would put myself into a situation where I could risk getting caught in a financial trap or risk having to redesign the site based on iconography.
      Still, it is something I am considering. I do tend to rebuild and redesign bi-annually anyway so maybe it will not be such a bad idea after all.
      What is your opinion? Is it worth the cost?

      Feeling creative again and it feels very good indeed

      In the last few days I have felt a bit creative again after a few weeks of not feeling to good. Most of my cold seem to be gone and I have more energy again. As I work on adding all my raw data into the new software used at work for CV's I feel energized about making changes here as well.
      It is strange how adding data about projects, skills and things like that can inspire, but it does. In a spur of creation I have added some new design aspects of the site. This is directly related to the work I do to add my data into the system at work, or at least it is what inspired me.
      So I have added some new banners for the different sections to be used in various ways. While doing that I also added a value definition for each area and I also broke down each area a bit into smaller portions. This is nothing that will happen soon for content, but it help me define to myself what each section is all about.
      Based on these I also played around a bit with the design for my Portfolio and I think I have something interesting to work with. One side effect of this creative burst is that I think I will update some colors. I realized that the colors for Operations and Security was quite similar. It turned out it was because I had not updated the colors properly in my Sketch file, but I think I will keep them because they felt pretty good.
      So, some interesting new things have seen the light of day and we'll see what comes out of it!
       

      The man in the mirror - a poem from my heart

      Silently I stand before the mirror
      watching the man that stand before me
       
      I see his sad eyes and troubled face
      and I see the darkness clawing inside
      trying to break through
       
      I see the struggle and the tear
      that flow down his cheek as it succeed
       
      I see the fear and sorrow as it sweep over his face
      I see his lips form the words
      softly whispered to me
       
      please help me,I loose my footing
      I can no longer make sense of this world around me
       
      my soul ache from the evil I watch each day
      Is there no hope?
       
      Frozen I watch as despair
      wrikle his face and slowly
      the light fade in his eyes
       
      I see his hands clasp
      and his pale lips close
       
      I have no words to ease his pain
      no gesture that can end his suffering
      so he begin to fall as I watch...
       
      Then from outside the dark room
      I hear a sound, a soft laughter
      and a soft light
      is lit inside his eyes
       
      The pain fades slowly
      the darkness slowly vanishes
       
      and I see the man in the mirror
      wipe his tear and smile
       
      as the soft knocking on the door
      wipe away the sorrow inside
       
      A single word shatter the mirror
      a true miracle in this dark world
       
      my saviour in the dark hours
      the sweetest word in the world
       
      ...Dad...

      I Think I will - A poem from my heart

      I look at the bills before me and frown,
      I ponder on my life, feeling stuck and lost,
      I rage against the world that changes,
      I get frustrated over not being in shape.
       
      Then I remember.
       
      I remember that there are those in the world that have no money,
      I remember there are those that have no freedom or hope of one,
      I remember that in some parts of the world change never happens,
      I remember that there are those that starve to death.
       
      Then I feel ashamed.
       
      What problems could I possibly have that others do not face a thousandfold each day?
      Our world is ravaged and exploited, man and beast alike are tortured and killed,
      greed and envy break bones and kill infants before they are even born.
      What could I possibly have to complain about that could rival the fate of others?
       
      I am blessed.
       
      Not just with a healthy and protected life,
      but with freedom others only dream about,
      food, water and shelter I take for granted,
      while others starve, die of dehydration or face the elements without protection.
       
      I look in the mirror.
       
      I no longer see the jagged edges of my existence,
      I see the things that make me whole.
      I see family, friends, peace and comfort,
      and I know that I am truly blessed.
       
      I look outside my window.
       
      Out there people are hurting,
      out there people are hungry,
      out there I can share my good fortune,
      I can reach out and make a difference.
       
      I think I will.

      Updating my personal blog for a new beginning with more structure

      As I move further inte Year 2 I have also updated this blog a bit. I am adding a new color that is brown-redish and I am updating the fonts on the banners. I am also restucturing things a bit to make this blog a little easier for me to understand how to organize.
      Adding a new color makes sense because this is very much a personal space for me and I want to make sure that is clearly visible. I have added some new icons as well, but that is less important right now. For me it was more important to define the areas and prevent the chaos I felt was going on.
      Now the blog is defined into four sections, which should be more than enough for me for the time being.
      Thoughts - This is the general area where I put my thoughts. The bulk of posts will be here. Debate - Things that upset or confound me. Probably the one category that will incite most interactions. Health - I am getting old, but this is not just physical health, but also mental health. Hobbies - Anything related to movies, martial arts, going to the gym, books and so on will end up here. The aim is to write a bit more here now that things are less cluttered. Probably will be far shorter texts, but more frequent.
      I hope you will enjoy it.

      Invision Community 4.5 has been released

      Invision Community 4.5 is finally released in a stable release. This means that the time for upgrading is almost here. I will wait a few weeks longer because there are still some bugs and I want to make sure the plugins I use have been upgraded properly.
      It has not officially been announced yet, but 4.5 is in stable release since the 20th. There has been some bugs found so there will be some bugfix releases most likely in a week or two. Once that is done I think I am ready to start working on the upgrade for this site. The first step is to recreate the theme, which I will do some changes to to make it less vulnerable to upgrades. That is because I have made changes to the global template and the footer which is not really good.
      I will also rearrange the code a bit to use some CSS updates that will make things a bit more dynamic. That should keep me occupied a while so the plugin developers can get their plugins updated as well. I think most of the plugins I use are already updated, but there are a few that are in progress still.
      For this upgrade I also plan on making the changes to the start page, add a few new pages and of course create the new templates.
      I can't wait 😉

      Going full IKEA mode

      Yesterday me and my wife got some new wardrobes from Ikea to put in our bedroom. It started out as a simple project and it ended up in a 12 hour marathon. I also almost crushed both me and my wife with a bad decision and threw away ton of stuff!
      First of all the wardrobes was the easiest wardobes to assemble I have ever seen. Not a single nail and only the rails for the drawers and the door hinges actually needed any screws. It was all click and assemble, which was very nice! It literally took 5 minutes to put together the frame and a minute to put together a drawer.
      So, why the 12 hour marathon?
      Well, the reason for that is that I have a bunch of comics and books that I thought I should put in our old headboard. It has a nice space and it is pinned against the wall so it should be a good fit. It probably would have been fine, but as I packed everything and we started to look at the lamps to get them fitted I noticed that one of the legs was bending and risk snapping. So I tried to move it with my foot so it would stant straight...
      ...and it it came crashing down.
      My toe got scraped and slapped silly. My wife got big bruises on her legs as the full weight came down on us both. It was a stupid mistake, but probably a good one as the leg might have caved later anyway and that would be bad. So I had to find  new place to put my magazines and books, so after discussing it a bit I realized we have a space for it in the living room below the tv.
      That space was filled with old IT books and trinkets we just stuffed in there to get it out of the way. So I went over all of that and then moved the magazines out there. It resulted in almost a dozen bags or things to donate and throw away, which was in addition to the day before when I cleaned out old electronics and drawers in the hallway.
      So besides cleaning out the livingroom cabinets, moving furniture around to build things, building 2 new wardrobes with lockers and mirrored doors, moving away two old drawers we had there before and then moving things to the new wardrobes and cleaning up after the frantic cleaning out of all crap we also had some dinner and watched tv for a full day of Ikea madness.
      Today is a sore day instead so I am doing some planning for this site and trying to relax a bit. Tomorrow is time to go over our storage as well, which will be hilarious I am sure....

      Feeling a bit blue as vacation hits

      Even though life is pretty good these days and despite today being the first vacation day, I feel a bit blue. Maybe I just need some alone time. Maybe I feel the lack of creative outlet as I have been doing very little actual work compared to how I usually work. Maybe it is just the way the world is right now...
      Feeling blue is not a bad thing. It is just an emotion like any other and feeling is good. It is also good to reflect a bit on why you feel the way you do because sometimes things have impact on both physical and mental health.
      The madness that is the world today
      While Covid-19 are causing all kinds of issues for the world I do not feel the effect that much to be honest. Sure I feel a bit isolated, but my Introvert side balance that pretty well. The biggest impact is probably that I get annoyed with all the stupid questions about the strategies Sweden have been using. It just feel petty to try to find flaws after the fact, when it's quite clear that because people are either incompetent, stupid or just misinformed we don't need to lock people up.
      I figure it's quite clear by now that the way we treat our elders are not really working and it has not for many years. It is not that Covid-19 suddely become a killer for elders, they have suffered this for decades with the flu and other viruses. We just never measured it before so it became evident as it is now. We still have old people starving in their homes and being treated like shit as they get sacrificed on the altar of greed.
      The United States just cause headaches these days...
      The fact that I once looked at the USA as an amazing country of opportunities and freedom feels strange these days. I have long considered the USA to be a dangerous country, but lately they seem to have lost their minds completely. I don't just mean the fact that they allow someone like Trump to have any form of power, but there is a growing madness spreading as well. A sort of intolerance of intolerance that is going way beond the absurd. It is becoming dangerous.
      There are so many people being hurt over the mass hysteria mobs that ride on their high horses and judge every moral misstep as a capital offense. Still, no one bat an eyelash over the rape of other contries or the fact that their country torture and murder people openly. It is just so tiersome to watch such hypocrisy and to see the hate mobs run amok on social media.
      Running, running, running!
      Even before the COVID-19 situation there has been a sense of mad running among many companies. Rather than doing things well, they run headfirst into everything with little to no thinking. People with strong opinions rather than the ability to lead seem to be promoted, making decisions on managment level slow and hard to understand. Reorganization is done for all the wrong reason in a perpetual top dow approach where the latest buzzwords are more important than clear communication and proper tools for the ones who actually do the work.
      Holding a blackbelt in pointless meetings and talking about things that you do not understand just to look good seem to be the top priorities in some organizations. It's a bit frustrating at times, and in others it is a challenge to try to navigate to actually make a difference to the people that suffer.
      I am offended, now you must burn!
      Everything you say or do is offensive to some people and somehow offending someone is a cause for a moral crusade to begin. Recently I read that someone was offended that people looked at them while wearing a facemask and somehow that was harassment. I just get so tired hearing these ridiculous complains about how people are offended by the most stupid things.
       
      "Just because you are offended, does not mean you are right."
       
      Over all people just seem hell bent on being angry over everything lately. Respect, compassion and actually caring for others seem to be traits that more and more are pushed back in favor of intolerance, ignorance and egocentricity. It just make me feel tired in my soul and it scare me a bit to see how people take any good cause and pervert it to hate.
      I guess I need a bit of vacation and recarge. Most of all however I think I need the time to feel creative again.
      First I need some sleep however and let my mind wander and rest a bit.

      Adding planning functionality using Stratagem from Coding Jungle

      I have looked at Stratagem for quite a while, but always been a bit turned off by the colors. As I plan for JWSE 2.0 I started using GitHub's Project feature, but it felt like I should stay on m own site instead. So I decided to try Stratagem out and I was not disappointed.
      Stratagem is pretty much everything I want from a planning tool, especially since it is tied into all other aspects of this site. Not only is it easy to setup project, but I can also add projects to clubs, which is pretty amazing to be honest.
      The initial setup was super easy, but there were a few things that I did not like that might be a bug. I did some easy styling changes with CSS and was pretty happy the way things looked pretty much right away. There are a few things I think can be improved, but I have added my suggestions to Michael over at Coding Jungle. I assume it will be a while though since he is probably busy making adjustments for Invision Community 4.5 coming soon.
      I am very happy with this purchase and I will put some time and effort into it to see if I can make suggestions on improvements using my knowledge of other planning tools like Jira and Trello.
      https://jimiwikman.se/stratagem/projects/1-jwse/

      JWSE 2.0 - Planning for the second year with Invision Community

      It's almost a year now since I made the shift from Wordpress to Invision Community. It's almost time for a new version of Invision Community, which means that this is a good time to get started on the next iteration of JWSE.
      This past year has been a lot of ups and downs. I quit my work to go work for a new company, Corona hit the world and last year I got close to getting burned out from stress. It is safe to say that it was a bit messy.
      Going forward towards my 46th birthday in a few weeks and the second year of using Invision Community here on the site I feel confident that the next 12 months will be better.  So I do plan to make the upgrade to Invision Community 4.5 and also to make some adjustments here.
      I am going over all features and the databases I currently have. There are a bit to many of them right now and I need to figure out how to best use them. I have already decided to cut away some databases and I am going over the features/applications now to see what to keep and what to remove.
      While I expect the upgrade to be fairly straight forward, even if I have made some template changes that need to be recreated. The big change will probably be creating new templates for the Pages application. Right now things are a bit messy in there, but I will clean that up a bit and make sure there are clearly defined templates for the databases I decide to keep.
      It's not really something that will block JWSE 2.0, it's just a task that needs to be done...sometime.
      The template system for Pages is pretty straight forward and I just need to define how to use them properly here on the site. it all depend on what databases I want to keep and how I want them to look. With 3 basic templates where you have one for the listing, one for the category view and one for the actual content you have a pretty solid base to work from. Since you can mix and match these for any database I can build a nice matrix of styles that should fit most scenarios.
      I am currently using a paid addon for the Pages look and feel, even if I have hacked it up a bit. I want to get away from that and clean up the dependencies of 3rd party applications when possible. This is also why I want to build the new templates for JWSE 2.0.
      Writing is why I started this project all those years ago and I will of course continue writing. I do see quite a lot of people registering for downloading icons and things like that, which mean that I will add more of that in the next 12 months as well.  While this is still something of an ego site where I enjoy having a bit of fun, I think it's good to consider the benefit for the members, but also for guests. I have some thoughts about that going forward.
      I have had my first guest post and I get some mils here and there about partnerships already. I have a feeling this will pickup, but I need to get some information published on how people can contribute.
      Starting at the end of this month I will be at the breakpoint where I can start to measure things in Google Analytics. It will be a bit fun to have in some way correct data to measure against. I have not done anything to actually improve traffic this year and still I beat the previous 12 months by a mile.

      We'll see what the next 12 months will generate, but I feel it should be a good year to come.
      While JWSE 2.0 will be a fun time to build once again, there is things to do here on the site as well. I see some great strategies happening on youtube where short information snippets are published regularely so I will probably get back to that as well. It is better to make something happeing often than wait for something great to happen sometimes after all.
      So, I guess I better start working!

      Slow and steady wins the race

      Things have been a bit slow lately regarding the writings, but that is because I am focusing a lot of other things right now. It sometimes feel that nothing is happening here, but checking the stats I can see that things are a lot more interesting than expected. Slow and steady seems to be a good strategy after all.
      As I am preparing mentally for leaving Zington and move to something new, I do feel a bit "lazy" as there are not a whole lot of content added here lately. In fact just writing in general have been a bit slow lately. I did add a Classifieds section where I still need to add a ton of things, but overall the frequency of postings have been a bit low.
      Despite that I am still doing a lot better using the Invision Community CMS over Wordpress. I see so many topics around Wordpress and getting hacked or not getting any performance out of it. This makes me glad that I made the switch and with the new version coming out in a few months I am super excited about the future.

      If I felt that things where a bit slow, then all I have to do is check the stats and compare with last year. with almost 3200% increase in page views I would say things have been improving a bit. 20k page views in 4 months is pretty low though, but that comes from almost no content on a pretty new platform.
      Life may seem slow and uneventful sometimes, but there is always progress. You may not always see it right away though. Slow and steady win the race however, so just stay the course.
      It will all be worth it in the end.
       

      Slightly overloaded and a bit stressed out

      I have so many things I want to do here on the site, but I am procrastinating. In fact I am feeling quite overwhelmed at the moment due to the sheer number of uncertainty in my life at the moment. This is causing a bit of stress, which make the procrastination even worse.
      As you might know I have quit my job as consultant with Zington. This means that in a few months a new adventure is waiting, one way or the other. With the crazy world we live in right now it may not have been the best timing, but changes never comes without a cost. Until then I continue to work on my design assignment with ChessIT, which is high paced, yet so very satisfying.
      Leaving a job always comes with ton of things you need to do. Everything from off-boarding to financial agreements and transfer phone accounts and so on. Fortunately Zington is great and it is very much streamlined so not so much hassle as just another list of things that need to be done.
      A new season has started in Destiny 2 and I feel like I should play again. It takes longer than I would want to level up, but once that is done I do not know what to do next as nothing in this season feel important or engaging. I bought a new headset and a game pad since my keyboard is to wide and I wanted to try something new. So far it works well, but I am having a hard time committing to gaming at the moment.
      My computer setup also need an upgrade now that home work will be more of a thing for a few months at least. This means I have to make some investments into a new desk and a proper chair. This also add stress as I need to make sure I get a workstation that works for more than just a few hours of gaming now and again. The placement also is not ideal, so I am limited to a narrow space which make it hard to get a desk that can be raised with an engine.
      Here on the site I got a bit of a setback as I lost all images due to some mistake on behalf of my webhost. It zapped a bit of energy as it takes a while to recreate all images from scratch. It did come with a positive thing though as I now have all my files through Invision Community hosted on AWS. Of course I also have versioning activated in case something bad happen again.
      My old Wordpress site is bothering me a bit as well. I made the switch from Wordpress because I wanted to get away from the constant worry of having security issues since it's the worlds largest CMS. The fact that I still have it up bother me more than it should I will look into migrating all old posts so I can shut it down for good. This again require some time to focus as i will be messing with databases and that is never good if you get it wrong.
      I keep seeing so many amazing CSS and JS examples I want to dive into. I also get more and more involved in Sketch and I am itching to try out Figma. I spent quite a bit of time to prepare for the certification for SAfe, which I completed last weekend. I really wanted to commit to training, but now I am kind of stuck since the gym is closed and I have no desire to go and get Corona if I can avoid it.
      In short I am feeling like I am bombarded with things that need to be done and it's piling up a bit, causing stress. So I just have to deal with it like any time you get stuck procrastinating and that is to just focus on the shortest, most important task first. Get it done and then focus on the next one. This way I can release some dopamine in my body until the procrastination tun into activity again.
      Life is always in motion and sometimes you get a bit of motion sickness.
      That will pass though, so just lift you head and enjoy the ride the best you can.

      When you are having a blast enjoying life as it is

      In the midst of all the terrible events in the world with Corona virus and things like that I find myself really enjoying life as it is. I work in a project that is chaotic and time pressed, yet it is actually one of the more enjoyable projects I have had in a long time. I am having a blast.
      It is always fun when I take on a temporary assignment doing design again. These projects are usually smaller in both scale of delivery and the number of people involved. They are also usually more chaotic and most of the time subject to a bit optimistic time estimation.
      This might seem like they would be negative experiences, but they almost always come with a very positive attitude. In this project for example we often get compliments and positive feedback from the client. No matter how chaotic things might be everyone in the team get things working and help each other out. Never will you hear complaints or see anyone pointing fingers.
      If you never try to step down for a while and renew your energies, then you are surely missing out. Even now that I have quit my job and with the Corona virus running rampant I am still the most relaxed I have been in quite a while. I get to dig into Sketch deeper and building things with Angular Materials that people will use every day.
      What can be better than that?

      The pieces are coming together

      Things have been a bit slow lately and that is because I have tried to find the ways to build things the way I want. With Invision Community things are not always easy to find the right information, but fortunately the community have some great helpers.
      The things that have caused some extra thought is how I want the headers on the pages to look and behave. Since the structure is different for pages, databases and applications this was very important to figure out. I now feel I have the solution at hand, so I can start building the headers.
      The second thing that has been a bit puzzling is how the database relationship field worked. I have managed to add template snippets in the basicrelationship template and it works fine in the database where I add the field. In the connected database however it does not use the basicrelationship template for some reason, but uses the database template instead. It's a bit weird, but now that I know, then I can work with it as I just need to figure out what database should use the field and which ones should use the database template for referals.
      The last thing is how to add tabs using the Invision Community code. It was easy setting up using Ajax for fetching pages, but inline content was a bit obscured. I got some help from the community and now that is also solved so I can build the section pages the way I want.
      There will be quite a bit of blocks to build, but I do not really see any impediments at the moment, so I can just start building things!

      Building with Invision Community is satisfying - January reflections

      In the last month I have been working on this site to try to figure out how to build things properly.I have made some adjustments to colors, built a brand new header and finally got the graphics I need to get content flowing.  It has been some ups and some downs, but overall I feel pretty good about the way the site is coming together.
      Maybe the biggest change that happened in January was a shift in mindset. Going from always strive for perfection to good enough with the possibility to improve, really meant a lot.  The other thing that really made a huge difference is getting PhpStorm and starting to code for real. Sitting in a proper IDE and do code, there is no feeling like it and I really, really missed it.
      Getting a ton of graphics also did matter a lot. That is because now I have the graphics needed to build the page heroes so I can start to feel a bit productive again. It also give me a ton of new graphics to use for articles and blog posts and it inspire me quite a bit to be honest. Great artwork always have that effect and not that I have a whole lot of new vectors to play with I have so many options while still being able to keep the site consistent.
      January was also a shitty month when it comes to stress and that affected things quite a bit. A work related issue really frustrated me and cost a ton of energy. My son is also having issues with school and live in general which takes a lot of time and make me worry of course. Fortunately he is an amazing person and I am constantly amazed over how mature he is despite his situation. So I have mixed worry and stress with a sense of pride and amazement, which has not really done wonders for my state of mind in January. Still, it's being handled and I feel a whole less stressed these last few days.
       
      Using Jira for Backlog management
      In theory this works great, but in reality I have been to lazy to use it properly. In February I will take it a bit more serious and I aim to do one story from the Epic "JWSE Website" every weekend as a minimum. I am also going to start my blog series on how to use Jira for site management, so the workflows will be updated a bit with a proper workflow. My highest priority right now is to add a home navigation for areas that are "generic". This includes things like Policies like Privacy Policy and an About This Site page where you will learn more about this site. These are being created slowly.
       
      Adding content headers to all sections
      This is what I am currently working on. The problem I am trying to solve is to how I will get this consistent across the site. For pages it's easy. Just drop in a component in the widget area and you are done. For databases I have to split out the templates for each database. That way I can add a component in the front page only and keep the data entries without a component. I may also try to add a section for each category, but that require some additional work with some if queries so it's not really a priority.
      The biggest issue I have right now is the application specific sections. While each application have their index file it is already added to the content wrapper. This makes it impossible to break out to be a full width container. The option will be to add a bunch of targets in the templates or if I can add it to the blocks themselves. I am trying to figure this out, but it should be possible even if it may not be a super clean solution.
      The other issue is that I have the CSS added in a separate file and there is no good way to add that to the applications. I might just lift this into the overall CSS since it's not a whole lot of CSS and I will add it to pretty much all pages anyway. Another option is to include it inside the block itself, but I do not like the idea of inline CSS. We'll see how I figure it out in the end.
       
      Recreating the projects database
      The projects database is going to be a focus area in February. in January I started the remake by adding content that follow the same format as the CV's we have at Zington. So besides adding the content I will also add new banners for each project using the new standard where the site icon is colored based on the area it is connected to.
      I also started to add some people from the People database so as I recreate the projects I will also list the people I currently have added. The ones not yet added I will see if I can add to the database. Not everyone will be added of course, but a few selected ones would be nice.
      I also want to connect the databases a bit better. Right now I just pull in the author image using the standard Invision Community template for profile. This I want to change a bit so I can link to the page in Awesome People rather than the user profile for the site.
       
      So January was a bit of trial and error, but things are slowly improving. I just need to focus on building content and not to try to get people in here to interact. It is for me I build this after all and if someone else like it, then great. I will not stress about it however.
      Just have fun and always strive for progress and not perfection.

      Focus on progress, not Perfection

      Working on this site is therapeutic in many ways. One thing that I am starting to learn is that striving for perfection, or the final solution, is not always the best thing. It can instead lead to paralysis and you get nothing done. So I am starting to adapt to a more productive way of thinking and focus on progress, not perfection.
      This site has been a "work in progress" pretty much since 2002 or so and it has never been completed. It is always in a state of transformation and it probably will be for years to come. If I try to make everything perfect, then it will always be a train wreck because perfection takes a whole lot of focused time that I do not have. Instead I will focus on making progress and adding content even if it is not exactly the way I want it. That way I can get the content up and then I can improve on it gradually.
      Making that shift in my mind has been really good and I no longer get frustrated over the situation. I feel that this is something I need to incorporate more into my work as well. I sometimes get frustrated by the slow progress towards for example the proper Jira design or way of working that waste time and energy. By not focus so hard on the final solution I will focus more on how to make progress towards it. Considering that many larger organizations might need years to move towards the designed solution, if ever, that should make things less stressful for everyone involved.
      In many ways that is the same mindset that I have for training or when playing games. I will not get to the goal instantly, but through slow and steady progress.
      You learn every day, which is also a slow and steady progress 🙂

      A new beginning starts with a single step

      Last night, as my cats would not let me sleep, I pushed out the new design here on the website. That means that it took less than 48 hours from starting the design in Sketch until it was designed and built. This gave me some good ideas on how to proceed and of course I also broke the SEO badly by changing the URL structure.
      The new design is mostly made up of 2 things: The new header and the hero banner block. The new header was easier than expected, even if the instructions for the navigation sub-menu's was a bit misleading. I went with a less cluttered look and more focus on my content areas, which I have to actually create in order for the design to be complete.
      I changed the global template a lot and one of the main things I changed was to break out one of the widget areas so it became full width.  This is something I have looked at for a while, but it was actually a lot easier than expected. By making this change I can have full width content so I can choose the layout I want. By adding custom blocks I can now create puzzle pieces that can do pretty much anything I want.
      Next up will be to build the footer, which will be a simple 5 column footer with some CSS styling (using transform). I also need to design the section pages and decide what content you should find there. It's a total of 9 (plus 2) pages for now and then I need to design and build the pages for Guest Blogging, Awesome People instructions and a page about all the features of this site. I also need to update the different databases and clean up the CMS structure so it's easier to work with.
      So far I absolutely love to work on this and it felt so good working with PHPStorm again after so long.
      ---
       

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