Michele Titolo | Blog | Speaking

Marking #micheledoesweb as done

A little over a year ago I started on a personal project to re-familiarize myself with web technologies called #micheledoesweb. I decided to write a backend for an app I’d built during a hackathon using new to me technologies. I blogged about my progress for about a month, then as usual life took over and the blog posts and work stopped. This is the conclusion post to that project and the last in the #micheledoesweb series.

Over the course of the past year I’ve actually done a lot related to #micheledoesweb. I investigated using different languages and frameworks. I played with AWS and web deployment pipelines. I wrote some code, but not a lot of it. I even migrated this blog from a CMS to a static site hosted on s3 (admittedly that was motivated mostly by grumpiness). With #micheledoesweb I set out some concrete goals for myself around creating a shippable product. In the end, this project barely got past the Hello World phase. When compared to my concrete goals this project was a complete failure. However, I consider this project a success. Why? This March I transitioned to a backend role at work.

Careers are a lattice. I forget where and when I first heard this, but the idea has stuck with me. I spent 7 years working with iOS, and the time came to do something else. I’m working primarily in Javascript (ES6), with some Ruby, Python, and Swift thrown in. Moving from an area where I was an expert to one where I’m constantly learning is both refreshing and humbling. It’s been years since errors have caused me so much strife and joy.

Setting aside time to learn about best practices and to investigate the current landscape played a part in making this lateral move. I couldn’t have comfortably changed teams without knowing what it was like to deploy an EC2 server, work locally with Docker, and organize my code well in Javascript. And those didn’t come up in an interview–they are things that come up in work every day.

The biggest lesson that’s come from this is: when it comes to my goals, I’m the only one who gets to decide if I’ve succeeded. My motivation for starting the project was to learn, and that’s exactly what I did. #micheledoesweb was a success.

This post took 2 hours to write and edit.

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