A step-by-step guide to implementing drag’n’drop, and image previews with the Filereader API. No libraries or frameworks were harmed in the making of this article.
Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
Friday, March 24th, 2017
Mind you, the real issue is not finding the right words to describe what I do, but rather figuring out just what the heck it is that I actually do in the first place.
Instead, I try to make sure that the people doing the actual coding—Mark, Graham, and Danielle—are happy and have everything they need to get on with their work. From outside, it might look like my role is managerial, but I see it as the complete opposite. They’re not in service to me; I’m in service to them. If they’re not happy, I’m not doing my job.
There’s another aspect to this role of technical director, and it’s similar to the role of a creative director. Just as a creative director is responsible for the overall direction and quality of designs being produced, I have an oversight over the quality of front-end output. I don’t want to be a bottleneck in the process though, and to be honest, most of the time I don’t do much checking on the details of what’s being produced because I completely trust Mark, Graham, and Danielle to produce top quality code.
But I feel I should be doing more. Again, it’s not that I want to be a bottleneck where everything needs my approval before it gets delivered, but I hope that I could help improve everyone’s output.
Now the obvious way to do this is with code reviews. I do it a bit, but not nearly as much as I should. And even when I do, I always feel it’s a bit late to be spotting any issues. After all, the code has already been written. Also, who am I to try to review the code produced by people who are demonstrably better at coding than I am?
Instead I think it will be more useful for me to stick my oar in before a line of code has been written; to sit down with someone and talk through how they’re going to approach solving a particular problem, creating a particular pattern, or implementing a particular user story.
I suppose it’s really not that different to rubber ducking. Having someone to talk out loud with about potential solutions can be really valuable in my experience.
So I’m going to start doing more code previews. I think it will also incentivise me to do more code reviews—being involved in the initial discussion of a solution means I’m going to want to see the final result.
But I don’t think this should just apply to front-end code. I’d also like to exercise this role as technical director with the designers on a project.
All too often, decisions are made in the design phase that prove problematic in development. It usually works out okay, but it often means revisiting the designs in light of some technical considerations. I’d like to catch those issues sooner. That means sticking my nose in much earlier in the process, talking through what the designers are planning to do, and keeping an eye out for any potential issues.
So, as technical director, I won’t be giving feedback like “the colour’s not working for me” or “not sure about those type choices” (I’ll leave that to the creative director), but instead I can ask questions like “how will this work without hover?” or “what happens when the user does this?” as well as pointing out solutions that might be tricky or time-consuming to implement from a technical perspective.
What I want to avoid is the swoop’n’poop, when someone seagulls in after something has been designed or built and points out all the problems. The earlier in the process any potential issues can be spotted, the better.
And I think that’s my job.
I know it’s just a landing page for YouTube channel of movie reviews but I really like the art direction and responsiveness of this.
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
Reviews of twentieth century science fiction novels and anthologies by women writers.
Monday, June 1st, 2015
Oh, what a spray! What a lovely spray!
Saturday, February 23rd, 2013
Reviews based entirely on the feel of the knob.
Friday, June 10th, 2011
I look forward to seeing Eyes Wide Shut as a series of Foursquare check-ins.
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
Some web geeks recommend some movies. I am one of the web geeks.
Friday, October 9th, 2009
"I purchased this product 4.47 Billion Years ago and when I opened it today, it was half empty."
Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
The colour scheme is a little odd (though I expect this will change from month to month) but the typography is tasteful and the content is king.
Tuesday, January 30th, 2007
I need to get some noise-cancelling headphones for the flight to Vancouver. Those Sennheisers are looking good for the price.
Friday, May 19th, 2006
From Dan Cederholm and Dan Benjamin: a lovely looking piece of social software all about wine. I've been trying it in pre-release and it's really, really nice. This is my kind of website.
Monday, May 1st, 2006
Gareth Rushgrove has launched a site devoted to web design books.
Wednesday, April 12th, 2006
Design review by Jay Small.