Memorable Projects I have worked on

I enjoy working in Software Development. I wanted to take some time and write about some of the things I have made that others have found useful. The first thing that I made that others found useful was a status page for LogMeIn remote support lines. I worked on a client support staff that shared about four licenses between twelve or so people. A common problem occurred where a support agent wanted to log in remotely and booted someone else off their session. I found a simple API I could use with PHP to report whether the lines were busy or not. This tool gave my coworkers a chance to be considerate of each other.

It feels great to create a product that solves a problem for others. I have made a handful of things that I could never say for sure that the client used or enjoyed. Creating tools to benefit how software teams do their work is high leverage to accelerate the effectiveness of a team. Other projects I have enjoyed that made an impact are a UI and interface to store key-value pairs for cms data. A localization tool built into a CMS. A way to edit SEO data inline through a reporting page. A javascript bookmarklet to debug forms. Visual PDF differ using ImageMagick. A UI for using internal tooling to create test user accounts. A tool to export defect tracking from pivotal tracker.

Aside from my first project, the most enjoyable achievements have been from inspiring others. Once I started to learn JavaScript, it made it a lot more fun when I taught others what I knew. In another case, I enjoyed seeing others take an initial idea/prototype/implementation that I had and creating something even better from that.

Jumping from idea to idea and creating many new things is not a common occurrence for most people. I enjoy variety and pushing myself to learn and try new things. I hope that with this blog, my many experiments will benefit someone trying to achieve some task without having to struggle deeply.

Initially, where I struggled to learn the most was when I did not know or understand where a lot of magic was under the hood. A common issue I see with learners is understanding the machinery that hides functionality. I ran into this often in my learning. The challenge is that abstraction is distracting during the learning process.

At the start of my career, I did not know what provides high leverage. At times it seemed like discovering an idea or rapidly iterating on a concept in isolation. Now I can see that motivating a team to take on that challenge is much more satisfying than going solo. There are problems and solutions in software development that are incredibly difficult due to human dynamics. It is more valuable to solve these problems than specific computing programs.