Jake Worth

Week in Review: Week 11, 2021

March 20, 20212 min read

I’ve decided to resume the ‘weekly review’ practice that was a part of this blog for some weeks back in 2015. My goal will be to talk about what I did during the week, reflect, and improve via action.

This week I’ll be following the weekly retro format: what went well, what could have gone better with an emphasis on myself, and action items I plan to take.

Prime Directive

It wouldn’t be a retro with the Retrospective Prime Directive, so here’s my weekly-review adaptation:

“Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone (including Jake 🤷‍♂️) did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.” –Norm Kerth

What Went Well

This week, I delivered many features to my client. My pair and I cranked out many small, well-tested Rails pull requests, in something like a flow state. Rails and RSpec is still an amazing environment to write code.

TypeScript is the way. It’s so fun and delightfully boring to write React code in TypeScript. I expect the compiler errors and I don’t expect (and almost never see) the runtime errors.

I’m getting opinionated about JavaScript imports. Below is the format my team has followed for almost a year. Imports are alphabetized into three separate groups: library imports (React, Lodash, Moment, etc.), components from our codebase (‘Header’), and utility functions (API helpers, route helpers, etc.). I think any convention is better than no convention.

// library imports, alphabetized
import * as React from 'react';

// our component imports, alphabetized
import Header from 'modules/common/components/Header'

// utility functions, alphabetized
import { get } from 'utils/api';

I spent five hours on my side project this week.

What Could Have Gone Better

I have a bad habit when working alone: I get about halfway through a feature, start second-guessing my work, and start over. I do this because I’ve absorbed the Code Retreat ethos of throwing away first drafts. That practice has merit, especially when learning a new technique or trying to deliberately get better. But it often means I throw away a lot of working code and end up reimplementing the same feature in an almost identical way.

Action Items

  • Resolve to stick with a feature to the end, knowing I can make changes or refactor later.

Parting Thought

“Do not covet your ideas. Give away everything you know and more will come back to you.” –Paul Arden

Blog of Jake Worth, software engineer in Maine.

© 2022 Jake Worth.