Mini hacks, big difference

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We all lead such busy lives, yet the rollercoaster of technological change is a crazy ride to keep up with. In this talk we explore how the concept of 'mini hacks' - small, contained experiments, explorations and side projects - can help to keep our skills up to date and help us play with code that we may not otherwise get an opportunity to develop during our day jobs.

We discuss why such undertakings can be worthwhile, how you can fit them into your life, and go through some ideas for concepts and ways to get involved.

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Mini hacks, big difference

  1. 1. mini hacks BIG DIFFERENCE @sjenkinson sallyjenkinson.co.uk LWC London – October 2013
  2. 2. hello!
  3. 3. sallyjenkinson.co.uk
  4. 4. CRM integration Fields = X, Y, Z Live video feed using X platform CMS controlled using Module X Real-time data via API Fields = X, Y, Z
  5. 5. FUN FACT! At 2034ft (620m) Colchester has the longest platform in the UK (Platform 3 joins end-to-end to Platform 4)
  6. 6. :(
  7. 7. When we’re younG
  8. 8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/spodzone/1733673674/
  9. 9. GROWING UP
  10. 10. :s
  11. 11. Is the ROI for undertaking this activity sufficient? Y Learn! N Play computer games!
  12. 12. langpop.corger.nl
  13. 13. :s :s :s :s :s :s :s :D :s :s :s :s
  14. 14. Mini hacks
  15. 15.  
  16. 16. small Self-contained time-boxed coding sessions
  17. 17. 1. Try out new technology without commitment
  18. 18. 2. Minimise the feeling of investment
  19. 19. 3. Break concepts into components
  20. 20. 4. Get better at estimating
  21. 21. 5. Protect yourself!
  22. 22. http://www.sallyjenkinson.co.uk/labs/weather/
  23. 23. http://www.sallyjenkinson.co.uk/labs/trainbingo/
  24. 24. see CONSTRAINTS as ENABLERS
  25. 25. THIS IS NOT A NEW IDEA!
  26. 26. “...I was learning to let go; let go of outcomes, let go of failures, let go of imperfections. In return I found a process of creating art that was perpetual, and unencumbered by creating results.” Phil Hansen http://tv.adobe.com/watch/max-2013/community-inspires-creativity-phil-hansen/
  27. 27. “Constraints is a card deck for web designers and developers to improve practice, structure hack days, and help you level up.” “For practice to work it needs to be challenging. Not so challenging that you freak out and hate your brain, but not so easy that you coast, allowing your brain to fall asleep. You need to be in control but pushed a little, ideally in a new direction for your brain to pay attention and grow.” Steve milne constraints.co
  28. 28. “One of the most important mantras for me has been “Start Small. Keep Building.” When I set out on this project, I knew I wanted to learn to code dynamic interactive websites, but I also knew next to nothing about coding. Rather than try to tackle the enormous task of building a complex, fully functional social network, I took a small first step.” JENNIFER DeWALT jenniferdewalt.com
  29. 29. “Tackling small goals gave me small, solvable problems which led to new small goals and more small, solvable problems. Eventually, after I solved enough small problems my conception of a small problem changed.” JENNIFER DeWALT jenniferdewalt.com
  30. 30. GET STARTED!
  31. 31. ? What is your area of focus?
  32. 32. ? Define the boundaries
  33. 33. ? What are you trying to achieve, and why?
  34. 34. ! Don’t be afraid of what people think
  35. 35. Ideas
  36. 36. brackets.io
  37. 37. hackspace.org.uk
  38. 38. http://bradfrost.github.io/this-is-responsive/patterns.html
  39. 39. pragprog.com
  40. 40. pixelpyros.org
  41. 41. In conclusion
  42. 42. Thank you @sjenkinson sallyjenkinson.co.uk
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