UI Developer

Created by Colin Stark, Lead Product Designer at Aircall
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What everyone's up to

Feb 10, 2021
Shipped a video game
Built a user interface

UI work highlights: 2018 - 2021

This is a short reel showing some of the UI work I've completed over the past few years at EA.
Jul 15, 2021
Designed website
Improved site performance
Designed a Backend System
Released a minor version
Released Major Version
Learned Publicly
Learned Svelte
Learned GitHub Pages
Setup deployment pipeline
Developed Web App
Coded in Svelte
Using Svelte
Learned SCSS
Working on JavaScript and Typescript projects
Designed a mental health management app
+ 13

init//learning in public

Can I blog on Polywork? 🤔

Better question: Why can't I?

So let's blog here about everything for now (still working on personal site sections ^_^;;)

And specifically, let's talk about learning in public, and why my Twitter TL is littered with the hashtag #ASofterSpace.

A while ago, like, many moons, I had an idea for an app (bear with me lol). I was laid in bed, sobbing, inconsolable, in the deeper throes of my depression. And I was like, gosh. I want to go to therapy, but I'm not ready just yet.*

I didn't feel like I could talk to someone and burden them, even if I was paying them. This is... a problematic take. And I don't feel quite the same way these days.

Okay, so, talking to people was right out. But talking to machines? Hells yes. I could do that — I did that. I spoke to my Google Home. I downloaded an app that was like AI therapy kinda. It was nice.

But I really liked that I could vent everything that welled up and brimmed at my inner edge. I didn't fear explaining past trauma. I didn't need to pepper my words with trigger warnings. I could just despair and exhale everything until I felt better for having opened up.

So I did.

I started writing an app. And I'll happily remind everyone I meet that I'm a generalist, a hacker, a Follower of the Bodge. My career is staked on my being pretty okay at figuring things out. I pine to use Svelte and Crystal and Haskell and Go in prod.

I work in healthcare, on the tech side — healthtech. We work with big data sets and support some web projects. Not a lot of room to shake things up lol

But anyway, Svelte especially, I want to highlight, because unlike Go and Haskell, I was unfamiliar with it. When building my app, I chose to use it so that I could learn it and evaluate whether it could have a place in prod at my organization.†

And it seemed simple. This project, this app, it wasn't meant to be exhaustive. I didn't want to spin up Spring Boot or wait for Angular to heat up or anything like that. I almost picked Vanilla.js. But a friend had been using it, so I gave it a spin, too.

I fell in love. I'll write about Svelte someday. But not now.

Right now, I want to talk about learning in public, anxiety, the skill-taste gap, and imposter syndrome.

Hi. I'm Lilith.

One of my innate, inner fears is that I'm not as good as a software engineer as people tell me I am. I didn't want to be caught out as someone pretending to know what the heck she's talking about. So I didn't speak up a lot. I didn't want to open my mouth and reveal myself to be a fool, you know? There's comfort in doubt. "Who's that engineer? She's so quiet. Is she good? Her code is good. Hmm. Spooky. But good."

That's all well and good but like that's kinda selfish, innit? And not in a good way. I mean... when you learn in public, you're helping other people. A lot of people. People you prolly don't know are watching.

So, to combat imposter syndrome, and the anxiety of failing publicly, I thought, why not learn publicly?

A Softer Space is the project I started. It's my baby, but it's open to contributors.

I screw up the code sometimes. i also write a loooot of new, fun code. It balances out. I've had a lot of fun, and look forward to more.

So those hashtags? Those are all times where I'm actively, explicitly working on learning something new. In this case, Svelte.js and DOM API stuff. I don't come across those things in my day job too often, so it's nice to have a playground to learn freely and share what I'm learning.

And in the process, I remind myself that I'm learning a lot :0

A whoooole LOT‡

And i shrink that category of unknown unknowns, and narrow the skill-taste gap just a bit further, and (sometimes) gain a little self-esteem. Like, wow. I know things?? I know things! Look! Here's some proof! ^_^;;

This also comes in handy for talks. I failed in front of potentially millions of people. I've acknowledged said failure. And in the words of clppng.:

Jump back
Still here
Now what that tell you bout death?
Death ain't shit

I'm still gainfully employed in a field I wouldn't trade for anything. I'm still solving hard problems. I'm still here. And that tells me that learning, and failing, publicly, is probably just fine.

* I see a therapist now. Things are getting better. 💙

† I'm now using Svelte in prod. I'm excited to talk about that one day xoxo

‡ I got to learn about MutationObservers like whoa, after soooo many years in full-stack web engineering, it never came up until recently lol
Motoko Kusanagi said,

The net is vast and infinite

She was not wrong.
Jul 07, 2021
Learned SCSS
Learned Next.js
Started working on a new website
Built UI components
+ 2
On a new website project. This time, we're building this on NextJS. (yay something new!)

I will be in charge on developing the frontend UI.
On top of that, I finally got my hands on working on a project with SCSS.
Digital Developer, Hashmeta