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Saying “STOP IT” To Clients, And Meaning It, As A Developer

The last few weeks have been quite a doosy for me as I was covering a few project management duties for the head-fellow as he was on vacation. Usually, as a consultant, I’d need better pointers than what I am as a constructor. I have friends who can vouch for my skill yet they’d tell you that socially I’d need an entire training centre. Especially with what was said, by me, to a client who isn’t sharing our uncontrollable parameters. Or patience.

A few weeks ago, I opened an email regarding a update that was needed. Then, I noticed that there was a duplicate email, saying the same EXACT SAME THING AS THE FIRST.

  • Same request.
  • Same wording.
  • Same email.
  • Different timing, though. 1 hour apart, if I do remember.

Alright. Hoping to resolve my own patience, I started the search for any mail-daemon text. Usually, it’s that “email not found and bouncing back” stuff. Well… I didn’t see any. NONE. The client would have got this and, out of the moment, would have sent the email back to the correct address. No, he was able to get my email address right the first time. The second time, too.  Odd.

Now, I checked out a similar email. This being the third. Pretty much the same. The timing was slightly younger than the first few.  I also noticed that these were happening at times where I would be either shut down, or returning from a night of debauchery.Of course, two was not much of a problem, but consider this: what if it wasn’t just 3 emails. More fuel to the fire: what if it was not just one client? Sifting through several letters, all meaning the same thing. For the client - sure. Just being thorough. For me, though: a waste of time. There’s forgiveness and then there’s that WTF moment. Lines do need to be drawn in some sort of Crayola since there is no tidy way to break them. If the client

[caption id=”attachment_170” align=”alignleft” width=”584” caption=”Don’t Drink And Code”]Don't Drink And Code[/caption]

threw up a “To Review” or “To Follow Up”, I would have turned the other cheek. Waiting a couple hours during business hours and with some sort of *due date would have sufficed.

* I don’t understand ASAP, or Yesterday, from clients at all. It’s a different language completely. You can’t EVEN tell me “DUE YESTERDAY MORNING” and hope that I didn’t blank out, thinking that you were speaking Markham Cantonese. I’d break out the popcorn and expect subtitles. 

So,  I decided to be vocal and as diplomatic as I, and whatever my old College Writing course, could possibly allow me. Somehow, I thought that I was well in the paint with my response. I didn’t say anything abrasive. I just pointed out that it would be difficult to meet a standard so high. Especially when my thoughts were not with my body.

Of course, there was a discussion about what I wrote. Which was pretty much a pat on the back. Even to this very day, as glorious or curt as it was. And of course, as I heard in a classic Smart Guy episode will paraphrase it: I was not sorry about what I wrote, but I would gracefully apologize about the way I said it. There has to be limits to what’s acceptable as good communication from clients and from the providers. Multiple emails, that only repeat to-dos in hours, isn’t solidifying the ever-warring relationship any further. Pro-Tip.

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Giveaway: Microsoft(Canadian Fona + HTML5 + T-Shirts)Come Bearing Gifts

Five…
Five…
Five t-shirts! It’s a Giveaway!

Thanks to the boys at Microsoft, and probably one extremely talented member of the Canuckian Empire, I have been blessed with 5 of those HTML5 T-Shirts that Wes Bos was talking about. Now, I have a few of those shirts and was looking to give these shirts to some lucky winners with the awesomeness that is HTML5’s logo…. in cotton Canadian form! Luckily, these didn’t come out in 2014. Standards can wait, but me? nah. Can’t wait that long.

Catch? Or How To Enter:  

Of course there’s a catch! THIS IS KEVIN KELLY WE’RE TALKING ABOUT! Well… first of all: you’re gonna have to follow @kevinkcodes. Then, you’re gonna have to tweet: “We’re gettin’ #HTML5canuckshirts with @kevinkcode’s giveaway! http://ow.ly/94HDA”. I’ll probably be doing this Internationally to the states and here only.

Winners will be chosen with the super-dee-duper http://twittertwitterchickendinner.com/ tool by February 24th.

Badassity doesn’t last all that long, I figure. Better get cracking!

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#devTO Did Social Media Week

As we’ve mentioned before: we were doing Toronto’s Edition of Social Media Week. Several technology and community focused events for its’ cause. And of course, we had to say something. Yeah - #devTO. 10 successful social media events in meant that we did have the know-how to setting up a successful, casual, beneficial, and always fun event.

We gave out some secrets. We spilled some beans. We had to: it’s to assist in the growth of the scene. Also, it’s to help people slap that bull when it comes to making a community. There were several takeaways. Especially one being that regardless of setbacks, mishaps, missteps, and team debauchery, we were able to stick it out for 10 months. Long enough to count it as a success. And also, more consistency not just with the Monday meets, but also with content to aim it at the constructors of the code.

And yes… I brought my stein.

Well, even though we’re done for the week, Social Media Week Toronto is still on! Definitely worth a looksee. :)

And thanks for coming out to all of you! See you on March 26th!

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Stuff You Missed Sunday - Sitcom Timing

Well, from the looks of it, Sunday’s about to start or probably already has for the most part. What’s really going is that I decided to act upon some advice from a local gentleman PR guy, Michael Nus, about producing content for blogs.

"Got 30 mins?"

The answer intrigued me. 30 minutes? Seriously?! That’s it? Yeah, I was shocked, but at the same time, I saw where it was coming from. Consistency will help get those “perfect blog posts” out. Agonizing about them before hand does probably not so much as expected. So I got myself together and started to get back on the wagon. Surprisingly, bringing back 365 blogging vet Casey Palmer on to task. With all the hecticness going about, why would I need to be doing this? Let’s see how this works out.

Last Week on kevinvs.html:

And of course, if you were lucky to get into our Social Media Week Toronto Origin of #devTO Story talk that does NOT start with this one time at bandcamp: kudos to you. We’ll see you tomorrow.

Bring questions.

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Make Code Things Make Sense

Constructors. That’s literally what seems to be associated with our titles as web professionals. Mine, also - if anything.

And as such, we’re meant to build things. On the outside, the clients love seeing things planted and blossom. Yet if we, the developers, rip it apart: the fighter pilot/poker snub/veterans come out. We comment, ridicule, suggestions, praise, and everything in the form of communication. The critique. Especially when the project is at a toss off stage.

Even before then, the developers are meant to make the very barebones make sense, irregardless of whatever level or standard. Clear naming conventions. Well indented code. Things like that. It’s really important to make meaningful comments and other items of note inorder to keep balance and sense within the realm of the code because of
random occurrences, such as updates that need to be done. These little steps here will help us make a little bit more sense with our coding.

Proper Use Of Indentation
Just a good way to organize your condition statements and other gangs of functions, conditional statements, and other items of note. It just helps keep the code clean and reading won’t be such a problem. Won’t kill you to doing so.


Use proper naming conventions:
This pretty much goes without saying. Better to have a .article_div than a .big_center_thing anytime. Especially in both CSS and Javascript. In JS, I’m usually the..

[itemtype]_[whatitis]

…just to make sure that I remember what goes in. It’s also useful for debugging. Leave the mysterious names for your social aliases.  For instance:

var array_choices = [];

I’ll have a list of choices to make in the item. Has to be done this way because I’ll be using an array to iterate through several decisions to use for a user to choose from.

Proper Commenting
Always leave proper comments during your coding in anything that you do. There’s no telling what could happen down the line. Better to prepare for the worst than expect the best. Be descriptive as possible. One line should do it.

/* This is where I’ll be making an alert */
alert();

Sure it’s a dirty job to make things that make sense, but with these tips, there will be LESS confusion on the follow through. Who knows? you might EVEN save lives and not pull off dangerous maneuvers, Maverick.

 

Make Things Make Sense

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