Looking back at the long list of goals, I made progress on several of them, but not as much as I had hoped. Realistic goal setting? Not so much.
To be fair, I did start several personal projects, but they were just too ambitious:
- I built a fan page for my favorite novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (which is now a BBC miniseries) in angularJS and SASS, but it sucked content-wise, to put it mildly. (Unless you count the illegally obtained illustrations from the novel itself, which were pretty awesome.) I had planned some visualizations worthy of the magical subject matter — inspiration here and here, but ran aground when I was unable to find an electronic copy of the text.
- I started working with d3JS to build some innovative visualizations. So far, my first viz has a carrot, a cookie, and 5 sheep in it, the latter grazing dully in a perfectly straight line. Still working on this one.
It’s a shame I don’t have anything to show for these and other false starts, because I learned a lot just from setting up the codebase for these projects. I think I just need to take the ambition level down a notch next year. Essentially, I need to set goals like a true engineer solves problems — by breaking them down into the smallest possible pieces. In 2016, instead of aiming to complete several big projects, my goal is to do ten tiny projects — about one 4-hour project per month.
First project — making a simple d3JS viz from scratch. Not an innovative viz. Just your run-of-the-mill bread-and-butter janky data viz, hopefully not so janky as to be illegible. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
If this sounds like the sort of thing you’d like to see, stay tuned. 2016 is just getting started.