Week ending March 1st, 2019

Over the last few years I’ve received a total of around 100 leads from being listed as a Gravity Forms developer on the official plugin website. They let me know this week that they won’t maintain that list anymore, so I am sad to see those leads go. It’s been nice to have the leads come in, and some of those leads turn into fun Gravity Form customization projects. I think 75% of those leads probably didn’t get any further than me letting them know my minimum project budget and asking some probing follow up questions, but having that many leads did flowing in did feel like a win.

I wanted to touch on one of my biggest factors in motivation and momentum for projects. Active communication and me being able to get answers quickly is so important. While I like to work at a flexible pace, it is so valuable to know I can get an answer in minutes instead of days or hours. In return, I try to be pretty quick with responding to clients during ongoing projects, even if I don’t have the availability to do a fix or spend time researching answers right away. I rarely work with clients outside North American time zones and if I do it typically slows the pace of the project down because of the delayed follow up flow.

The big project™

This week on the big project, I created a new tool to perform a check on an ID from a 3rd party API. It connects to the API and displays the location name that the ID represents. This is a simple interaction, but it improves the quality of the content for the site and makes it super easy for content editors to feel good about the cryptic ID they are referencing.

Upon discussion with another member of the team, we came up with a new feature that was needed for the project, and that meant writing my first ticket in Jira. It was fun to work through the process, following their ticket template, and outline the extent, limitations, background, and user story of the feature. Later in the week, I started actual development work towards that ticket and hope to finish the task on Monday before the sprint ends. This feature improves the backend setting of a Google Places ID for content editors of our custom post type, making it easy to lookup the Google Places ID without needing to leave the WordPress backend editor tool.

Other projects

This week’s work with Teach For Canada was focused on finishing up the changes to one of their surveys, adding new questions, removing others, and reorganizing sections.

For Qpractice I did our normal plugin updates and worked with Andy Adams to come up with a plan for solving our ongoing conflict between a 3rd party plugin and WooCommerce’s webhooks should_deliver method that checks for WooCommerce related post types. We decided to recreate the 3rd party plugin as a custom plugin ourselves with a new post type (switching the post types with Convert Post Types) and then creating our own shortcodes and styling very similar to what we had before. The new plugin isn’t as flexible or robust as the old plugin, but it is much leaner, simpler, and, so far, has had no fatal PHP errors.

Wrapping up

Overall this very busy month was a success because the clients are happy and a lot of work was accomplished, but I definitely was hoping to get another 20ish hours of work squeezed in. If the month wasn’t February it would have been more likely, but I plan on continually improving my efficiency and velocity for projects. There was a few times where my day was interrupted by family needs or distractions that I could have made up the time in the evening and chose not to.

Of course, on Friday (March 1st) a few hours of my afternoon was spent accompanying my family to the Doctor to help support my almost 5 year old who is getting two booster (vaccination) shots. Our appointment was delayed by almost an hour, so I got home feeling like the afternoon was pretty wasted.
This upcoming week I really want to make some time to finish up some functionality for Arc Insurance integration with FORTUS. Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions about the type of work I do or how I run my business feel free to reach out on twitter.





The complete Work Journal series:
1. Week ending January 25th, 2019
2. Week ending February 1st, 2019
3. Week ending February 8th, 2019
4. Week ending February 15th, 2019
5. Week ending February 22nd, 2019
6. Week ending March 1st, 2019
7. Week ending March 8th, 2019