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Going Down with the Ship

chrispinkney profile image Chris Pinkney ・4 min read

aka: Down with the Shipness, Everybody is working for the Shipend, and Stairway to Shipven. It's a joke about shipping software.



​ This week the members of Telescope and I worked towards shipping our version 1.5 milestone, during which time I made a total of 26 contributions! Every week is a busy one for me, but this one was particularly chaotic: in an extremely positive "I'm thankful to be here but jesus god why does this thing go all the way to 11", kind of way. It was great! And I can't wait for next week. Every two weeks we ship a new version of Telescope, and since this week was shipping week we all had to rush to get our code in, reviewed, and successfully merged before tonight at midnight. Bi-weekly chaos doesn't seem so bad to me.

​ One thing I found during the last two weeks is that if I don't keep up to date with the project I'll sink like a stone VERY quickly. Thus I'm trying to make it my goal to keep my notification count on GitHub as low as possible, preferably 0 before the end of the day (similar to the idea of Inbox Zero.) In order to do this, I'm spending a few hours each day in the morning just reviewing (submitting actual code reviews or just looking over code) all notifications towards the project, as well as any conversations I might have missed in Slack. I also communicate excessively with multiple people on our slack channel in my attempt to keep up to date, or just to provide help. You ever tried to change a car tire while the car is moving? Not exactly the easiest task at hand, though it is a lot of fun. Until your car arrives at its destination. A flaming destination. Putting out that fire out won't be as fun.

​ Out of the 26 contributions this week here is a breakdown of my stats (purely for cathartic reasons, mind you):

Reviews: 16
Comments: 6
Commits: 5
Issues Filed: 1
Merged PRs: 2
Reverted PRs: ...1

These stats are not 100% accurate, just the stuff I haven't missed

​ I'm really enjoying reviewing PRs and making/reading comments. Interacting with other developers who don't completely eclipse my skill level (i.e. a skill level that I can understand) is as rewarding as it is educational.

​ As part of my technical contributions towards Telescope I finished up implementing a Logo component, an about page for the project, and an input component to searching for blog post authors. Out of these three small PRs, my about page was the most creative and interesting for me. I found a library online called MDX that converts markdown pages into... well, better markdown pages, or at least more interesting. The library allows you use JSX code directly in a markdown document and renders that code out at build time.

​ Unfortunately the project wasn't particularly happy with my about page and decided to freak out, so we had to revert the change, so this is something I have to investigate over the next couple days. However it also gave me an opportunity to pitch a half-baked idea about utilizing the MDX library: What if we render all the project docs and not just the about page? So that's likely what I'll be working on, hopefully more to talk about soon*ish*.

​ Overall this week was pretty big for me, I learned some neat things about JavaScript (the spread operator, which is amazing when used in conjunction with higher order functions) and Next.JS (basic context knowledge) that I didn't know of before. But mostly I learned a lot about "managing" a large project with several active developers all contributing at once, and the communication and organization required as a result. Open Source is amazing and I hope I can keep it going even after finishing this course.



I found that writing this post was challenging, mostly because of how much went on this week. I have to do a better job at keeping track of that next week so I actually have something of substance to talk about.

In other news I finally got my website deployed in https with my domain from Namecheap. I'm using DigitalOcean's new App platform, it's great. Hoping to work on it some more as it's just a basic Hugo-based blog frontend and personal project showcase. I had a website that I built and hosted on a DigitalOcean linux server, but this is the first time I've used several pieces of software together, yet separate from one another (https, hugo, domain from namecheap, and app).

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bacloud14

great story!