Hello world

The words 'Hello world' are often the first thing many programmers will instruct their applications to produce.

console.log('Hello world');

Its a simple way of testing things are working, rather like flicking a light switch in a new building to check the power is on.

I don't know when or where it started but it has since been appropriated by many others, including by bloggers, as the title of their first post.

So this is mine.

The challenge for me now, is to prevent this being the first of four, maybe five, blog posts I write before losing enthusiasm again.

Good today is better than perfect never

I am forcing myself to publish this 'hello word' post and therby launch this blog sooner than I'd naturally be inclined to.

Why? Because I have a mind for continual improvement, I'm not sure my brain can recognise the state of 'done'.

Often this serves my work and my employers well. I'm driven to keep improving the services they have hired me to develop.

That the work is not for me but for somebody else is crucial.

Employers and stakeholders impose what designers like myself desperately need: constraints.

Timescales, budgets and limited resources help me to trade-off the things I should (and should not!) invest my time and effort in.

Photo of skeleton on a bench with the caption: Must have been waiting for a design to be perfect

For personal projects that is not the case. I answer to nobody. The possibilities are limitless.

So mindful of my perfectionistic demons, I have resolved to just get this thing out there.

People will never see my work if I need to be satisfied with it, I've come to accept that won't ever happen on personal projects.

I have a list of things I'd like to do to iterate the version I publish today, some highlights are:

  • Work on performance optimisation. I have not done anything specifc on this yet.
  • Rejig mark-up and run through more than just basic accessibility checks.
  • Generate tag archives
  • Make the reading experience better
  • Implement a dark mode (or something to help people who struggle with bright/white web sites)
  • Add RSS/JSON feeds

You can't provide any value until you deliver something. If it's good enough today, that is much better than perfect never.

So hello world.