June 15th, 2020

More on developing in the open

My Twitter friend Roger Swannell mentioned this site's rebuild in his weeknotes, praising the "build in the open" approach. Roger was actually super-helpful in submitting me some awesome feedback about audience and targetting, so I'm really grateful for his help.

But it made me question myself for a moment. How open am I really being? What about it is open? And why am I being open?

How open am I really being?

Well, I'm here, writing about building the site on a Monday morning. And the plan is to document decisions and processes here; maybe have some videos showing behind the scenes; and be open to feedback.

What about it is open?

Clearly these articles are open for all to read.

And Roger's weeknote prompted me to create a public Trello board where you can see what's left to do and what future plans are.

Perhaps, interestingly, the source code of the site is NOT open for view. I've not "bundled"/compressed my own JavaScript though, so what little there is is readable. And I'm using both Alpine JS and Tailwind CSS on the front-end so you don't really need to see the CSS and JS that IS bundled.

The reason the code is not open is that I'm using Statamic as a CMS which includes all of the content and settings in the Git repository alongside the theme/front-end code. So if the repo was open you'd be able to see things like my user account and draft posts, which I wouldn't really want.

Why am I being open?

Three things:

1. I believe it's good for me, and it's good for my business.

It shows my method and decision making. It shows competence; and I'm happy to show my incompetencies too. It gives people an insight into how I work. This is important for those that want to work with me.

2. It's educational.

I'm using some new technologies that I've only recently become familiar with and I want to show what I've learned to others. Especially as I span tech communitites and am frequently showing one group of developers the tools that other developers are using.

And as the excellent Re:work book says: "Instead of trying to outspend, outsell, or outsponsor competitors, try to out-teach them."

So come, learn how Statamic works? See some TailwindCSS. Follow along as I work on content, code, design, performance, and so on. And join in!

3. It will keep me accountable.

This isn't a finished project yet. And having it out there in the open will spur me on to complete it.

Join in!

Let me know what you think. Offer constructive advice. Tell me (gently) what I got wrong, and what I got right. There aren't comments here, but you can email me ([email protected]) or Tweet me. I'd love to know what you think.