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Designer, Developer, DataViz, Dad •

On Jan. 18, 2017, I facilitated my first Meetup.

The group was called “Learn to Code JavaScript Charlotte”.

  • The event was held at Packard Place in Uptown Charlotte
  • Nearly 30 people RSVP’d, and almost all of them attended
  • It lasted around two hours with everyone participating throughout

To this day, it remains the best meetup event I ever facilitated, in my opinion.

Why was it the best?

  • Dozens of budding Software Developers
  • Together in one place — virtual or in-person
  • Focused on a single series of tasks
  • Collaborating in efforts to learn, share, inspire, teach and mentor

For a variety of reasons, no meetup since then has successfully met all four of those criteria.

I tried hard, though.

  • The three meetups after were in-person, with dwindling attendance
  • All meetups thereafter were virtual, but the ratio between the number of people who RSVP’d and who attended was most often 3:1, with…

Unity Day 1

- Started with Learn — first Mission

- Created a UnityID

- Watched a video

- Learned about the plans

- Downloaded and installed Unity Hub

- Watched an inspirational video, ‘My First Game’

- Chose the LEGO microgame

- Launched Unity

- Completed 3 Microgame tutorials

Learned about:

- Game objects

- Play testing a game

- Updating a game object’s property

- Adjusting the stage’s camera

- Added a game object to the stage

- Moved, rotated, positioned that object

- Discovered different modes of building in LEGO’s microgame

- Added functionality and triggers

- Saved and play…

I followed the signs that featured recognizable words, colors and iconography.

I parked among the hundreds of other cars.

I joined the line that was several people in length outside of the entrance.

A joyful, conversational man carrying a package full of face masks politely demanded I put one on over or under mine. The preference of placement was mine to make.

Within seconds, I was the next one in line about to enter the facility. A polite woman informed me to proceed.

Another gentleman calmly asked me a few COVID-19 qualifying questions. …

You can download the Axure RP 10 Beta today

Here’s the link to download the beta

A preview of the new Axure RP 10 graphic user interface
  1. Ability to select widgets and automatically convert them to a repeater
  2. Fit-to-width and fit-to-height now apply to widgets in the prototype when their text is updated dynamically
  3. New floating data editor giving you more space to view and edit data
  4. Drag widgets from canvas and drop into any panel state
  5. Automatically resize repeaters items to content including widgets that fit to text
  6. Push/Pull entire groups rather than individual widgets in the group
  7. Easier way to add conditions before actions
  8. Hidden widgets are visible on the canvas when selected
  9. Checkboxes and radio buttons can be set to fit to text
  10. Ability to filter by satisfying ANY of the added filters (in addition to ALL)

Watching people use the prototype proved…

  1. This idea — using real-time multiplayer mini-games to facilitate technical acuity of practical web development skills — has merit
  2. Concepts like wheels and decks of cards are foreign but exciting. Short, just-in-time instructions are of utmost importance.
  3. Early adoption of a product like this will depend upon the system’s ability to match similarly-skilled players. Failing to do this will cause beginners to feel terribly unskilled compared to other players, resulting in mass avoidance.
  4. There is not explicit demand for this sort of product, but there is excitement after players are aware of its existence.

The first mini-game offered the most delightful moment for players

Try the game now

Play Jamstack Attack!

Click here to play Jamstack Attack!

Day 1 — Nov. 27

  • App idea: Learn Jamstack by playing with and against other people
  • Name? Jamstack Attack!
  • Preliminary Mini-games: Pair programming, Debugging Duel, Clear the stack, What’s missing?
  • Comparisons: ‘Fall Guys’, ‘Gogogo!’, ’You Don’t Know Jack’ for Web Developers

Day 2 — Nov. 28

  • 10+ funny phrases as possible ‘You Don’t Know Jack’-style category names
  • First action for player: Pick a category!
  • Short mini-game intros: Find the error faster, Help them write this, Clear the stack faster, Find what’s missing faster, Fill the blanks faster
  • Fighting game UI: Health, indicators for rounds won
  • Duels or group play? 1-on-1 or last man standing?
  • Principles: Competitive and…

Lessons learned after helping a friend publish her book, Power Switch Parenting

Great news first

  • If you can write a book — and preferably hire an editor — then you can publish it yourself without paying a publisher.
  • Most publishing platforms provide the tools needed to produce the files needed for anyone to purchase, download and read.
  • If you do the necessary formatting work in your original document — preferably Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) — then the rest of the publishing process will go much smoother.

Bad news

  • Each platform will likely require you to start from your original document, instead of playing nicely…

I can teach you how to

  • Solve Rubik’s cubes: 2x2 and 3x3
  • Tie one of over 100 knots
  • Cultivate living yeast from flour and water

I can teach you how to

  • Write semantic HTML
  • Write smarter CSS
  • Write self-documenting JavaScript

I can teach you how to

  • Be better prepared for an interview
  • Get more job descriptions based on your resume
  • Identify the right places to apply for a job

I can teach you how to

  • Find an answer using Google
  • Find the error in your program or web application
  • Find the point you want to make with your chart or graph

I can teach you how to

  • Pick the right chart for your presentation
  • Highlight the right value(s) within your data
  • Summarize your argument based on that data

I can teach you how to

  • Test your…

This graph appeared in my LinkedIn feed early this morning

Original data source: Chief Marketer by way of marketing charts

What I see in order

  1. Contrast creates interest: I notice the dark right-hand bars are sorted descending, making me assume a negative trend
  2. I hone in on the first bar, notice 50%…of what?…see the slightly smaller 45%…then find the label at the bottom of the pillar
  3. I start reading the labels, glancing at each pair of vertical bars
  4. Consumer engagement catches my eye: its pair features the most prominent difference in height
  5. I spot the legend, telling me the left bar is pre-Covid and the right is post-
  6. I then read the headline and subhead of the chart
  7. Lastly, I’m left to do rough visual…

Robert Mion

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