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Projects – Learning stuff!

I just signed up for Tabatha Farney’s and Nina McHale’s day-long Midwinter pre-conference, “Developing a Web Analytics Strategy for Your Library: Using Data to Measure Success.” I’m pretty psyched, since 1) I respect both of the presenters, and 2) my use of Google Analytics thus far has been somewhat lackadaisical. I haven’t taken the time to create an website analytics strategy, beyond “see if a page is ever used before I suggest removing it,” and the Google Analytics book I have lying around just keeps getting more and more out of date, as Google adds and changes features. (I know they’ll cover more than Google, but that’s the tool I have, right now.)

I’ve also jumped back into CodeYear, which I abandoned last year, shortly after Emerging Leaders started. I’m not sure if the CodeYear 2013 track is different than CodeYear 2012 was, but they kindly left my 2012 stuff open and are allowing me to work on it. The JavaScript section is mostly review, in some sense—I’m already familiar with code basics and with object-oriented programming, and I have written and edited simple stuff (mostly form validation, maybe one or two trickier things) in JavaScript—but it’s nice to see it presented in an orderly format and to have little simple code projects to work on between lessons. Honestly, I think CodeYear is more about confidence, for me, than it is about competence. I’ll still have to look up syntax each time I start a new project, in any language they cover (also PHP—which it’s too bad they skip), but I really believe I need the reminder that I was once a competent coder and the little bit of brushing up it’ll take to make me a competent coder again.

I mentioned IndieInfoTech in my last post. That’s still a thing. I’ve even suggested three topics I think I could present on! (Look at me, practicing what I preach—this isn’t a group of librarians, but a group of IT folks!) And I know someone is talking about open data at our next meeting, which will be super helpful for a programming project I’m working on (not for work).

That all feels pretty good.

Less formally, I’m also playing with Branch, which may be the next big thing or may not. It’s hard to predict. I like watching the designers talk amongst themselves, on there, though! And I’m still following a number of people far smarter than I am on Twitter, Facebook, and various blogs. (And Google+, but I rarely check that.) And I’m sure I’ll pick some things up at the three conferences I’m signed up for, this year. And I’m slowly learning all about owls, too.

I also have a pile of six work-related books I need to make the time to read.

Oh, and my workplace is putting on a (technically not mandatory, but “strongly encouraged”) customer service workshop this week, so that’s some bonus learning. If I’m very lucky, they’ll cover some UX principles, which will make web-based UX conversations with my coworkers easier, in the bargain. ;)

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