Craig Allen Thoughts on creativity and productivity.
StrengthsFinder Book
/ February 23, 2017 / Comments Off on Focusing on your strengths

Focusing on your strengths

I may have written about this topic before, but I was reminded recently about StrengthsFinder 2.0 and decided to take a look back at my results.

My top 5 themes (strengths) according to the test are:

  • Deliberative – best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices.
  • Ideation – fascinated by ideas…able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
  • Adaptability – prefer to “go with the flow.”
  • Empathy – can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.
  • Intellection – introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.

It’s helpful every once in awhile to go back and remind myself of these things and read the descriptions. There is also actionable advice about how to handle certain situations in work and general life, which is also useful.

Some highlights for my future self:

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Windmills on the water near farms
/ February 22, 2017 / Comments Off on An experiment in creating value

An experiment in creating value

A few weeks ago, I decided to start blogging more frequently at Open Waves Design, my business for web design and development. I had a resource for 40 blogging topics and planned to blog through them. I knew I couldn’t do one per day and keep up this daily blog as well, but I figured 2-3 per week was reasonable.

I was wrong.

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Blank notebook and pencil
/ February 21, 2017 / Comments Off on Figuring out what stories are worth telling

Figuring out what stories are worth telling

With less than two weeks until WordCamp Lancaster, I was hoping to have my presentation mostly done this past weekend. However, because I had a few other projects to work on, I’m not as far along as I’d hoped.

One of the most difficult things for me to decide is what stories to tell. The technical parts of a talk are easy, but there are dozens of stories to choose from. What makes it harder for me is not knowing which ones will have the most impact, and be the most relevant to my topic.

For this talk, I’ll be sharing a few stories about my struggles and failures over the last few years while doing freelance web development. My hope is that people will learn from my mistakes, and I think it helps people feel encouraged to know when other people are having a difficult time. While there is a lot to learn from failure, sometimes it’s just comforting to feel like you’re not the only one.

At this point, I do have a general outline and a few ideas for specific stories which just need to be fleshed out with more detail. I should have my slides done this weekend, so I can begin practicing and be ready for March 4th.

Will I see you there?

A broken pier
/ February 16, 2017 / Comments Off on Learning from failure

Learning from failure

As you could probably tell from my blog post yesterday, I wasn’t in the highest of spirits about my progress with learning Swift. I decided to spend some time working on my first program to make some of the changes I had been wanting to try.

I failed miserably.

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/ February 15, 2017 / Comments Off on The life of a programmer

The life of a programmer

The meme below sums up how it feels to be a programmer 98% of the time. It takes a lot of internal fortitude to push through the frustrations of building something with code and finding/fixing all the bugs, but I’m realizing it’s even harder to do alone.

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