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illustration of Jordan Kohl

JavaScript, failure, a baby, and other upcoming blog topics.

life, work3 min read

A lot has been going on in my life lately. Just in this past year, my wife and I celebrated our 1st anniversary: we traveled to the Bahamas on a Disney Cruise for 7 days straight. We visited San Diego, CA just before my parents started their move to Orlando, Florida. I left SiteGoals after almost 4 years for a position as a UI Engineer at Incisent Technologies. We moved, I sold my GTI and I am now walking to work. The biggest news of all: Karen is pregnant and we are expecting our first child in late February!

I don't feel stressed, but I think the stress has manifested itself as the worst acne breakout of my entire life. I may also have a gray hair or two. A terrible combination when I'm only 28.

At work I am learning a lot about JavaScript by working with it pretty much all day, every day. I do take breaks to create some wireframes in Balsamiq or designs in Photoshop, or cut those up into CSS, but that is probably 1/3 or less of my time. The rest is devoted to writing or troubleshooting JavaScript code. This is great, because I used to feel weak in JavaScript, but I am getting better and enjoying the challenge.

Before I settled in at Incisent, I was looking at a lot of different career opportunities. I even had an interview with the Lakers, for a position updating and their various social media accounts. Although it has been my dream to work for the Lakers, it wasn't meant to be. Once they told me I would need to take a 45% pay-cut in order to work in one of the most expensive areas of the country, I had to stop the interview process.

Without the distraction of a job search, I feel very comfortable at work: I like my coworkers, the company is stable and growing, and I'm looking forward to calm seas for the next year or more. Now I'm focusing my after hours on creating assets for the long term. I'm working with a friend on a SaaS for farmers market vendors and I'm still considering turning my blogging posts into an info-product.

I've been soaking of tutorials and blog posts on how to build software, blog for money, and market yourself and your products online, but up to this point I haven't done much besides my blog about the Fiat 500 Abarth. So to help kick-start myself, I'm getting back into the habit of writing 500 words a day again. Karen and I tried this before, but we fizzled out after two weeks.

Part of the problem is that we didn't tie it to any kind of reward, or value. I had over 20,000 words, but nothing to show for it; no blog posts, no increased advertising revenue, nothing. By not giving myself a goal of also publishing content, I just had a bunch of rough drafts. So this time around I'm making a new goal: write 500 words a day, and publish 1 post per week.

I came up with a list of blog topics that I want to cover in the future. Hopefully having this list will make it easier to pick something to write about.

  • my interviews with the Lakers
  • customizing Highcharts.js
  • designing and building a SaaS for farmers market vendors
  • thoughts and reviews of 30x500, Earn1k, and
  • status of my current blogs: success or failure
  • why I think isn't successful
  • my idea for a consulting business for connecting businesses with web design firms
  • how I used the briefcase technique to land multiple job offers
  • the job offers I've received and why I turned them down
  • examples of great web app. signup design
  • examples of great portfolio/blog design
  • why don't people do more research for job applications, web design, having kids, or anything else
  • how I'm more productive using the Pomodoro technique
  • Pivotal Tracker vs Fogbugz
  • a review of the Nexus 7 (I love it)
  • books I'm currently reading/just read
  • podcasts that I listen to
  • programs I use to design/develop: Balsamiq, Photoshop, SublimeText, PomodoroApp
  • a few positives about living in Austin, Texas

Also I promise to stop posting these "status" updates and start posting actual, interesting content.