The Journey Day 5… The Path Becomes Clearer

The Eisenhower Matrix

  1. Important and urgent — these are the tasks you should do first
  2. Important but not urgent — tasks you can schedule to do later
  3. Not important but urgent — if possible, you may delegate these tasks
  4. Not important and not urgent — you can skip tasks falling into this category

When it comes to time management this has been my time management system. There may be other layers in there that manage finer points of projects but for the structural process this has been my go to for more years than I care to remember. Time and, taking it a step further, project management in regards to time and productivity is a huge concern in business. As companies seek to gain more productivity, systems today reflect the the distilled results of learnings that stem back to the very beginnings of human history.

In development work, Agile business practices, Scrum and Kanban are methods that hope to make workflow happen smoothly, efficiently, and hopefully… sustainably. Scrum is an agile framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex products, with an initial emphasis on software development has been used in other fields including research, sales, marketing and advanced technologies. It is designed for teams of ten or fewer members, who break their work into goals that can be completed within time-boxed iterations, called sprints, no longer than one month and most commonly two weeks. The Scrum Teams track progress in 15-minute time-boxed daily meetings, called daily scrums. At the end of the sprint, the team holds sprint review, to demonstrate the work done, and sprint retrospective to improve continuously.

If Scrum is the scientific approach then Kanban would be the organic approach. Inspired by the Toyota Production System pioneered by the automotive giant in beginning in 1948, is a lean method to manage and improve work across human systems. This approach aims to manage work by balancing demands with available capacity, and by improving the handling of system-level bottlenecks. Work items are visualized to give participants a view of progress and process, from start to finish. This is typically accomplished with a Kanban board. Work is pulled as capacity permits, rather than work being pushed into the process when requested.

Creativity however is a very hard process to force. Creativity at times happens in all four of the Eisenhower Matrix quadrants. It happens in quadrant one as spur of the moment explosions of expression. It happens in quadrant two while you’re thinking about a project that you want to really want to jump on.. but brushing so you kind of need to finish. It happens in quadrant four while working with team members seeking to move their own projects forward. But at times, most importantly, it happens in quadrant four simmering like a pot of the best chicken broth you’ve ever taste. Like the pot of bubbling stock, it takes time for the flavors to mature.

Today was that day in regards to my space shooter project. Space shooter project, armed with the new working title of “Anzari Swarm” took both technical and creative steps closer to finality. A triple shot laser was added today. Taking three of my laser prefabs, I crafted the base component of my triple shot. Playing with colors I settled on changing my laser sprite from red to white core with a red glowing exterior. The code went in fairly easily based on what I’ve learn so far about instantiating my single shot laser…. too well it would seem.

The only thing not working correctly was the placing in space of the objects. It took a little playing to bring the Z axis back to zero and properly lining up the X and Y axis so that the beams didn’t wander from the player’s ship. A tweak here, a tweak there and we had a properly working, and impressive looking triple shot. I say a little tweaking but 90 mins of tweaking later… we did arrive at the desired outcome. During this time I had the opportunity to consider bosses, different type of enemies. With a working monster spawner, much like Minecraft, I had much to consider when it came to thinking about what I really wanted Anzari Swarm to end us as.

The real gem of the day was the afternoon lecture by Al Heck, one of the lead instructors at GameDevHQ. He went into the functionality of Unity and showed us just how powerful a tool it is when developing top notch games. From the demonstrations of each tool, to breaking out the animator to show just what level of thought can and should be put into the final product, Al really stoked my fires of creativity and inspired me to take some of that fourth quadrant chicken broth and use it in my game.

Mind blown…

Just when I thought my day couldn’t be any more great I then shifted gears into API manipulation and javascript when my Lambda School project time came up. Using the querySelectors to hook into html elements to add GreenSock animations, css style, or even change pictures on click I had a chance to get the basics of my code down before hunger and brain cramps started signaling the end of the coding day.

As I’m learning more each day juggling a full time internship, a part time school and self paced classes can be tricky at times. Prioritizing and making your time spend efficient is key. Being able to separate the urgent from the casual is an important skill. It separates those that get it done from those that don’t. Sure things happen and we learn to roll with the punches. But for those that manage their time wisely, no matter what your method is, great results are never far behind.

The journey continues…

Full stack web developer and game developer who enjoys React, UI/ UX, and the journey that the study of tech has taken me on.