listeningTo: Seduction by Eminem

inRealLife: I spent the last week in Florida visiting my grandma down there. It was HOT, and spending that much time with family is always tense and thoroughly exhausting. I did have a really fun day in Universal wandering around Diagon Alley and basically living 10-year-old Amanda’s dream (yes, I bought an overpriced wand to interact with things around the park with all the 6 year olds). Also we took her to a drag show and I’m pretty sure she had way more fun than she ever had in her life. (Looking at you, Ru!) I’m glad to be back, but, also, have a lot of stuff to catch up on. So it goes.

whatIReadThisWeek: I’m been studying the very exciting technical documentation on Bootstrap 4. I also read through Cassandra Leung‘s MoT Power Hour on the MoT Club – she was answering questions about using personas for testing. I plan on writing more about this in my next post because I found a lot of her responses to be very interesting and thought provoking. The link to the thread is here, but I think you need to be a member of The Club to see.

I also reread The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde on the beach this week, and am about 70% into Dark Age by Pierce Brown. Neither books are very light fun beach reading, then again, neither is technical documentation so, it is what it is.

whatILearnedThisWeek: We are working on a very long and slow project of migrating our entire site from Bootstrap 3 to 4. The short explanation is – we use Bootstrap for lots of our components and styles as well as easily making our site responsive on all devices. We don’t have a designated mobile app, so, this is how we make everyone happy who wants to use our site on their phones.

I’m pretty okay with CSS. I’m self taught (surprising, I know), and from what I understood previously of Bootstrap it’s basically componentized CSS. The developers did the initial work of setting up the application to listen to Bootstrap 4, and then the ongoing part of the project is to migrate each and every page to the updated version. This requires touching every single template and adjusting variable and class names to make sure the pages render the same way in BS4 as they did in BS3. It seems confusing. I wanted to learn more.

I was assigned a case to migrate a static text page (the Privacy Policy) page. It seemed simple enough – update the extends template to the BS4 version, update the class names to BS4 names, rinse and repeat. I noticed though that the style for bullet points that was already defined had an override to not change the color of links. Which is weird. Our entire site uses a specific color for all links. Also, wouldn’t an override be just that and not defined explicitly in the class? I had questions.

And I asked them! Half the developers told me I was nuts, the other half just ignored me, and I was thinking maybe I was overthinking it. (I tend to overthink). After a lot of back and forth via comments right in the Jira case, the CTO finally caught wind and chimed in. Hey, I was right! It was a great feeling. I carried on as I planned and even fixed the incorrect code from the original developer. Look at me! What should have been a very simple case ended up being much more but I was able to catch an error in the very early stages of a lengthy project that would otherwise cause serious issues down the road.

Testing for this migration has been equally difficult, though. I don’t test my own work, but I have tested the other migration pages. Things that are updated for BS4 are having unforeseen consequences on BS3 components, which is confusing and even the developers who did the initial work are scratching their head trying to figure out what went wrong. So, each round of regression testing since the first implementation of BS4 is requiring very thorough visual testing to make sure the BS3 pages remain unscathed. I never really thought an automated UI test tool was something that I would need to do my job but I’m feeling more and more like I may work on finding a reasonable solution because I’m getting pretty burned out and we are only in the very beginning 15% of the project.

whatIAmThinkingAbout: I realized as I was reading the section above back to myself that I keep saying things like “the developers do this” as if I’m not a part of their group. My position is really weird, I basically made it up, and it straddles both the development and product management teams. I’m pretty sure I still report to my product manager, but when the President sent around an updated org chart this week I was listed under the CTO’s line instead. Maybe we’re just disorganized, or maybe things changed and I didn’t hear about it?

I don’t see myself as a developer, however, I am frequently writing code for the application, and solely manage all automated testing code. Is it because it’s not in my official job title? Why would that even matter? What makes someone a developer? Committing code seems like a good first step. Hey guys, I’m a developer!

recommendationsAndTakeAways: Takeaways: trust yourself. It’s so cheesy, I know. I have the tendency to second guess myself. I’m new to web development, I’m the only woman on the dev team, I’m one of the youngest in the company. I have historically let more experienced people tell me that I’m off track and have listened to what they told me to do and did it like a good code monkey. But this proved that I do know what I’m talking about, I can push back, and I probably know more than I give myself credit for.

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