lachlanjc

lachlanjc

1-day streak
The past 3 days, I’ve been in New Haven, CT to move out of New Haven HQ & move @matthew & somewhat @msw out of their apartment. I am the most exhausted I’ve been at least all of 2020 after moving, packing, cleaning, transporting, loading etc thousands of pounds of stuff. We shipped maybe 25 boxes all 25-60 pounds at FedEx ($1220) & spectacularly loaded Matthew’s car. Massive shoutout to Matthew & Max for all pouring it on, we are all sweaty & exhausted but now driving to my house. (& don’t worry, Matthew was wearing a mask all the time except when I took a picture)
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Worked on infrastructure today, my most visible ship was a refreshed website footer. Made fish tacos with the team.
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Unproductive but enjoyable day…sat out on the dock listening to Easy & spent awhile tonight talking to @cwalker about iPad productivity & RSI.
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Coded all day, made dinner with @matthew, saw some incredible stars & the Milky Way & satellites & a comet.
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Chill day today. Used Next.js serverless functions to add APIs to the Hackathons & Events sites, fixed bugs, lounged around. Worked with @cwalker on Operator & @msw on a crazy hack with Vercel.
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This photo is from a wondrous night with @msw a few days ago…we sat out on the dock looking up at the glorious night sky & I saw the Milky Way I think for the first time. It was a solid day of infrastructure work today though—shipped a massive update to Hack Club Theme & little updates to a bunch of other sites, switched our asset hosting from CloudFront to Vercel, improved documentation on theme-starter, bugs on Bank. Lots of things I work on no one ever notices, but sometimes that’s the most important to work on.
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Had a productive day today, adding reactions to the Scrapbook homepage & adding mention pages for users, thinking about explorability/browsability, being able to get lost in the site in a way that feels natural. Also made a site for Hack Club’s Minecraft server & got started on another site.
Made dinner for the team with @matthew & went kayaking & had more discussions about clubs & such, in reverse order ↕️
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Long day planning next school year & working on tooling. In a (first step of a) slightly new direction, shared our notes on GitHub today. Photo by @msw 📸
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Every two weeks, @christina695 & @zrl & I write a newsletter to Hack Club’s biggest donors & supporters. Though they look simple, we each spend many hours planning, writing, editing, revising, & testing them. They’ve been an incredibly useful tool for our fundraising, so as we send out new ones, we open source old ones, six weeks behind. Since I’ve been writing our latest issue, I’ve also published our issue from May 20. Here’s a video of the shortcut I made on my iPad to publish!
Sitting out on the dock reading as a lightning storm rolls in. Had a relaxing afternoon kayaking (the only one not falling out of my boat…🏊‍♂️) & cooking a great dinner with the team. 🚣‍♂️🍕
Had a fantastic week making dozens of improvements & adding new features to Scrapbook, conversations with the team, new ideas to work on for the summer. Feeling like I’ll really be hitting my stride next week. Besides the crazy heat, so enjoying being with the team & kayaking in the lake everyday.
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Just found a scientific poster I designed in figma emoji & presented with a team from my high school about local water quality in relation to fracking in Pennsylvania
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I use Figma every day for everything I design—logos, branding, stickers, posters. I love using it esp on my iPad figma emoji
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Personally I really 💖 custom emojis yay emoji on our Slack slack emoji & I may be expanding_brain_4 emoji expanding_brain_2 emoji working on some improvements to dumpster-fire emoji Scrappy to launch today 🛫 @neel.redkar pulled through with a super helpful PR to get it rolling. If you’d like to help test something else, adding an emoji reaction to this post would be great!
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Incredible storm on the lake today ⛈️
Not a super exciting day—drove up to Vermont with @matthew to spend the next few weeks with the team! The Chipotle stop was delicious.
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Did some coding, made macaroni & cheese, went for a walk punctuated by a lot of fireworks. Rewatching Schitt’s Creek (again!) to show my sister. Started packing to leave for Vermont on Monday—there’s kind of nothing to do at home but work, cook, & go for long walks, so looking forward to working with the team again.
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Had a pretty normal day—fixed some bugs, introduced some bugs, built a new feature for Scrapbook 👀, edited/sent our latest VIP newsletter. Finished the day making some incredible pizza 🍕 with my family & watching the Hamilton film, so I laughed a bunch & cried even more. Jam for today: America by Sufjan Stevens 🎶
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Struggled to work a lot of the day due to RSI flaring up (pain & extra heat in my wrists/arms), so got out an old ergonomic keyboard to set up at my desk with my iPad so I can still get work done. It functioned well, but adapting to a totally different keyboard layout slowed down my typing like 70%. Put a new Scrapbook feature on hold, but I updated the Summer of Making site & made it the hackclub.com homepage, redesigned the card pages on Bank with a new layout, & a few other small things. RSI is something I’ve struggled with for several years, typing for so many hours a day, & hoping I can better mitigate it as time goes on.
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I don’t have a very fun image today so I have a GIF of @christina’s iconic goats instead. Did a ton of small things today! There’s rich text support on Scrapbook, I fixed the GitHub-style streak graph bug, halved build time, a variety of Scrapbook & Bank bugs fixed, I doubled the PageSpeed & halved the initial data download of Bank pages through a bunch of frontend optimizations, & lots more. Planning to start a new Scrapbook feature tomorrow & hoping to get back to my Swift project as well.
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I didn’t make progress on my Swift project today, or have a super coherent update on one project. I did dozens of small things all day, most of which no one will ever fully notice but were very productive. Every night I go for a ~5-mile walk in the darkness, after the sun sets, & I took this picture while walking home tonight in pitch darkness. Just feeling incredibly, incredibly grateful for all the amazing people in my life & how lucky I am to be living the life I am.
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Continued working on my SwiftUI Scrapbook app today, with continued amazing assistance from my friend. Though it looks nearly the same as yesterday, adding the user to the top of posts took many, many hours of better understanding the type system of Swift, from unwrapping to optionals to coalescing. I’ve been continuously surprised at just how primitive, buggy, resource-intensive, & slow Apple’s developer tools are, as well as how poor much of their documentation is. I also wasn’t expecting just how different Swift is from languages I’m experienced in like Ruby & JavaScript—I have to account for so many more cases of state & errors in Swift at the language level, that in JavaScript I reason about manually or ignore. There’s also so many more language features & data structures, as well as vocabulary, than other languages & frameworks I use. This has honestly been way harder for me so far than I was expecting, but getting things working (takes soooo long!) feels really rewarding. I also open sourced my code: github.com/lachlanjc/scrapbook
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I’ve tried several times over several years to get somewhere into iOS development, & it’s just never worked out very well for me. Over the last few days, I’ve been digging into SwiftUI more seriously, & made good progress on downloading/parsing JSON (so much harder than on the web!) & using views/layouts (so much simpler than CSS/JS!) to build a little native Scrapbook client. Building an async image gallery today & figuring out date formatting, with the assistance of a multi-hour Zoom with an experienced dev friend, pushed my limits of Swift knowledge super far. Hoping to add a few more features & get it up on TestFlight—so cool to be learning something wholly new.
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Designed 49 new/revised icons for Hack Club Icons, for use on our websites & Bank. 🖊️
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Learned some new SwiftUI to build an extremely basic native Scrapbook client!
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I worked on Bank navigation & attended the awesome AMA with ladyada today, but an unexpected highlight was this remarkable, 6” Luna moth visiting tonight.
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On the road heading home with @matthew. Made profile pages load way way faster on Scrapbook 🚗💨
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Another video about Bank coming very shortly 👀 but went on a windy hike at sunset ⛰️🥾🌅
@zrl posted a video with all the details & a live demo, but made a ton of bug fixes & added some new features to Scrapbook today, like user mentions & autolinking. In between streaming WWDC & being extremely excited all day about all the Apple goodness, a productive Monday!
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Made enchiladas with the team & hung out with @matthew today. Did only a bit of coding but there were ✨ good vibes ✨
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The work I did today was just fixing a bunch of bugs on Events & Scrapbook (the homepage is no longer 200MB…) 😅 but had a really nice evening getting Five Guys & walking along the beach at sunset with @matthew + @melody
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Had a fantastic conversation with @zrl under this tree about my role at Hack Club & recent work. After a long way ending in staying up for 37 hours launching Scrapbook & Summer, nice to take a break.
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Over the last 18 hours, I’ve designed & built a new website for Hack Club Summer of Making I’m pretty proud of. It just went live. Open source, as always: github.com/hackclub/summer-site
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Spent all weekend working on designing & building this Scrapbook site with Next.js & Airtable. Open sourcing on Thursday!
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