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07) Tiny Details

I’m fascinated by speed drawing videos.  Within the span of a few minutes, you watch as an artist makes hours of small changes, giving you a true sense of the details that lead to a finished work.  While we all know it probably takes a lot time to edit a film or animate a cartoon, it’s quite something else to watch the artistry as it unfolds.

Software is likewise a progression of tiny details.  Throughout the day, I make choices and changes that slowly move the product along.  First, I read my design notes and imagine how a feature will look and act.  I then write some code to bring a piece of it alive.  As I click “Run” to first try the change, I often have no idea what will happen.  That’s the true beauty of software development.   You make something and try it.  Make  something else and try it.   This simple cycle defines my work life.

In the same spirit as speed drawing, I’ve been making two-minute Tidepool videos every day or so, showcasing each feature as it’s done. While not as immediate as time-lapse graphics, these videos hopefully give a sense of steady progress, a glimpse at my programmer’s canvas as I eek my way towards the finish line.  Nine months from now, I hope to have 180 videos, six or so hours chronicling a software project, start to finish.

Will people watch them?   I suspect not many.   Investors occasionally, to see where I’m at.  Players perhaps, to see how the game was made.   My hope is that future developers will watch them for inspiration, to see what can be done each day over time, to see the steady pace of realizing a dream.

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