Stream

Leadership is learning to see.

Past

When I was younger, I dressed in lots of like colors. Brown would be various shades of brown; blue, various shades of blue. In University, there was a Halloween party—renowned for the lucrative & creative costumes; ones that got jobs with Steven Spielberg sort of level. It was my first or second year of study; the theme was Party Inside the Human Body.

I went as poop.

I didn't have any money to get some big costume, or the bandwidth for something super creative...I had lots of different browns, so put all the brown on I could and my partner-at-the-time applied my makeup.

Fun that 10 years later I was in the Humorous Book Club—where we read about plagues and cannibalism (the 4 humours, from medical science, get it?)—and read a book about poop. The Doctor in the club asked, "why didn't they mention all this other cool shit you can do with shit?" And it was published just a few years shy of when the gut ecosystem was critical, and began doing medicinal excrement transfers between humans. I digress.

Forced humility

Since then, learning to see has been a critical part of my leadership journey; I jokingly say it was through, "forced humility."

Learning to see the depth, impact, and value of the varied specializations of others—quite a few with literal doctorates.
Learning to see the vast variety of humans who's paths & life experiences are just as expansively varied.
Learning to see team dynamics transition to & fro, through various stages of development.

Ed Catmull talks about the "learning to see" practice they had, once upon a time at Pixar.

The C-Suite and Leadershipp had to take lessons in drawing to learn how to see. Drawinig something shows how you need to see differntly. The act of putting something like that to papre, etc. is critically importnat to undersrtanding the human experience.

Coincidentally, this was one of the few books I've read that caused a profund moment: wanting to learn how to lead people, getting things done together...bigger than we could do alone.

The Impact of Seeing

You open yourself up to possibilities.
You open yourself...to less self.
You oppen yourself:

  • to curiosity,
  • interest,
  • connection.

Books

Wired for Design;

Personal Retrospective of the intrinsic relationship of neurodivergence, design, and career path


Move Slow and Bake Things;

An Anti-book filled of stories & recipes on ways of building things fast, without breaking things


Introducing Americans to Works Councils

A graphic novel about different ways to do labor


I can't poop for you

A children's book on feeling feelings


A Planet of Dumplings

A photo-journalistic-recipe-story-art book of the many ways dumplings are prepared around the world.


The Nightsoil Robin

A historical-fiction novel of a gang of thieves stealing "nightsoil" from the tanners & gatherers of poop & exrerment in Nottingham, England. They're called the Robin's—Robin Hood became the famous robbin because of his hood, he was "the hood guy.")

Building in Public

Since 2008, I've built & rebuilt my website. Each redesign has been fundamental in shaping & telling my story, acting as a snapshot of my professional path. My most recent site served as an introduction, built in a week. This time's different.

I'm rebuilding my website from scratch and "from the ground up;" in public.

Goals

  • To establish a brand, an identity, thought leadership;
  • To drive traffic to my projects & writing;
  • To manage & have a custom repository my professional career & personal path;

Where am I now?

As of today, I have quite a few pages finished. However, I need a better home-landing page when coming to my website. I've adapted it a bit, but I want to add some directions for people to navigate...even while it's not finished yet. Hopefully, through some additional wayfinding & context, I can also use the data to help inform what I work on next (page wise).

Feedback

If you have any feedback, please let me know!

Chrysalis, Content, Filtering, Styles

Overall I've had a rough time recently figuring out the overall strategy & purpose of the website. Yes, it needs to be my portfolio

There's multiple parts to what I mean by this. There's simply the challenge of defining the purpose of the site itself:

Facts

  1. Accessibly shares my portfolio;
  2. I have more than one "portfolio genre;"
  3. Portfolio as a portfolio piece;
  4. More than just a portfolio...in the "old school graphic design"-meaning.
  5. Source of truth for my personal & professional stories;
  6. The list can go on...but relevant to this thought, nothing much more.

Then, there's the whole story bit. What is my story? How do I tell it?

Multiple Portfolio's

Managerial

How does one share what they've done, especially when straddling contributing in multiple ways, apart from solely an individual contributor? In the same sense, how does anyone hire any manager if they can't see what they've done, their beliefs, or how they work? This seems like the best route t make something

Individual Contributor

A lot of my work could be considered "out of date" but...I have what I have regarding my work as an individual contributor. However, even in most leadership positions for any Design oriented roles (have seen most VP, Senior Director, and Director roles all ask for portfolios)...they're still needed. That said, this cateogry is way too broad. It needs to be refined somehow.

Having those works, but..there's only two. IC and Managerial can span great differences. So, is facilitation a skill? Is it an IC skill or a Managerial? or something different?

Anyways. Naming things remains hard.

Design Notes

/work

I'm planning to have the multiple portfolios explained here, then you can filter out for each one. I want it to function as a visual tapestry of experience (i.e. more $color means more experience in $portfolio-category).

/$project

Writing these is also a difficult bit. I don't want to nake it sound like I just did a research project and put my findings on a page...I need some basic structural elements to write with (categorical sections). I'm thinking:

  • Best Practice (alt: Process, What): where I define what I consider the best practice of doing the thing from my experience..."having an opinion" Applicable to IC/Manager's
  • Vignette (alt: Story, When): A short story that demonstrates this either skill or was a formative lesson, shaping how I use the skill itself?, applicable to IC/Manager's
  • Beliefs (alt: Purpose, Why): The basics of each individual topic, also having an opinion, but more of the Guiding Principles of this task itself.
  • How (alt: Steps, How): a step by step process of specific action points and tasks I would do. Applicable to IC/Managers

Writing/Essays/Stream are lowest priority right now.

It's about getting the portfolio's, about, leadership, and experience pages up. To tell my story properly, across the vairuos entry points, etc.

General Notes

  • I've spent so much time on the Kirby CMS' forums, that I've been upgraded to a Trust Level 1! First forum I've ever had this in. Exciting: https://forum.getkirby.com
  • I want to open my Github page for this to include a changelog so others can follow, as well as use Github Issues and such for feedback.
  • I'd liek to have a "last updated" thing that automatically gets updated when I push to the site or make a change...
  • For a time in the far future: IndieWeb Connecting, link track-backs, RSS feed, etc.

Client, Mentee, and Writing

I want to focus on my website progress today.

When I asked for help figuring out how to tell my story, Stephen Gates through ADPList, phrased the challenge of being "not so typical" in working style, skills, and capabilities. The generalist craftsperson's challenge: the burden of storytelling.

Today's site work was focused on this—though I also fixed quite a few things code wise, too. Summing up and trying to put words to "paper." Proud of what's come up.

Content Notes

About

  • Headline: I live in Raleigh, North Carolina and build things with, in, and for humans who use the internet.
  • I moved the subheader paragraph lower, and moved the table up. This way, the header is more of a header and section. Made code simpler too.

Leadership

  • Headline: I believe in the power of empowered, diverse teams tackling complex challenges.
  • Lede: My leadership style empowers creativity and fosters inclusive cultures, resulting in high-performing teams and measurable success. With a strong track record in navigating complex projects through a systems-level lens, I excel at aligning people, processes, and technologies to achieve business goals.

By choosing compassion over apathy & collaboration over rank, we make things better, together.

Design Notes

The reason I've chosen Inkwell and Operator as my fonts for the site is due to their close ties to the methods of writing over time. Inkwell is designed to span centuries of written, typographic design history in a unified super-family. It does lack something more recent, in terms of mechanical typing. Operator achieves that, designed to resemble typewriter typing, with an updated monospaced family member.

My colors are closely associated with color printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, black. Secondary colors are direct mixes of each combination (cyan, magenta, yellow). The site's background is repeated paper texture to continue the metaphor.

About

I led design and engineering platform product development teams at Booking.com as a manager of managers. In my final three years, I was the senior-most design-person in the B2B mobile app accommodations product platform, Pulse.

It started as leading the three platform organizations—

  • XML/API's;
  • Mobile Apps; and
  • Web—with around 15 direct reports and 85±10 people in my direct organization.

Eventually, through influence & platform ownership—I multidisciplinary craft communities of 100±15 people. I directly managed two foundation teams and four craft leads of the 15-team Pulse organization.

My final role was Vice Chair of Booking.com's Dutch Works Council—employee-elected representative; representing 5k+ employees in NL.

I directly supported & helped Booking.com's Leadership (C-Suite + US Board + NL Board) manage through 2020—from working from home policies, performance policies, and throughout the layoff negotiation process.

Quietly Launched

Today was the very soft launch.

Today I:

  • made the final changes to the Under Construction home page;
  • set up Github to automatically push to the site's host via webhooks;
  • fixed the footer;
  • fixed the header;

The CSS was starting to get a bit too all-over-the place for my liking (and was increasing cognitive load because no true organization yet). Since I added sass/scss to the site last week, I dove into re-architecting the CSS to have a more defined structure & infrastructure. So:

  • I downloaded Codekit and started serving compressed & optimized CSS;
  • Had to fix the site because random things started happening as I moved from chaos to more order;
  • created the folders by levels of abstraction: abstracts, base, components, layouts, and pages;
  • split up two massive css files into 30 parts;

As I progress, I'll be merging, removing, cleaning up, de-duplicating, code as the site comes together more fully. It's been a great exercise in deep diving into design systems and re-acquainting myself with front-end development. This has also been a challenge in multiple introspective ways, asking myself:

  • what I want to say;
  • how can I best tell my story;
  • how should the information be architected...especially when I'm not sure of all the information that will be where, yet?

For a 3-year long job search with scarcely any nibbles—hundreds of casts, the fish just "ain't bitin'"—it feels great to be making & building something again.

What I got done today

  • Styled the Stream/Writing Listing pages;
  • Changed Articles => Writing;
  • got the Writing List rendered correctly and populated with 2-3 years of content (more to go but that's great for right now);
  • Had an ADPList session;
  • moved part of the About page to the Home page;
  • got new photo for About page;
  • made the figcaption arrow an svg background;
  • styled blockquotes for adding testimonials throughout the site;
  • got SASS working, and installed @modular-scale sass plugin to help with keeping the everything related to the typography.

Discovering differences between Kirby's Blocks/TextArea/Writer Blueprint options

Getting the Posts/Articles (Stream/Writing) rendering correctly took a LOT of time. The difference between blocks and textarea and Writer in Kirby through me for a loop. HAH Programming pun. But basically, all operate slightly differently and have different capabilities...

I REALLY enjoy writing with Writer...but it doesn't have any image support. My second choice is writing with textarea but it doesn't support image-information like alt-text, captions, etc. to be able to put it all in properly. I see how they can function very specifically for specific areas...but also they're very limited. It feels like they need to merge somehow...or mix better. Not sure. But there's opportunity for improvement.

Writing with Blocks will take a lot more time...hence I think I'll keep with Writer on the Stream at least. My Writing articles will have lengthier, more complex content than the Stream should. At least that's the thinking for now.

Writing

I opted for Writing rather than Articles as the main navigation because I want to be able to grow this to be inclusive of possible books, etc. It also pairs with a future Speaking page too. But once all to come.

Going LIve

I think for my Going Live Strategy, I'll be sharing a link bit by bit. I'm thinking of even not putting too much content in my Work section...and focusing on the rest...then using the data/analytics of the "to be written" posts as demonstration of interest and help me prioritize. I don't have any data right now for writing, and which is more important...so trying to work out the strategy from there...I think this may be the thing.

Got stream working!

Today I did:

  • Got SASS working and installed. Can now compress css and such.
  • Downloaded Codekit. Wonderful.
  • created the timeline on the /about/ page
  • removed Timeline Page and moved (what will be) shorter version to the back
  • got two tag systems working for these things, Topics/Tags
  • ...JUST getting the git init going for this website project revamping. Not standard or best practice whatsoever, but trying to do so...one step at a time.

Now to do:

  • Stream-list page working (Article will match, but Stream will start)
  • Copy most everything Stream...

Acknowledgement:
I know this is adding way too much and shoudln't be part of launching. I just wanted to get something going so I can start working int he practice of daily updating on my website. So, I'll continue doing this for now.

First Post

This is the idea that I post regularly on what I'm working on, finding, etc. I want my website to be a place to go to find my own memories, refer to, etc. So, I'll be updating this stream as I continue developing my website.

This way I can look back on how things were going, etc.

End goal is something to the effect of Simon Collison's stream and archive: