Being on call, much progress can be made

Wednesday, September 4th 2019, 6:12:00 am

It should come as no surprise to find that when there is severe weather, working for a certain weather-related tech company with a large customer-facing website can mean long hours of oncall work. Because I work remotely from the rest of the company, this means longer and odder hours in front of the computer, monitoring Slack and being ready to jump on issues at a moments notice.

During especially severe situations (such as the ongoing Hurricane Dorian and its devestation of the Bahamas and threat to the US Southeast) this turns into shifts during 24-hour availability.

The silver lining to this increased time in the chair is that you can spend some time finding things to keep yourself occupied, such as continuing your personal Gatsbyjs journey with your personal blog. Over the weekend and into yesterday evening I was able to knock out some good work, like:

  • Category listing pages, courtesy of gatsby-plugin-categories and some refactoring of the listing pages to support input of data from two different graphQL queries, and starting to handle what my colleague Sam(our resident React expert) pointed out was a "classic problem of passthrough props". Honestly, I'm feeling a little guilty of not building this completely from scratch, but the use of the plugin allowed me some more exploring of the Gatsby ecosystem.
  • Adding links to those categories where appropriate.
  • This led to me improving the markup and styling around the blog listing pages, including excerpts on the blog posts.
  • Added a better header image instead of the pure blackness of space, which was rather dull.

Next up, I think I'll work on adding images to my posts, now that I can handle them. Having them in the markup is one thing, but I think I want to start with a featured image in the post headmatter that can be rendered at the top of the post and in the listing pages. We'll see where I can find some time to start in on that task.