Argh admin tools (Week 18)

Matt Webb
Matt Webb
Aug 7, 2018 · 2 min read
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Jobs open on my job board today, 7 August 2018

Ever noticed that nobody hires in August? Seriously, look at my job board in the screenshot: only one new role so far and we’re a week into the month.

And THANK GOODNESS that’s what I say, because this is ANOTHER week of invisible work and therefore NOTHING NEW to see on the website.

For I am working on ADMIN TOOLS.

Here’s what I’m working on, in the background:

A tool that shows me what new careers page integrations have been requested by job board curators, including handy feastures to:

  • test the integrations work, once I’ve written the code
  • set the integrations live, and notify the users

Easy to do, you would think, because it’s just a few web pages with some lists, a few buttons to run certain automated tasks, and a bit of thinking about my own workflow. It will speed things up no end.

But good grief MAKING ADMIN TOOLS IS SLOW.

It’s slow going for two reasons:

  • There’s no “right way” to make this workflow. For the rest of the site, I can answer a simple question: what can I change that would help this job get under the nose of the perfect applicant more easily. For these admin pages… well there’s a lot of ways to skin a cat. I keep going down blind alleys.
  • It’s BORING. I swear, when I’m interested in the code I’m 10x faster. And I know, intellectually, that building these tools will make my coding life easier, and make it possible to bring on some more job board curators. But while my brain knows the benefits my fingers are bored to tears.

I just need to push through.

As a reward to myself, once this admin tool is finished, I’m going to make another half dozen integrations. That will actually feel satisfying.

In the meantime: plodding code.

When I was at school, we had a speaker visit who was really good at teaching himself stuff. He learnt to juggle, and told us that he overcame the frustration of being shit at juggling by making failing fun: he would only allow himself to pick up a dropped ball if he could tell himself a joke first.

I think I need to do something similar to convince myself that coding this admin stuff is enjoyable.

Back to it tomorrow.

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