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Issue Archive

Slice of Life

Marianne Ferguson

Founder, Ultrafine
marianne@ultrafine.co

I wake up at 7.30am, have coffee in front of the news and then head off on a 45 minute brisk walk with my husband. He's also a developer so it's a chance for us to discuss work and bounce around business ideas.

If I'm freelancing for a Shopify agency, I make sure I'm ready and at my home office by 10am sharp. I'm actually scarily regimented with my time when I'm freelancing, scheduling every hour into my calendar including breaks. I'll usually have a project management tool such as ClickUp or even a simple spreadsheet to track and prioritise my tasks, so that's my first port of call in the morning. I'll also check Slack and email to make sure I haven't missed anything that might affect the day's tasks.

I mostly develop Shopify themes so I'll typically have a Figma/Sketch design to work from. When starting a section or component, I do a quick assessment of its structure on mobile and desktop so I can plan mark-up and styling, figure out which elements should be customizable and how, and establish any interactivity or possible dependencies. Then I'll usually start coding it up directly, adding settings and content to the Customizer as I go. I typically write mobile-first CSS and work on the desktop styling in parallel. I love the process of building out the Customizer settings so they're as simple to understand for the merchant as possible.

Once the section is done and I've checked it out on all screen sizes, I grab the preview link and test it out on Browserstack. I'll usually check a couple versions back on all major browsers but thanks to Gulp and experience, issues don't often crop up at this stage (unless it needs to be compatible with IE or some other archaic device/browser!). I then sense-check the section from an accessibility perspective: can I tab through all the interactive elements? Do they have focus states? Can I use my keyboard to interact with them? Etc. (I was very fortunate to be mentored on accessibility, among many other things, by the talented Nic Chan). Then, for more complex components, I'll write up some brief client documentation. Finally, I update the task/issue/ticket with the preview link and notes/documentation.

When I'm not freelancing, I set aside some time for learning new technologies and I find the best way is to make real-world products. At the moment I'm building a Shopify Node app which is pushing me to expand my back-end development skills, sharpen my React skills and get familiar with GraphQL.

I don't tend to listen to music while I'm working as I get so distracted by lyrics that I find it hard to focus! If I have earphones in it's either to block ambient noise or for a quick blast of techno or one of my favorite Grimes tracks (4ÆM if I had to choose one!).

Evenings are quite chilled. We usually prep huge vegetarian meals on the weekends so it's just a case of reheating the Dal and emptying my brain in front of the telly. Really enjoying Daisy Haggard's "Back to Life" at the moment.

Slice of Life

Rossella Ferrandino

Nama Studio
rossella@namastudio.it

I wake up at 8am, have breakfast and then go for a walk in the historic center of Bergamo (Northern Italy), where I currently live.

I am a partner in a Shopify agency with two other women, Silvia and Lavinia. We all work remotely and we don't have fixed office hours so I am free to organize my day as I want. I usually turn on my computer at 9, check Slack and emails and review my priority list. I work on a few different projects at the same time and I use Toggl to track the time spent on each task, so that we can provide a detailed breakdown to clients at the end of the month.

All my tasks are added to the Github repository I have setup for each project, so it's easy to see at a glance what to work on next. I also have a labeling system in each repository that flags which tasks are a priority and what is currently being reviewed by my teammates or the clients.

I am the only developer at the company, so sometimes my tasks will be practical ones such as adding a new functionality to an existing theme, fixing bugs or integrating external apps. I listen to music while coding, but not in my native language so I don't get too distracted by the lyrics. Sometimes I will be researching new solutions to meet client's requirements from a technical point of view. When I am stuck or I want to check if my solution is feasible, I turn to the Shopify Slack community and to some of our partners in the Shopify Italian ecosystem.

I am a self-taught developer and I have learned a lot from the developer community around the world. Sometimes I will catch a tech talk or a conference during or after work, to explore more in depth the technologies I am interested in. I am an active member of the Women Who Code community (I used to be a network lead when I lived in Tokyo), so I join their events and contribute to open source projects created by the other members to work collaboratively in a team while learning new skills.

I usually finish work at around 6.30pm. After work, I relax by playing some games on my Nintendo Switch and then I prepare dinner. Recently, my husband and I have been watching The Office while having dinner, and we enjoy it so much that our dinners have become one hour long.

Slice of Life

Kirill Platonov

mail@kirillplatonov.com
Twitter: @kirplatonov

I like waking up early at 7 AM. It's the calmest and the most productive time for me. So I usually spend it working on some complex tasks that require full concentration. At 10 AM I make a break and have breakfast. And after that, I get back to work.

I develop Shopify apps. My work consists of part-time consulting and the development of my own apps. Usually, I split these activities between the beginning and the end of the month. At the moment I have two apps: Bulk Price Editor and Product Color Swatch. To develop apps I use Ruby on Rails with Hotwire, and Polaris ViewComponents (an open-source library I'm working on as well). I prefer this old good server-rendered stack other than the hyped SPA approach.

I use Things as my To-Do list app. I plan all the tasks for the day there. For high-level project planning and issues tracking I use Linear. My main code editor is VSCode. From time to time I also use RubyMine to debug some tricky bugs. As a terminal I use iTerm2. And as my daily git client, I use Git Tower. When I need to quickly check the documentation for some library or language the Kapeli Dash app is indispensable.

At the end of the workday around 5 PM, I try to dedicate some time to my open-source projects and blog. I do a lot of open-source stuff recently. I contribute to Hotwire & Rails libraries. And I have a few Shopify related open-source projects:

  • Shopify Hotwire Sample: A sample of the next-gen SSR Rails Shopify app with all batteries included.

  • Polaris ViewComponents: Polaris components for SSR Rails Shopify apps.

  • Shopify Graphql: Alternative Shopify Graphql client for Ruby w/o memory issues.

  • Hotwire::Livereload: Auto-reloading on code changes for Hotwire apps. A must-have for embedded Shopify apps on Hotwire.

  • Shopify App fork: A fork for the official Shopify App gem with Ruby 3 & Rails 7 support, fully compatible with App Bridge 2.0, and with improved JWT & Turbo integration.

I blog at kirillplatonov.com. Recently I published a few articles about Shopify app & theme app extensions development. I learned a lot about Shopify app development in 2021 and plan to share more of it in the blog. To learn about new articles, follow me on Twitter.