A forest of Busybees

Matthew Lock
4 min readNov 29, 2020


A week of highs and some frustration is the best way to describe the mood. I feel disciplined in my pursuit of a job, I have my daily targets and I feel like I have some semblance of a balance between coding and finding a real jobbo. I feel slightly irked for want of a better word, many job applications have been sent out by carrier pigeons and either I hear nothing back or it’s a no. On the plus side it hasn’t crushed my soul too much, I was obviously not expecting it to be a walk in the park, although I do feel I need to switch things up a bit. Going down the same well trodden path only leads to the same area, and the night is always darkest before dawn and blah blah.

On the learning side I’ve made much better progress than of late, my group projects have either gained traction or picked up speed which is encouraging. The Makers group project is exciting and this week we experimented with using Next and Gatsby as possible frameworks for developing the website. Both with their pros and cons which also required learning a bit about server side rendering and client side rendering. For this particular project due to the amount of static pages to be generated and as Gatsby is technically speaking a static page generator it seemed like the logical choice but on the whole either would have worked.

For the mental health app, the progress has been steady, at times we needed to take a step back rather than charging on ahead and breaking everything. It’s all a learning curve and it’s great that having previous group experience in new languages really helped in how to approach these new set of problems in React Native. This week we were tasked with the app navigation and it was a good learning experience understanding how the routes would be implemented and also creating a navigation bar and how that fits in.

I’ve also started a bit of work on my personal portfolio this week which I will be building in Gatsby, really looking forward to creating a professional looking website to show off, just need to plan out the features I want and how it should be designed. All will be documented here and will be posting screenshots of each version until I come to semi-non terrible looking site!

Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash

A packed week full of working on different projects and catching back up with my coding skills. Honestly the past couple of weeks has gone by so quickly I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not. Being busy is good I guess but whether I’m spending my time wisely is anybody’s guess. I started off the week wireframing the layout for my website, I’m sure it will look nothing like what it’s supposed to once finished but at least I have something to aim for. I started initially by following the Gatsby tutorial to get more familiar with creating the routing for the pages using GraphQL and an overall better grip of what Gatsby can do. I found the tutorial in the documentation really good and easy to follow which always helps. Since then I’ve been modifying bits and pieces including adding a theme for the site so it’s more personalised than some stock website as per the tutorial. A lot of work still to be done but I’m happy with the progress made so far.

My prepare to code project is also taken off at last which is great news, to finally sit down as a group and start working on the initial page feels great. It’s been a long time coming and I’m sure I will be picking up many things as the project progresses namely in rendering pages with GraphQL which I’m eager to learn more about. Setting up the work environments and testing suites can always be a little tricky so we all mobbed initially to get the first page done. Getting the colour scheme to match was a real pain but colour picker appears to be the way forward! We spent way too long looking at charts of beige and trying different colours in the hope of duplicating the mock image provided. Overall the progress made was good and the client was happy with our page so far.

The mental health app is really coming along now and what seemed like a distant dream of releasing the app on the app store now appears a real reality. This week I focused on testing with my partner and while we made progress we weren’t quite able to get a feature test working due to a logging in issue. It’s certainly one that requires some more digging around, currently it could be a number of issues so we’ll just need to plug in some knowledge gaps.

This week since I’ve been bugging myself about coding properly again in Javascript I also started working on some kata’s and process problems to familiarise myself with working on a tech test. My skills have dropped a bit since the course as I haven’t been in the right headspace for coding under pressure this was only natural. But I have surprised myself how quickly it’s being picked up again and will most likely book a review for next week and see where my level is again.

To round off the week the cohort had a mini remotely held social and it was really nice to just chat, catch up and have a laugh like old times.