Retrospective: November 2018

What I did in November:

  • Merry Rexmas
  • Pixel Farm
  • Alexa Voice Skills
  • UXPA Mentoring
  • Annex Teen Clinic
  • Art Buddies
  • Turning 30

Merry Rexmas

MerryRexmas.com was a collaborating with my buddy Adam Bailey ( whom I went to college with ), I shot him a text a couple months ago asking him what it would take to bind TRex roars to the tune of Jingle Bells and other holiday classics.

The idea came to me as I was thinking of one of the Rechtzigel classic traditions ( Cow Christmas ) where cows would be mooing to the tune of the same christmas carols.

The web technology in the project is pretty simple:

    • ThreeJS ( WebGL Rendering )
    • HowlerJS ( Audio Player )

The tricky part was reteaching myself how to use 3D software for the TREX and Christmas Hat. I had never used Blender before and instead of taking the time to properly learn stuff from a tutorial — I just jumped in and started clicking buttons.

I wish I would have taken more time to run through some proper tutorials because I feel like I’ll be working on more WebGL experiences in the future, but for the most part I got out of the project what I hoped to — even if the end result is a little ‘unpolished’

Pixel Farm

I’ve continued to work on some of the games over at Pixel Farm for a client. It’s been a pretty fun experience to work on something that isn’t a straight up marketing site.

Alexa Voice Skills

I’ve been chatting with some of the User Experience folks through UXPA and have been chatting about creating a multimodal experience leveraging voice and screen. So I picked up an Alexa and ran through some of the tutorials that they provide. There’s a pretty cool contest that Amazon is putting on that Carissa Merrill and I are going to be jamming on.

We searched around in the skill library for a Metro Transit Application. The one that currently exists doesn’t have the best User Experience so we’re thinking that it might be the perfect opportunity to build something that could really help some folks out.

UXPA Mentoring

I’ve been joining a User Experience mentorship group over the last couple of months which has been very cathartic. Lot’s of us joke that it’s our bi-monthly therapy session.

We brokeĀ  out and started smaller mentorship groups with some newer folks. I’ve actually had a couple of people reach out due to Hacktoberfest and this mentorship group to set up some time to chat.

It’s been nice to help out some other junior members of the community, and while I might not have all of the answers ( or even the best answers for that matter ) I think it’s valuable for both parties.

Annex Teen Clinic & Art Buddies

I’ve continued to volunteer with these two organizations. Art Buddies will be wrapping up soon, which will give me more time to focus on The Annex’s project. Nothing much to report on changing from October.

Turning 30

Ellen and I had planned to go to Larsmont Cottages the weekend of my birthday for some relaxation, but unfortunately we had screwed up the dates and didn’t realize it until we drove to the north shore. We stayed at a motel in Duluth for the night, with it being a fairly somber experience. We went out to Dinner that night and someone approached Ellen who had met her at another event here in Minneapolis and they networked a bit so all-in-all I think it worked out for the best.

About the Author

Headshot of Mathias Rechtzigel with some sweet lazers in the background. Like the type you would find in a cheesy Sears photoshoot. Yeah those ones.

Mathias Rechtzigel is a web creator, his skills range from development, design, user experience and sometimes content creation.

He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his partner (Ellen), dog (Bard), and two cats ( Pippi & Misti ).

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