Retrospective — October 2018

I haven’t posted in awhile. Shame on me. October was a fairly big month for me. Lots of stuff came together, lot’s of stuff didn’t come together quite as I imagined it would, but ultimately it was a really great month!

What I did:

  • Twin Cities Startup Week
  • CSSTricks Article
  • TCHacktoberfest
  • Pixel Farm
  • Design Thinking Sessions with the Annex
  • Volunteering with Art Buddies

Lots of stuff! Let’s dig into the details.

Twin Cities Startup Week

Since my departure from the bank I was hacking on a couple of projects with the end goal of doing some leg work during TCSW. I was mostly successful that I had a working prototype that I could show folks, but mostly the main success came from chatting about my process. I was able to drum up a little bit of business and did a couple of short consulting sessions focused on currently website audits based around performance, accessibility and SEO. All in all I am fairly happy with what I worked on over the Summer and early fall — the products never generated any revenue but I have some more tricks up my sleeve than I did before hand!

CSS Tricks Article

Early in the month I wrote a couple of blog posts and sent them over the Chris Coyier and CSSTricks which they accepted! Woo! My article “Building Skeleton Components with React”  ( )launched on October 22nd and I couldn’t have been happier. One of my professional goals is to give back to the community in more meaningful ways. I can write on this blog, but only a handful of folks are going to read it


Over the entire month of October I had set up 1:1 coding sessions with folks across the Twin Cities metro area. Most were relatively new to development so we took some time to collaborate on The goal was to empower more individuals to contribute to open source technology using Github. I’m fairly happy with the results, although the website didn’t turn into what I had necessarily hoped it to I was able to work with about 10 individuals and help them through the setup of a local NextJS / React repo. I definitely learned a ton about what it takes to run a open source project. I may have been a little too ambitious and the website was a little “open ended”.

Next year I plan on doing it again, but maybe have a smaller focused project — like a madlib generator that everyone can contribute too rather than having everyone do their own thing.

The best part was that during the 1:1’s folks were able to prep for their own interviews. I had one of my mentee’s profusely thank me for helping her land her first job. So in the grand scheme of things, this was a super successful project.

Pixel Farm

I started a contract at Pixel Farm working on some web games. It’s kind of surreal that leaving the games industry and getting into web would bring me back to games. More to come about this!


A project that I’ve been poking Ellen about for about two years is finally starting. I’m helping the Annex creating an online curriculum. I’m hoping to do everything from soup to nuts — so that means I’ll have to teach myself how to shoot and edit video ( more to come about this in my November review )

I’m super excited about this project — I think it will make a really amazing case study on creating, validating and refining a brand new product that — in the non profit space could start generating extra streams of revenue.

Selfishly I’m hoping that I can use it to kickstart my speaking circuit along with someone from The Annex.

Art Buddies

I started volunteering with Art Buddies on Thursdays! It’s been super fun helping my young little buddy create a costume. Unfortunately he likes to bounce around, so we’ve had to wreck and redo his costume about 3 times. As it goes!

And that’s a snapshot of what happened in October! Wow super exciting!

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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