Katie Broida
Ruminations on Coding and Crafting

I will keep this one brief since I’m not a fan of meta posts, ie blogging about blogging, ie “I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while.” I thought instead I would share some coding and crafting highlights since the last time I was writing regularily.

I made a desk

Finished desk at home

This project was an amazingly long process, but I’m super proud of how it turned out. I learned a ton taking an evening furniture design/build class at MassArt, and I’m grateful for how patient and helpful of all the instructors were!

Here are some pics:

Picture of desk with open doors

Here is an in progress pic at the end of one semester. You can see all of the drawers (including a secret one!) and some dovetails peeping out the top.

In progress shot

And these are some handle shapes I prototyped before settling on thie final form.

Handle prototypes

That feeling when you’re done with a monster project.

Feeling good at MassArt furniture show

Some big things I learned during this project:

  • If I don’t have a clear conception of how a step needs to happen, it’s more complicated than I think it is.
  • Mistakes aren’t a big deal and are inevitable. You just have to fix them (or fudge it the best you can) and continue on. Eventually you make fewer mistakes and are better at recovering from them, but the first step is to not stress when they happen. Otherwise you’ll never finish!
  • How things pieces join together is the hardest part and the most obvious sign whether something is well made or will last.

If it seems like these observations could apply to other projects, that was my intention! I’m finding the more/better I craft, the more/better my non-craft projects go.

I made a wedding dress

Not only did I make a wedding dress, I got married in it too! I am not sure I recommend making your own dress because it is a big source of pressure/stress for an event that already has plenty of it, but it was important to me and ultimately was fun once I was sure I would end up with something that worked. Here is a pic of the finished dress in mediocre lighting. Sorry to not post pics of it in action, but it feels kind of nice not having my wedding pics online.

Wedding dress

I made a job change

I’ve been working at Bocoup, a web platform consulting group, for a little over a year now. I’ve been working on some really cool projects like Scratch and test262.report. For our Scratch work in particular, it has been fascinating to to learn about its internals and how video games/animations work in general. I’ve got some planned blog post ideas that came out of that work, but if you want to read about it in the meantime, you can check out the “Interoperability and Feature Parity section” in one of our Scratch work write ups.