Canvass CMS and what it means for my next project

15 November 2012

When I first started learning web development, it was with more-or-less a single objective in mind - the development of a CMS for artists. As it turned out, BandPage by Rootmusic got the jump on me, but I finished off a beta of the system anyway. This formed the backbone of two websites: the Black Market Serotonin site and the Cyril Snear site (yet to go live).

What I learned from it was (most obviously) that projects are the way to go if you’re trying to firm up your skills in a given area, but also the importance of good planning. I’m a pretty organised person and most of my job roles have involved some degree of project management, but what I found was that even with a good roadmap for the work, it wasn’t enough. Bugs in particular (hello, responsive design) really hampered the final deployment, and I could - should have planned better around the possiblity of these arising.

As I start work on a new project in Rails, I’m reminded of all of those little problems, the late nights bashing my head against the keyboard over a PHP or SQL error (protip: you always missed a comma), and I’m determined to make this project run smoother. So with Kanban board at the ready, I’m going to be spending the next few days scribbling away, trying to get my functional specification perfect before I write a single line of code. It’s hard to fight the urge to just get stuck in, but you’ve got to remind yourself you’re saving time in the long run.If you’re curious about Canvass, it’s open-source and you can find the code on my GitHub.

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