Where the heck have I Been?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Almost as if I could predict the future. . . . all this working so many hours for roughly 60 days finally got to me. I got a very minor cold. . . mostly just a small cough that made it very hard to talk. My wife and oldest son didn’t get sick, but the baby did so my wife has spent almost the entire week just taking care of our baby. I’m feeling 100% and the baby is doing much better. It’s the weekend and it’s time to catch up on everything we thought we were going to get done this past week.

Tomorrow, being the end of the week, I’ll be doing a retrospective on my post from last Sunday and seeing how far I got based on the goals/milestones I set for myself last week. Obviously I just explained that we basically did nothing, but lets see if we can’t turn that around in the next 30 hours or so.

One thing I’d like to share before I lay out the 30 hour game plan is that I met with a former mentor of mine. I’ve known this guy for about 10 years now. I used to have this pretty sweet gig when I was in college and he worked for a major tech company that helped me with my objectives. We had an interesting partnership and he’s got a ton of crazy ideas. Yesterday we spoke for a few minutes and he shared some helpful tips/advice on how I should proceed with my side hustles.

So, these are my thoughts going forward:

  • Content
  • Consistency
  • Relevancy

Content

I’m going to be focusing on Scratch basically 100% of my time now. I know I was doing the two hustle thing, but my plan A hustle goals are quickly merging with my plan B goals. After talking to my mentor, I now have a way of converging the two hustles. I’ll be able to grow my mission I was trying to get to with Plan A, by pivoting my Plan B hustle ever so slightly. My only compromise here is that I want to teach the world about engineering. By focusing on Scratch, I’m forcing myself, for the near term, to be in a programming only focus. I’ll be exploring ways over the next few months to figure out how to break out of just programming and into general engineering, but for the next couple weeks to a month, we are going to be all about Scratch. So here’s the plan.

Finish those pesky game projects from that book we purchased over the holidays. We are almost done and down to the last two projects. We have one mostly recorded and the second will be recorded as soon as my wife can free up some time to record. Once we are done with that, we are going to deep dive into Scratch. We want to break down and explore every aspect of the tool and create a series of videos that are short, to the point, valuable, and educative. Scratch has 9 coding modules that offer dozens of different elements. Let me show you an example.

As you can see for “Motion” you have the ability to move, turn right, turn left, go to (variable) go to position on screen, glide to (variable) glide to position on screen. Just talking about those above don’t do any justice because then you can embed elements from the other modules to create even more sophisticated logic.

In the example above, I took a turn to the right and then put a comparison operator and then put in a random number generator. This is powerful stuff that I don’t think teachers or students are exploring with any great detail. It’s my goal to demystify Scratch so that educators can take full advantage of this amazing educational tool that can truly be changing the lives of students everywhere.

Back on content. Some back of the napkin math. . . . 9 modules each have an average of 10 elements. So, just to create basic 2–3 minute videos breaking each module will give me 90 videos. Now, I don’t think this will be very engaging videos as they are mostly to break down the basics of what each module does. I think the videos will be beneficial, bite sized videos that people will watch to learn how each element works.

The next phase after this is where things will get interesting. We’ll start making our own projects. More details on that later.

Consistency: We need to create daily videos every day for at least a month. I already know I have about 90 videos in the pipeline, so this shouldn’t be a problem. The key is going to be to record a few of them at a time and just have them ready to publish daily.

Relevancy: People need to have a reason to watch these videos. The first few videos have been game focused. While there is some relevancy there, I believe that I’ll get more traction if I create videos for an audience that’s looking for videos. . . What does that mean? Basically I’m going to be spending the next few days on the internet searching conversations on Scratch. I’m going to find where the gaps are and find out what educators, parents, and students are looking for. Once I know that, I’ll create videos to fill in that gap. I’ll advertise the videos to them and then people will watch my videos because they’ll be valuable to them.

Okay, this was a long one. I’ve been gone for a while so know that I wasn’t just sitting around doing nothing. My mind is constantly racing and this what I came up with during my down time.

Wish me luck!

I’m an engineer working professionally in San Diego, CA. I’m trying to improve every day and use this space to document. Connect: apetech.me/social