Delicious Reverie is the personal blog of Benjamin Read, a web developer from just outside London, UK.
I called this site “Delicious Reverie” after an expression which occurs in Norman Denny’s English translation of Victor Hugo’s epic masterpiece Les Miserables.
After being reminded of one of his favourite books, a minor charachter, Monsieur Mabeuf, slips “into a delicious reverie”, which means that he becomes absorbed in his thoughts and memories in a delightful state of meditation.
This phrase epitomises my aim to be thoughtful and reminds me to take the time to break from doing so that I can allow my mind to be at rest, and therefore maintain my creative impetus.
This is hard to write. Identifying your own core skills is difficult. It becomes more so because I’m patently trying to minimise attitudes that can have a negative effect on my work. I’m grouping this under a couple of subheadings that I hope are useful to you.
To begin, let me say that I really love web development. It’s my hobby as well as my profession. Outside of work hours I’m often on Twitter, Stack Overflow and on a number of Slack channels actively discussing industry concerns. I’m on here writing blog posts. Or I’m investigating some new shiny that may be hopefully useful to my professional work.
I started off wanting to be a writer and working as a graphic designer before I got really involved in the web. This background has helped me express my intentions more clearly and comprehend others’ assumptions more readily. I got involved in the web in earnest in about 2011, first of all working freelance and subsequently a number of small - medium sized businesses.
Because of this I’m used to mucking in and doing whatever becomes necessary for the success of the project and the team.
My preferred framework is Laravel, but I’ve also worked with Perch and other systems such as OpenCart. The bulk of my work has been on Wordpress, but I want to move away from that. I can create my own themes, plugins, shortcodes and widgets.
I have never had the opportunity to do Test Driven Development.
I have used Gatsby.js to build static websites using React.js and used Styled Components for css-in-js. After a few days working with this tech stack, I’m sold on the idea of React and Styled Components. Gatsby.js has been a great entry point for me into developing with React.
HTML & CSS
I maintain the determination to write semantic HTML & maintainable CSS modules using SASS and prefer BEM syntax. I can use Bootstrap and Foundation UI kits with ease but feel that they are bloated, can be harder to maintain and are inappropriate for many of the projects they’re used for. This blog for example has 279 lines of CSS.
My MBTI personality type is “INFJ” , which means that I can be described as an advocate.
I’m often found negotiating conversations among my team members and project managers that I hope will help both parties to accomplish more work and feel more fulfilled in their roles.
I have a strong awareness of business objectives and will look for ways to optimise delivery where I find an opportunity to do so. If I notice a skillset is lacking in one of my team mates I’ll try to find a way to tactfully, kindly and discreetly, enable them overcome it.
I’ve had many years’ experience at public speaking, I delight in writing well, and also enjoy designing graphics in Sketch, Illustator, Photoshop and similar programs.
The more I become involved in planning development projects, the more I find I enjoy the project scoping and design stage more and more.
In this, it seems in some ways as if I’ve come full circle because I’m using my writing skills again.
I really enjoy investigating, researching and coming to understand user requirements and documenting how we enable people to achieve them.
I’d like to keep my hand on the code. However, I am definitely seeing a role for myself in UX design that can utilise the skills I have acquired up to this point.