Learning To Code How To Test My Notepad Online

The latest news on My Notepad’s app update.

Maryanne Roller is a writer, radio host, and frequent contributor to Boing Boing, Best of Reddit, XKCD, and Nerdist. At the Writer’s Block — our weekly content series — she can be found experimenting with different methods of putting words on paper or tweaking her work in longhand. She’d like to hear your stories, tips, and questions — email her at mroslinger@nerdist.com.

Image: Touchdown, by Netflix

Everyday you find yourself in a ridiculous situation with a work app. You’re like, “Look, it says I can resize the template. I don’t even know what I have to do.” So you go online to see how things work, and boom, you fail. What do you do when you’re behind? How should you get things right?

An Excel document? An OpenOffice doc?

If I could just make everything super easy and already know how to use it, I’d start with the app that comes with most work apps. I’m a big app freak. I love the intuitive design and controls, and I like how pretty everything looks.

But the problem is, when I start out with a program, my brain is like, “I’m going to learn this!” So I want to be able to say “no,” but I’m not allowed to. But there is software that teaches you the basics—basically the entire operating system of a computer or software you use every day. I’m learning about a product called Test My Notepad.

Am I under the assumption that I’m using this anyhow?

Absolutely not. When I get this app installed on my laptop, it literally acts like a notepad in Chrome, so I need to know how it works before I use it to make edits to my notes. It’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s a good lesson in going into something prepared and learning the basics.

What should I do when something goes wrong?

I have these two approaches for things that go wrong, which are pretty similar for any project that involves software. First, I’ve got an app I use regularly. If you’re like me, one of your favorite programs is this app I’m using right now. How would you get it back up and running after it went down? My approach: Initiate a service outage.

You know what I’m talking about? Like a notification that says, “If I can’t open your email, I’m sorry, I can’t access your app!” Okay. Okay. Here’s the premise: Once it’s been determined that you can’t use that app, the solution is to take your app out of commission for a little while and try to see what happens without it. Or ask someone with a lot of knowledge in that area to shut down your app, or tell someone you’re going through a big transition. I’ve made a mental note to do this with any app that’s been down for two or three days. Maybe I’ll get it down to one or two days. It depends on how much trust I have in that app.

That doesn’t sound like a great solution, though.

Absolutely not. There are lots of possible scenarios. Sometimes it can be almost like a digital version of being there with somebody else. So do you want to be the one who can’t access this app? You go live in a field or a park. Whatever it is, do that, and see how that feeling feels.

Then comes the step where you’re the person who’s thinking, “I don’t know how to take this out, but I’m gonna do it.” Just like you wouldn’t think, “My app is down, I have to bring my laptop back into the office, and put my lap in the air to get the device back on,” and then do that. Just carry it out and do that, and then after that, you really have to go to the app store and say, “That’s no good. That’s a horrible app. I like this app, why the hell am I putting this horrible app back on my platform?”

So then what?

Well, that’s when you’re the one in the control room with you and another staffer in your office, watching this app once again go down, and these woes are now your job. It’s gonna be a lot more messy than you think.

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