• How to Parse URLs in Markdown

    I have been spending some free time hacking on a little Markdown library in Ruby. It’s a fun project. I hadn’t built a Markdown library before, and it’s good practice to work on something that isn’t necessarily work, but for fun and learning. It’s a great way to play around and not worry about how long it takes, or how fast it is. One last point. It’s a great way to play with new things without worrying about budgets or breaking anything.

    It’s in a pretty ugly state. The class is called Render and the main method is also called render. I’ll change that later. As I’m writing tests, the word render kept coming to mind, so I went with it.

    Continue Reading How to Parse URLs in Markdown →
  • No Work Fridays

    I don’t work on Fridays. Well, mostly. I may do a little work in the morning. An hour or two. But typically, I take Fridays off.

    I’m working a contract right now that allows me to have my agreed upon hours in by the end of the day Thursday.

    This has turned into a day for my wife and I. It started as just me sitting around watching Netflix. Like your typical fat lazy slob. But the last few weeks, Linda has had some stuff for us to do.

    I now look forward to these days. Family has always been super important to me, and when software developers are always on and seem to be always working, this is a great way to spend some family time and disconnect.

    Super grateful. Four day work weeks are the best.

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  • Disable Webmock To Make Real Requests

    Mocking and stubbing in testing has always been my kryptonite. I know I’m not very good at it, and because of that I tend to steer clear of it when I can. Obviously not a good strategy. So I’m forcing myself to use it more.

    One big thing for me is actually making an API request at times, like when building the feature, and then bypassing the request once I know it works. WebMock, while awesome, seems to hijack all requests regardless of what you are doing.

    I finally put some effort into finding out how to disable it so I can ensure it works first.

    Just place WebMock.disable! right in your test until you ready to start faking the requests.

    Continue Reading Disable Webmock To Make Real Requests →
  • Why Doesn’t Backend Tech Change That Often

    I wonder why we don’t hear more about backend technology changes. We often hear that some software product ripped out a certain front-end tool for a different one. Most recently I’ve heard about React being ripped out. But I seem to remember Ember and certainly Backbone being mentioned in the same sort of conversations. The only server side change I can recall is when Twitter ditched Rails.

    I have a theory.

    A short disclaimer: this isn’t intended as front-end hate. Simply an observation.

    Most backend frameworks do different things. Take Sinatra and Rails for example. Both web frameworks. But one simply has some routing and views, while the other is comprehensive. It manages database connection details, secret encryption, asset minification and serving, and even uploading files.

    When you need something simple, you grab Sinatra. When you need something much larger, you grab Rails.

    The only time you need to change backend tools is when you change languages. Ruby can be slow. If you needed to deal with several connections, like Twitter, you may reach for a language that is more performant.

    This isn’t the case with front-end. Rarely does something introduce something new. It seems to be a refresh on the same thing. I just spent some time reviewing VueJS. It’s not that different from React. Both serve a view layer, have component support, and are reactive. It’s just syntax.

    There is something to be said about technology maturity and stability.

    Continue Reading Why Doesn’t Backend Tech Change That Often →
  • How to Match a Partial String in a Ruby Array

    The other day I was working on a feature that takes some form content, conditionally sets parameters and sends that data to a third party so another team can access it.

    I ran into a slight issue that was sort of surprising to me. I have an array of field values that I can’t control the formatting before I get it. It’s kind of silly, but it is what it is.

    The data comes from a series of checkboxes, and looks something like this.

    [“The Lemon Song”, “Whole Lotta Love”, “Dazed and Confused”]
    Continue Reading How to Match a Partial String in a Ruby Array →
  • How To Structure React Components

    I’ve been working with React for a while now. Actually, just about every project I work on lately has been React with various back ends. React is pretty simple. But if you have been away from JavaScript for awhile, there will be some things that may take a while to understand. Well, not necessarily understand. More like develop a taste for.

    Because they are so many ways to do things in React, you end up developing a taste of how you like to structure things. A way that things work best for you.

    Today, how small I should make components clicked. I mean I knew how to make components. And I knew what seemed like a good system, but it turns out I wasn’t breaking them down enough.

    Continue Reading How To Structure React Components →
  • Building API Driven React Applications

    I recently gave a presentation at Toledo Web Professionals on API design. Something that I feel isn’t talked about enough. Since I’ve been working almost exclusively in React apps for the past several months, I concentrated on the API side of React applications. As far as an API is concerned, the front end tech doesn’t matter, but it was created around my recent experiences and starting from React made the most sense.

    Continue Reading Building API Driven React Applications →
  • Using Path to Find Files in Vim

    I’m a Vim user, and I use CtrlP to find files quickly. Occasionally when I don’t know the name of the file, I’ll jump into the :edit command to find where I need to be. if I’m really unsure, I’ll use :explore to get a tree view.

    There are lots of ways to find files in Vim. Typing a few letters and hitting tab is okay, but fuzzy matching a file name is best and fastest option.

    Continue Reading Using Path to Find Files in Vim →
  • So Long Whitelabel, It's Been Fun

    After three years, it’s time for the next chapter. I am no longer at Whitelabel and have started on my next adventure.

    I enjoyed my time at Whitelabel. There are some really great people there doing some really great work. I learned a lot while I was there. I learned about myself, what I enjoy, where I want to be, and I learned a lot about where I don’t want to be, and what I don’t enjoy.

    Continue Reading So Long Whitelabel, It's Been Fun →
  • Fundamentals of Programming

    When I first learned programming, I was focused on one programming language. And that makes sense for all new people to programming. There is a lot to take in. In addition to programming fundamentals, there are plenty of programming language warts to get through. Each language has them, and it’s valuable to worry about just one language’s warts, rather then try to work through all the new stuff your learning.

    Continue Reading Fundamentals of Programming →

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