Live and die by the keyboard: How to be more productive!

Published: 01/28/2016

I live and die by the keyboard. The keyboard is my friend and it’s way faster to use an application using a keyboard then it is to use a mouse. In fact there are many studies that show that for non-complex key combinations keyboard shortcuts and aliases are much faster then using the mouse.

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Improve professional communication

Published: 01/25/2016

As software engineers we communicate far more then most people expect. We constantly communicate wether we write code, talk at standups or respond to emails. Professional communication is essential. Something that I have been working on for myself is improving my professional communication.

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URLs and the browser

Published: 01/18/2016

I love working with the web, there is so much to know and learn about web development. Have you ever thought about the URL? I recently learned quite a bit about the URL. The URL is composed primarily of a few things:

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Start a blog!

Published: 01/14/2016

While I don’t blog the most consistently, certainly the holidays didn’t help. I have recently discovered that I really like writing, getting to express myself in the written form has been liberating. Listening to a guy like the Simple Programmer has inspired me to think of what I could do with my career through my blog. I could start my own training program for new programmers, I could tutor more and I could even speak at a conference. Honing my skills and grammar will allow me to write a book “some day soon”.

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Be a professional mentor!

Published: 01/11/2016

A few months ago I decided I wanted to make a little bit of extra money on the side of my main job. I thought it would be nice to have a source of income that I could use to buy things like skis or bikes or other cool gear for my hobbies. I decided to start tutoring, teaching people about software engineering and how to build applications. Man did I meet a LOT of different people, from startup execs to doctors transitioning into the field to people who haven’t used a computer beyond facebook.

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Books I read in 2015

Published: 01/08/2016

In 2015 I read 31 books. I am totally amazed at the number of books that I read because the year before I’m pretty sure I only read about 5 books. Each book is put into a category, and I’ll review the category and call out specific books that I feel are really special.

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Scrum is the new waterfall

Published: 11/10/2015

Scrum while great in theory is in practice a really flawed process of creating software. Scrum is iterative waterfall. Scrum is process hell. Saying this, may get me shunned and kicked out of the Agile club. But I really believe that the bane of our industry is the process management called “Scrum”.

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Thoughts for Thursday: Have some sample code

Published: 11/05/2015

Code is like a living resume. You are constantly changing and learning, or at least I hope you are. If you’re a developer, you may never know when you might be out of a job, so just like it’s a great idea to keep your resume up to date, I highly recommend keeping some sample code around.

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Meetings are a finite resource

Published: 10/20/2015

My team at UHG has about 13 individual team members. We have 3 full time developers, 3 part time developers, a scrum master, business analyst, product owner, engineering director, project manager and two QA testers.

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Write better specs!

Published: 09/29/2015

I love RSpec. It’s one of the best tools on the web for opensource developers to write tests. Nothing compares to its power, ability and extensibility. Mocha and Chai for Javascript pale in comparison to its ability to test.

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Thoughts for Thursday: Lazy rebasing

Published: 09/24/2015

Rebasing is extremely useful, lets say you branched off of release 1.8.3 and need to fix a defect, but it wasn’t completed until 1.8.3 was already on production and 1.8.4 is the new hotness. git rebase release1.8.4 defectBranchName will take defectBranchName and reapply the commits over release1.8.4’s history instead of what it was originally based off of.

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My story

Published: 09/22/2015

I’ve been developing for the web for over 10 years. I started writing for the web when I was 13. At 17 I got enough freelance work to pay for my first year of college (and buying a nice Macbook). It took me 6 and a half years of going to school while working full time to graduate. In all of that time I have learned a lot about the internet and about working with people.

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Automated E2E testing using protractor

Published: 09/15/2015

At UHG we use Protractor to test our Backbone app for automated E2E dev only regression tests. We do this as apart of an automated CI process to ensure every branch we ingrate doesn’t break existing functionaility. Today, I’m going to walk you through our setup and how you can use Protractor (an Angular tool) to test your non-Angular app. 

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Give helpful feedback

Published: 09/08/2015

I’ve been told I’m one of the most coachable employee’s by one my most recent managers. The reason why is because I’m open to constructive feedback about anything. Think my coding sucks because of xyz? Great, whats the impact to the business and my team? I’ll change it. Does my code suck because you didn’t write it? Get lost, pal.

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