The Latest

Sign says "We love reading"

The Best Book I Borrowed from the Library this Year

Years ago, I read Seth Godin’s advice about how reading was the best value for the money.  One of my goals last year was to read more,  and it’s still a goal for this year.  I want to expand my breadth of knowledge and see the world from different viewpoints.  I love reading. I signed… Continue Reading

Git merge marker

How to Check for Git Merge Conflicts in Travis CI

We use Travis for Continuous Integration (CI).  In other words, we pay a bot called Travis to check our code before we deploy it live.  Travis checks for things like PHP syntax errors and runs all of our PHP unit tests to make sure that the new code change doesn’t break anything. What Travis checks… Continue Reading

Don’t build a dashboard from scratch (use WordPress)

Most programs require some sort of dashboard.  Reading over an article I wrote from 2016, I described an “Arbitrage” program that I built.  What would I have done differently if I were to build that today?  I would have used WordPress. I’d use a custom post type to store the data and use the Fieldmanager… Continue Reading

Software Development

Lego robot next to orange soda on the balcony in Cancun

If you know JavaScript, Learn PHP (Career Advice for Software Developers)

JavaScript is a popular first programming language. It is the language taught in frontend web development courses. JavaScript frameworks like React are very popular. With HTML & CSS & JavaScript, you have the perfect skillset to create a really awesome website. You can also build mobile apps with JavaScript.

5 Signs show the distance to major cities around the world

What I’ve Learned about Communication

I’ve learned as much about communication as I’ve learned about code since working at Alley (we’re hiring), a fully distributed digital agency. Since we all work remotely, communication happens using Slack and Zoom on the computer. While these tips outlined in this article certainly stem from things I’ve learned while working remotely, these are in… Continue Reading

Broken Flag Pole

How long does it take to fix software?

As a software developer, I’m interested and concerned about the state of our software. Software does not always work and even critical bugs often take hours or days before they are fixed. The cost on society of faulty software is huge. 6 hours to fix a 911 outage In my research on this topic, the… Continue Reading

More on Software Development

Web Development

How to Solve Software Bugs with Wrappers

It is possible to spend many hours and days trying to figure out WHY a bug occurs. Lately, I’ve decided that the fine detail of why the bug occurs doesn’t matter in some cases. That’s right, it doesn’t matter. All you need is a deep understanding of the problem.

enable checkbox setting

As a Web Developer, I should Add a Checkbox

I am dedicated to staying sane.  Sanity is not an option. But providing options may save your sanity, if you are a web developer.  Clients will rarely ask for the ability to turn something on and off.  Instead, they will describe the feature’s settings and appearance, but inevitably they will forget to tell you to… Continue Reading

How to Solve a Software Bug FAST

[ @todo: Insert photos of bugs and fun stuff.] It’s not always important to solve bugs with great speed.  In fact, “slow down” is a tip I give myself regularly.  BUT, it’s true that I’ve figured out some favorite techniques that help me solve software development bugs in a timely manner, and I hope you find… Continue Reading

Technical Leadership

Forest Fire

Put out the fire first.

Listening to some podcast which I’ve long since forgotten the name of, I heard a top executive talk about how there was always the fire of the day to put out. This small comment changed how I thought about my work. We have a list of things to do, but the most important task may… Continue Reading

The Best Code is the Code you don’t write

Earlier in my software development career, I would get an assignment and eagerly jump into writing the code.  Hours later — after frustration and then the joys of success — I had the code done. Writing the code was a learning experience for me — I got better at programming the more I practiced —… Continue Reading

Success with Prosopagnosia

Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness) Coping Strategies

Prosopagnosia is the inability to recognize faces.  Also known as “Face blindness.”  There are varying degrees.  Some people can’t even recognize their immediate family’s faces.  Other people have a more mild case where it’s hard to recognize people that they see infrequently, or follow a movie plot when actors are dressed similarly. I’ve been working… Continue Reading

What matters the most to you?

The only way we really increase our productivity is by choosing what to spend our time on.  Prioritization is what makes scrum teams more effective, and prioritization is the most important part of time management. Do the right things for the right reasons. And, the only way to do the right things, is to decide… Continue Reading

How to get a Remote Programming Job

Is working remotely important to you? Do you want to work from home? Or do you want to live the digital nomad lifestyle? A good programmer may be an introvert or a traveler, and more companies are figuring out that it doesn’t matter if their employees don’t live near each other — what matters is finding talent. Wherever it is.