Does This Compliment Sandwich Taste Funny to You?

4 minute read Published:

Chowing down on a compliment sandwich can leave you with a bad aftertaste. Let's discuss the flavor profile of this managerial delicacy, and the secret sauce that just might save it.

Eight words.

“Hey, can I see you in my office?”

Whatever important tasks hung spinning in the air around you darken to match your widening pupils, then plummet to the floor in a slow-motion Broadway disaster. Eight words and the serene, ever-smiling avatar of your boss.

Legacy Software: Raze and Pave or Stand Fast and Refactor

4 minute read Published:

Alternatively known as the "big-bang rewrite", the Big Rewrite, "burn and rebuild", or "raze and pave", the end result is the same — lots of work. *Can* you do it? Probably. But there's an even more important question: *Should* you?

Prologue: Merek vs the Old Library

The last tattered shred of hope clung limply to its flagpole and flew at half mast.

“Where did we go wrong?”, Merek grimaced. Hopes in Köd Kingdom had flown so high, higher than the green and black banners billowing proudly atop the castle spires. The day they’d broken ground— the popping corks and howling cheers still echoed mirthfully down his ear canals. Only the wind howled now.

Use SSH with multiple GitLab.com accounts

3 minute read Published:

Working with your Git repo over SSH is convenient and secure. Here's the trick to using SSH with multiple GitLab.com accounts.
Here’s the situation: The easiest and most secure way to interact with Git repos hosted on GitLab is over the SSH protocol. While most people only use one GitLab.com account, a freelancer or consultant might need to work with repos from multiple accounts. If that freelancer attempts to upload their public SSH key to multiple accounts, they’ll get the following error message from GitLab: Fingerprint has already been taken.

Moving from Rails to Vue Saved Me Headaches — and $84/Year

20 minute read Modified:

I truly intended to use Rails' extra features. First life just got in the way. And then Rails did.

Grab a bowl of buttery popcorn because the saga continues! The end of the previous chapter saw our intrepid little Rails app camping happily on Heroku. This latest chapter in the hosting chronicles brings with it a twist: not just a change in host, but a complete migration from one programming language to another.

The app is no longer on Heroku, and it’s no longer written in Ruby or Rails. It’s written in JavaScript, hosted by Netlify, and it’s getting by with a little help from its new friend, Vue.js.

Onward for the Why’s, How’s, and Gottchas of the switch.

Beyond the Hype — Is Hugo the Right Fit for Your Site?

6 minute read Published:

Is Hugo the right match for your site, and is it worth the hype? Here's what you need to know, reader's digest style.

Static site generators aren’t new, but something about the fresh simplicity of Hugo is turning heads. We’re in the early stages of the Gartner Hype Cycle, but expect to see media outlets abuzz with tales of Hugo “making waves” and “disrupting stuff”. Even de facto strongholds like WordPress have begun losing ground to the inexorable spread of the Static Invasion.

But between all the skirmishes, turf wars, and soap-box-soliloquies, how do you know if Hugo is the right match for your site, or if it’s even worth the hype? Here’s what you need to know, reader’s digest style. (from Migrating WordPress to Hugo, Step-by-Step)

Stuff Nobody Tells You About Teaching Online

24 minute read Published:

Five months and 200 hours later, I’m standing tall, arms-folded, my first-ever training course live on the video wall behind me. How’d I get here?

I won’t kid you; the road to course creation is riddled with potholes, roadblocks, and sketchy checkpoints. It was hard. But the solution to each obstacle taught me new skills and valuable life lessons. I think it’s time to document those lessons.

"Migrate from WordPress to Hugo, Step by Step": What to expect.

4 minute read Published:

You've got a WordPress site you want to migrate to the Hugo static site generator. Now there's a fun course that will help you do it, safely and efficiently. What should you expect from the course?
Hugo isn’t even at version 1.0 yet, and it’s already of the one of best static site generators in the world. A switch from WordPress to Hugo can save you money, improve site performance, and harden site security. For the shiny gopher-shaped cherry on top, do I dare say it? — Hugo is fun. With your current site stuck in WordPress, how do you get from point WP to point Hugo?

An old code-poke dishes on wrist care

10 minute read Modified:

The intriguing true story of one programmer's battle with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and the multipronged attack strategy which led him to a victorious recovery.

Night is falling as the old cowboy coder pauses his story to stoke the flickering campfire. You lean in slightly, eager to hear more.

A deliberate man, he takes a draw from his tin mug and then exhales contentedly, gazing into the fire. Deliberate? — Maybe he just values a good dramatic pause, you decide.

“Trouble was,” he continues, “click-clacking the day away was hard on the old wrists. Before long, I found myself square on the littered trail to neuropathy. A wise old country doc told me I had…” He pauses briefly, then pronounces each word like a hiker carefully negotiating rocky terrain, “carpal tunnel syndrome.”

You can’t help but gasp.

Run for better code

23 minute read Modified:

You’re a programmer, software craftsman, full-stack developer, software engineer. But regardless of the titles dangling from your Twitter bio, if you want to greatly improve the quality of your code and indeed the quality of your life, there’s one more title you should consider tacking on there: “Runner”…

Essential markdown cheatsheet

2 minute read Published:

The only markdown you really need to know.

Markdown is a great way to format text inline, without getting in your way. i.e. it’s not ugly and cumbersome like HTML tags, and your hands don’t have to leave the keyboard to access formatting toolbars like they might in a traditional text editor. Personally, markdown helps keep me “in the zone” when I’m writing. That’s why this site uses markdown for nearly all its formatting needs.

You can learn markdown in about 5 minutes. Here’s a cheatsheet to get you started!

9 rules for debugging anything (Book Review)

5 minute read Published:

Code flows effortlessly from your nimble fingers, like fine cloth from a loom. Your face is serene, focused, content. Suddenly, a wrinkle appears in your brow, breaking that pleasant mask of serenity. The frown deepens. “That can’t be right…” What happened? A bug! A hairy bug lurks fiendishly somewhere in that elegant tapestry of code love. How did the bug slip past you? You were so careful! A frustrated hour passes, then two. You comb through each strand of code, retrace your steps through the intricate lattice of if, when, and for

We sink so much time into the deep pit that is debugging. Yet for all the time we spend on it, there is surprisingly little literature written on the subject. A notable exception is Debugging: The 9 Indispensable Rules for Finding Even the Most Elusive Software and Hardware Problems, by David J Agans.