Mel Reams


Android app of the day

Smartphones are freaking amazing for absent minded people like me. I’ve been able to give people the totally false impression that I’m organized because I put reminders for absolutely every appointment into my calendar :) Another way I trick people into thinking I can remember to do things is by using a handy little android app called toastr (sorry iOS users, there doesn’t seem to be a version for you). Toastr does.. Read More

Why your QA department is smarter than you

Something that’s baffled me for a long time is the animosity some programmers have for the QA department. It’s incredibly frustrating to try to get a feature out and have QA find bugs over and over, but that’s not the QA department being jerks, that’s them doing their jobs properly. QA people actually do a lot of awesome things for us developers. They protect us from releasing a broken product.. Read More

SMTP testing tip of the day

Through painful experience, I’ve learned that most dummy SMTP servers you can use for integration tests do not support SSL. This is more than a little irritating if you want to automate testing for SSL connections. Fortunately, there is one dummy email server that I’ve found that actually supports just about any protocol you could want, including SSL: GreenMail. The GreenMail examples are very helpful, but there is one more.. Read More

Get out there and vote!

If you didn’t already vote in the advance polls, get out there and vote! Remember, if you don’t vote you don’t get to complain about the government ;) If you’re not sure who to vote for, have a look at these 25 reasons Harper is bad for Canada, or Harper Watch, or shit harper did. Or just look at the news lately. If that’s not a reason to vote Anyone.. Read More

Play framework tip of the day

Sometimes Eclipse will randomly decide not to rebuild your project, insist you haven’t added something that you just added, and throw errors all over the place. You can trick it into behaving itself by closing and reopening the project. I don’t know why that works but sometimes it helps when nothing else does.

So what is the play framework anyway?

The Play framework is a super scale lightweight java (and Scala) web app framework. It’s built on top of Akka, a toolkit and runtime, which, to quote their website: helps you build highly concurrent, distributed, and resilient message-driven applications on the JVM. So why is Play special and what makes it so different from something like Spring? Play gets all kinds of nifty async features from Akka. Normally java is all synchronous – if you need to get something.. Read More

Cold & Flu tip of the day

Get the fancy tissues with lotion. Yes they sound stupid. Get them anyway, they are really and truly worth it. And don’t push yourself too hard, you’ll just make yourself sicker. I’m still working on that one myself, but it’s good advice in general.


There’s no way I can possibly say everything about debugging in just one blog post, but I can certainly share a few useful tips. First, let’s talk about what debugging fundamentally is. It’s the art of seeing what actually is, not what you meant or what you thought. It’s going to be uncomfortable, and if you get too tied up in your own ego you won’t be able to do it.. Read More

Ember tip of the day

If you use Ember.js and you need to update one element of an array inside you rmodel, you need to use the .replace() method. Getting and updating your array will not work, neither will trying to use this.set(‘model.array[index]’). Ember won’t register your changes unless you call the .replace() method, so do that :) And yes, I’m writing this blog post to remind myself, I spent a good hour or two earlier.. Read More

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