Mel Reams

Nerrrrd

Shitty hackathon!

Hackathons (and game jams) can be a lot of fun but there can also be a lot of pressure to build something that actually works and is good. Enter the stupid hackathon! The idea of a stupid hackathon is that you deliberately make something ridiculous and/or terrible. Suddenly the pressure is off and you can try stuff that you don’t know will work. A friend of mine heard about it and shared the idea,.. Read More

WordPress plugin of the day

A few weeks ago wordpress decided it didn’t feel like actually publishing my scheduled posts anymore. Technically I could’ve poured hours into figuring out exactly why wordpress was misbehaving but you know, part of being a senior dev is prioritizing :) Sometimes the five minute “install a plugin” fix is good enough. There are a bunch of plugins to fix the scheduled posts not actually posting issue, the one I chose is called.. Read More

Bridge design pattern

It’s design pattern time again! This time, let’s talk about the bridge design pattern. The bridge pattern is officially meant to “decouple an abstraction from its implementation so that the two can vary independently” which is just all kinds of helpful. The design patterns book has a lot of great ideas but they’re not always communicated especially clearly. That definition of the bridge pattern sounds an awful lot like the adapter.. Read More

Debugging tip of the day

loglevel=”TRACE” Alright, I guess I can give some details :) It’s amazing how helpful just turning up your log level can be when you’re working on a weird bug. If something you can’t immediately explain is happening, try turning up your log level. In java, where I have the most experience, it’s unusual to run your production logging at a level above warn or debug. Normally you wouldn’t want extremely verbose.. Read More

I Google things professionally

It’s pretty common to hear developers joke about how they get paid to Google things. Fun fact: we’re only kind of kidding. An enormous part of my job is Googling stuff. Tech changes so quickly it’s just not possible to know everything. It’s definitely not possible to keep up with everything, and it’s especially not possible to know the entire tech stack a new job uses. No two company’s tech stacks are the.. Read More

“Show me what you build, and I will tell you who you are.”

I think this talk by Eric Meyer is really interesting and worth watching. Be warned, he does discuss his daughter Rebecca’s death of brain cancer (not in detail), so maybe you don’t want to watch this one at work. Aside from the crushingly sad part, he has some really interesting stuff to say about how the way we build the tools we do (social media like twitter, facebook, linkedin, for.. Read More

When is it done?

“Done” is a surprisingly ambiguous word in software development. Back when I was in college I thought an assignment was “done” if it compiled and produced more or less the result I was expecting. Then I got a job in the industry :) It turns out “it compiles” doesn’t mean much when you need to ship software that handles edge cases correctly and works in more than one browser and.. Read More

Ember tip of the day

If you happen to find some example code that elegantly solves your exact problem, check which version of Ember it uses. Sometimes that perfect example is a few versions ahead and will do absolutely nothing for you. If you’re smarter than I am and check the version number right away, you can save yourself a good half hour of cleaning, rebuilding, and cursing. On the upside, if you need to iterate.. Read More

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