Mel Reams


Windows to Linux: first impressions

Like I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been experimenting with Linux. Somehow I broke my development environment at work and stopped being able to run our whole unit test suite. Well, technically I could run it, but it took a minimum of 40 minutes and a good quarter of the tests failed, so effectively I couldn’t run the test suite at work. Even at home, where I hadn’t broken.. Read More

Linux app of the day

I’ve been experimenting with switching to Linux (well mostly, I still need Windows for games), and so far it’s been weirdly easy. The only real problem I’ve run into so far, and it’s not much of a problem, is that I really love SlickRun and there’s no Linux version. Fortunately there is something SlickRun-like, Gnome Do. It works great for me on Linux Mint and it was really easy to change.. Read More


Everybody screws up sometimes and I wish we talked about it more. One of many things that I think scares off new programmers is the belief that if you ever fuck up then you’re just not cut out to be a programmer. That’s totally not true, even experienced professional programmers make mistakes. All making a mistake means is that you tried to do something that’s actually difficult, it’s not the.. Read More

Development is maintenance

Professional programming and the kind of programming you learn in college/university/bootcamp/etc are actually very different things. Despite what you learned in school, development is really maintenance. In other words, I’m here to crush your dreams :) So, you know how in school you started new projects from the ground up all the time? Yeah, you’ll hardly ever do that at work. Now, sometimes you will need to research new technologies and/or.. Read More

Dev tool of the day

You know what’s incredibly helpful? RequestBin! Why is it so great? Because testing webhooks sucks and RequestBin makes it easy. Logging your output is a good start but that can’t tell you which IP your request is actually coming from. RequestBin can, which is awesome when you’re trying to figure out whether the Elastic IP you set up in AWS is working correctly. It also shows you all of your output (in a nice human-readable format,.. Read More

If it’s hard to explain, it’s probably a bad idea

One of the things I struggled with when I was new to programming was how to tell whether a given piece of code is good or not. When everything is new and confusing, how do you tell bad confusing from normal confusing? One thing that will give you a very helpful hint is if you code is hard to explain. Like this Python style guide puts it: If the implementation.. Read More

Android app of the day

One of my very favourite Android apps is actually one of the ones I use the least. Gentle Alarm does what it says on the tin, it wakes you up gently instead of startling you awake like normal alarms. I don’t know about you but I really hate starting my day grumpy about how I got jolted awake. Gentle Alarm is a bit more complicated to set up than the usual.. Read More

Productivity is overrated

A little while ago I posted a productivity tip and immediately started worrying that I sounded like one of those awful productivity gurus who preach maximum productivity all day every day what do you mean leisure has value? I want to be very clear here: my worth as a human being is not measured by how much stuff I get done and neither is yours. My sole interest in productivity is.. Read More

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