Mel Reams


Atom plugin of the day

Lately I’ve been updating some docs that we generate from YAML files and while I do like YAML as a format (beats the hell out of XML, but that’s the kind of bar you trip over), it can be really painful to figure out where exactly you messed up your indenting. Fortunately, there’s an atom plugin for that! linter-js-yaml gives you incredibly fine-grained and helpful error messages. Isn’t that screenshot pretty? It’s.. Read More

How does a breadth-first search work, anyway?

In a recent post I mentioned having read an article about passing programming interviews that said it was important to be able to write a breadth-first search and to understand how hash maps work. I covered hash maps last time, so this time let’s talk about breadth-first searches. The first question is what on earth is a breadth first search? It’s a way of searching a tree structure. in a breadth-first.. Read More

Atom plugin of the day

Since I switched to Linux, I’ve had to find a replacement for my beloved notepad++. I went with Atom because I like the project view in the sidebar and I’m too cheap to pay for Sublime. Because I miss notepad++ so much, I’ve been slowly trying to make Atom behave as much like it as I can. One very simple plugin that helps me do that is selection-highlight, which highlights all occurrences.. Read More

How does a hash map work, anyway?

I was reading this article about programming interviews a little while ago and one of the things they mentioned was that “A startlingly high percentage of interview questions reduce to breadth-first search or the use of a hash table to count uniques. You need to be able to write a BFS cold, and you need to understand how a hash table is implemented.” I saw that and started thinking wait.. Read More

Mongo tip of the day

Mongo can be very weird to adjust to if you’re used to “normal” (SQL) databases. One thing that tripped me up a little was discovering that mongo throws a DuplicateKeyException when you try to insert a duplicate into a field that has a unique index but is not a key. If you see that exception and there’s nothing obviously wrong with your _id field (mongo’s version of a primary key), have a look at any.. Read More

First blogiversary!

I realized the other day my blog is just over a year old. My very first post was a Play framework tip that took two whole sentences to explain. Since then I’ve published 71 more posts, go me! Turns out one or two posts a week over a year really adds up. What I’ve learned from my year of blogging is that building a habit is way more important to blogging.. Read More

Learning How to Learn

I’ve been kind of skeptical about MOOCs (massive open online courses) for a while, but I took the Learning How to Learn course on Coursera and it was actually really good. Turns out there is free stuff that doesn’t suck :) Like any free resource, some MOOCs are great and some are… not. On the upside, the fact that they’re generally free (although some sites charge for a certificate of completion).. Read More

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