Mel Reams


Link of the day: Queues Don’t Fix Overload

I really enjoyed this post about how Queues Don’t Fix Overload, it does a great job of explaining why bolting something onto your application without digging into the root cause of your problems will just make things worse in the long run. Bonus link: I found that post in the Programming Beyond Practices newsletter by Gregory Brown, which I also recommend. Have a look at the archives, there’s some good stuff in.. Read More

There’s always something else to learn

Not long ago I read this blog post Why Learning to Code is So Damn Hard, which makes a really interesting point about the “desert of despair” between beginning to learn to code and having the skills to build a complete project on your own. The desert of despair, according to the post (which I agree with) is a combination of lack of resources for learners who are between beginner and expert,.. Read More

Relaxation app of the day

Remember that delightfully sweary “F*ck that, an honest meditation” video? It’s an Android and iOS app now! As silly as it sounds, it really does help me relax. I find that relentlessly cheerful “everything is great!” guided meditations just annoy me when everything is not great, even if “not great” is sometimes as minor as having fought with a badly documented API all day. The F*ck that video and app.. Read More

Development is communication

Much like development is maintenance and a creative field, development is also communication. One of the hardest problems I’ve run into with programming isn’t the programming itself, it’s making sure I’m actually building the right thing and fully understand the requirements. Just because it’s obvious to you that a feature should work a certain way doesn’t mean it isn’t equally obvious to someone else that it should work a different.. Read More

Redis tip of the day

Redis has a few commands that are dangerously similar. Two of them are rpush and rpushx. rpush appends items to the list at the given key, and creates a new list if the key doesn’t already exist. rpushx, on the other hand, appends items to the list at the given key if and only if the key already exists. If that key doesn’t exist, nothing happens. If you use redis for anything, make.. Read More

How do binary trees work, anyway?

Programming interview concepts are back! You can find the rest of those posts under the how does it work? tag. Before we talk about how a binary tree works, we should probably talk about what it is. A binary tree is just a tree data structure where each node has at most two children. Thank you wikipedia :) There’s nothing preventing you from making a tree where each node has more than two children,.. Read More

IDE of the day

If you work with javascript, you need to try JetBrains WebStorm. It has a bunch of really great features I don’t use (I hear there’s support for node and angular and typescript) and sweet, sweet auto complete :) I still wish it was possible to have strongly-typed Eclipsey levels of auto complete with javascript, but something is much better than nothing. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but WebStorm is pretty.. Read More

What is good code anyway?

One of the many things that it took me a while to get a really solid handle on after college is what good code actually is. As a beginner, my idea of good versus bad code was solely based on whether it worked or not, it didn’t make sense to me that working code could be ‘bad.’ I was reading this blog post about writing good code (it’s really good, you should read.. Read More

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