Git tip of the day

Git is more than a little intimidating when you’re first getting started. Fortunately my friend Jen Reiher made this excellent flow chart to help you. Also, tell me that URL isn’t awesome :) The reason I like this flowchart so much is that it’s really clearly broken down into steps and doesn’t drown you in information you don’t need. A lot of git guides start talking about branching and merging.. Read More

Passion isn’t everything

This post is a bit of a counterpoint to my previous post about why I love programming even though it’s frustrating as hell sometimes. While I feel very lucky that I get to make a living doing something I love, I really don’t like my industry’s obsession with passion. It’s great if you feel passionate about programming, but it’s simply not necessary. “But Mel,” you say “do you really want to.. Read More

Javascript tip of the day

If you write javascript, you probably use console.log() all the time. The other day I stumbled across this video (quite possible in javascript weekly, a newsletter I recommend if you work in javascript regularly) with a really great and very simple tip: if you’re logging an object that contains other objects, use console.table() instead. I didn’t know that was a thing! It gives you really nice easy to read output in the.. Read More

Does it actually need to be optimized?

Learning to focus on one tiny part of your problem and ignore everything else is a really useful skill as a dev, but ironically it can also get you into trouble. It’s just as important to keep the bigger picture in mind as it is to break your problem down into little pieces and do them one at a time. Why yes, this is one of those posts that is.. Read More

.NET JWT library tip of the day

If you use JWTs (JSON web tokens) and need to generate or consume them in .NET, you might get the idea that the Microsoft library listed on is the way to go. It’s by Microsoft, that means it’s official and trustworthy, right? Don’t be fooled! I mean, it is official and trustworthy, but I had a horrible time trying to use it. Save yourself the trouble and use jose-jwt if you need to.. Read More

How does binary search work, anyway?

Or, yet another blog post idea I stole from that article about programming interview concepts. You can find the rest of those posts under the how does it work? tag. Binary search is an extremely simple idea that’s useful for much more than finding an element in a sorted array. The way binary search works is you compare the item you want to find with the item in the middle of.. Read More

Linux Mint Cinnamon tip of the day

If you happen to run the Cinnamon desktop on Linux Mint I highly recommend the System Tray Collapsible applet. If you don’t run that exact distro and desktop, this post is going to be really boring for you :) System Tray Collapsible lets you hide icons in the system tray. It’s probably meant to reduce the space your system tray takes up, but what I use it for is hiding.. Read More

Why do it?

So last Monday I talked about how frustrating programming can be and how important sheer bloody-mindedness is if you want to be a programmer. If that made you wonder why on earth someone would choose to do this, I couldn’t blame you :) I love programming because I love building things. It’s just fun to make stuff – who doesn’t love LEGO? But even better than LEGO, if you mess.. Read More