A Retrospective on Scrum Retrospectives

I recently read Matthew McConaughey’s book Green Lights. Like many autobiographies, in some respects it was him performing a retrospective on his life so far. He specifically talked about the good things in his life, calling them “green lights”. In detail he described stories about his brothers, parents, friends, roles that he played and eventful times in his life. He was able to do that, look back on 50 years in detail, because he journaled constantly for most of his life. Without his journals documenting his life it might be impossible to do this type of thorough review.

October 7, 2021

4 tips for cleaner, more readable javascript

I know, your project is under a super tight deadline and your team is way over capacity this sprint and the release is overdue. Got it, I’ve been there too plenty of times and I totally understand your plight. This is typically why our javascript misses some attention. Tight deadlines have been the culprit of messy code for as long as projects have had deadlines. Let’s be honest though, your code needs to be readable by your teammates and your code is complex. Even the easy stuff is complex in the context of an entire project. As a developer its not only your job to code your story or get your ticket through QA, but it’s your job to write your Javascript in a way that can be easily updated by someone else several months or years later. Don’t worry, I got you covered with some easy tips that should help you write cleaner, more team-oriented Javascript. ?

April 23, 2021

Amplifying your online presence for front-end devs

Hiring managers are lazy. Trust me I know, because I am one (at least part of the time). As a part of my job I’ve been the primary person in charge of screening resumes and interviewing candidates both technical and non-technical for a year or so now. My primary job is still a front end developer so finding the bandwidth to go thru resumes is challenging, especially when resumes blend in to each other and don’t stand out. I’d rather not phone screen a million candidates with similar resumes to find who is the best fit. Ideally I want the better candidates to shine, or stand out from others in an obvious fashion. Here’s my advice to make the job easy for the hiring managers out there by amplifying your online presence.

February 24, 2018

3 Techniques for teams to tame their CSS beast

CSS is a beast. It’s a mean, ugly beast. It’s a beast that’s hard to maintain and keep organized especially as the scale of your project increases. If you relax and don’t keep an eye on it, it ends up running rampant. While it can be tough taming the beast by yourself, it actually gets even tougher with the more people you add to the mix. You’d think that multiple people could team up on the beast. But in reality, the CSS beast thrives against teams. Teams can make it a fair fight, however, by adhering to these 3 CSS taming-techniques:

November 29, 2017

Meeting personas

I’m taking a turn away from my usual front end development posts and going to talk about work meetings and calendar management for a few posts. If you work for a big company like me (I work at Bank of America) you probably have a lot of meetings of all shapes, sizes, and importance. Eventually your calendar is crammed with meetings and you have less and less time to write CSS and Javascript. If you don’t stay on top of your calendar – and more or less beat it into submission – you will find yourself writing a lot less code and attending a lot more meetings. But, in order to manage your calendar effectively, you have to understand the 4 different meeting personas…

May 18, 2017

Handlebars JS Training Course, Part 3

So far we’ve done a lot with Handlebars and we’re noticing by now that the Handlebars library is very intuitive. It’s also very feature-rich. There’s a lot you can do with it. In part 3 of this video training series on Handlebars I’ve put together 3 youtube videos that start to explore deeper subject matter: working with data that isn’t so flat and the two different types of custom helpers that you can create: expressions and blocks.

September 1, 2016

Handlebars JS Training Course, Part 2

In part 1, after we got started we created our first Handlebars template and then got to know the Handlebars.compile() function. We wrapped up by learning about the {{#each}} helper. In part 2, we begin by adding some CSS – so our layout stands out a bit. We then explore the {{#if}} helper and the {{#unless}} helper. The 8th video in the series covers a ton of ground as we spin up a Gulp server, move our data from a Javascript object to a separate JSON file and Ajax it on to our page.

August 6, 2016

Introducing Rock, Paper, Scissors Battle!

I started this project at the end of December 2015 and have recently gotten it to a good point here, releasing it in-beta at the end of February 2016. Creating a rock, paper, scissors game is an exercise/project that Codecademy has in its Javascript course. More than a year ago I had taken this course and decided to go further with the Codecademy exercise and build a pretty simple, really ugly looking, but usable RPS game on my own. At that time I had found myself getting programmed in to corners that I couldn’t get out of. The code was a mess and I gave up on it.

March 15, 2016

Local Storage 101

It’s been said that Local Storage is nothing but a shelf.* Shelves may not be the most head-turning things in the world, but when you need to store something that can be readily available, a shelf can be incredibly useful. Javascript variables stored in memory are completely lost when you do a page refresh. Web Storage allows you to put Javascript variables on a shelf, go away and do other things like refresh the page, and then when you come back, you can access that Javascript variable.

November 25, 2015

Custom Directives in Angular

A few built in directive include ng-app, ng-view, ng-repeat, ng-if, and all the other ng-somethings are examples of Angular’s built-in directives. Directives enhance HTML to do special things that cannot be done with plain ol’ HTML. For instance, adding the ng-if attribute to an HTML element will conditionally render that element if its expression evaluates to true. Likewise, adding the ng-repeat attribute will repeat an HTML element for items in an array. These types of programming features, control flow and looping, aren’t inherent parts of HTML. Directives add these extra super powers to your markup. Along with built-in directives, Angular allows you to create custom directives which can make up a large portion of your Angular JS application.

November 10, 2015

Javascript Quick Tip:
Recognizing Truthy Values in conditional logic

My Javascript knowledge, started by learning jQuery. Although I think starting with jQuery is a good way to learn Javascript, in most jQuery tutorials they don’t go into the basics of Javascript. And they certainly don’t teach you all the different shorthands and nuances there are in Javascript (I’m not saying they should either). If you’re learning jQuery or maybe a framework like Angular without much programming experience, I think it’s helpful to understand this basic shorthand for evaluating to true.

October 9, 2015

Understanding Basic DOM Traversal in jQuery

Traversing the DOM using jQuery tends to be most useful when you’ve got the same sections of code, or modules, repeating on a page. And, more importantly, the same action can occur in those modules that needs to be specific to the module where it happens. Let’s face it, if the action only happens in one spot to specific elements we’re probably fine attaching specific IDs to those elements and targeting our jQuery at those ID’s. However, these repeating, actionable portions of code is where I find DOM traversal to be the most useful in order to keep jQuery code succint. Here are some useful DOM traversal methods and examples to get you started.

November 4, 2014

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