React.js: The Hard Parts

Getting started with React is easy. You don’t need anything fancy – just use and off you go. React doesn’t need to be part of a single page app, you can progressively add it to existing apps. The API for React is mostly just JavaScript concepts. The documentation is excellent, and there are a lot of helpful free resources available. JSX can be awkward at first, but it’s just HTML for the most part, so it’s easy to pick up. »

Front-end Web Development in 2017

Web development appears to have a furious rate of change so keeping up can be overwhelming. In reality, though, stable changes don’t happen that often. To put things into perspective: the hottest JavaScript framework right now, React.js, was created four years ago. jQuery is ten years old and is still on 70% of the top 10k websites. One sane approach is to avoid the hype train and stay on firm ground. Sometimes it’s a good idea to watch the framework jostling from a distance. That said, front-end web development has reached an unprecedented level of maturity, and there’s a lot of warranted excitement. »

Long Hiatus

I haven’t posted on this website in a few years. The difficulties I have experienced in getting going again have made me appreciate even more the people who work full-time and still manage to contribute to the software community through blog posts, videos, and open source code. I want to write more, and actually publish. To get things started off, I would like to share some of the interesting experiences from the last few years as a full-stack software developer. »

Designing & Building RESTful JSON APIs

Yesterday I gave a talk at Ottawa’s Ruby Meetup. The talk was about designing and building Web APIs. The slides and a recording are below, enjoy! »

Building a website? Wordpress is probably overkill

If you’re looking to build a website for yourself or a client please keep in mind that Wordpress (or any other content management system) isn’t always the answer. Most websites can be implemented faster, cheaper and better without using a CMS. »

Ed-tech and Entrepreneurship - Lessons Learned

Over the past 6 months I have been working full-time with my co-founders on two ed-tech web applications – Curri and HelpCue. The latter is a web application that facilitates the asking of questions in a classroom. It has been a difficult experience at times but the challenge has been extremely fun and very rewarding. The intention of this blog post is to focus on the big lessons so far. »

Responsive Instruction

I’ve spent the past three months doing instructional design and curriculum development for HackerYou’s full-time web development program. The experience was tremendously rewarding for many reasons, one of them being that I learned a lot. The course kicks off at the end of January and I am convinced that it will be HackerYou’s best course yet. Before you think I’m an egomaniac…I don’t say this because I helped design and build the course. I say this because the instructors are excellent and they will be practicing “Responsive Instruction”. »

Designing the learning experience at HackerYou

As curriculum designer at HackerYou I am involved in curriculum development and instructional design for the full-time front-end web development bootcamp. Through iterative and incremental development I help decide what, when and how concepts are covered and make sure that students are actively engaged in the learning. »

HackerYou Summer Academy Wrap up

The last three weeks of the program were intense and stressful but fun. In fact I have been feeling “under the weather” for the past few days most likely because as stress levels went up my immune system went down. Unfortunate but a little rest will do the trick. »

Taking a leap

Week 6 of HackerYou’s Summer Academy was exciting. I got a lot of programming done but I guess the focal point was the discussion we had about career goals and entrepreneurship. The main takeaway for me was “know what you want, be specific about it and tell people”. So here we are; this is I guess a manifesto of sorts. »