Giving back

This time of year, everyone is talking about giving back, about doing the right thing, about being charitable. Today I was faced with an interesting conflict.

I’m a developer, my livelihood is in the lines of code I produce and the applications I bring into existence. In that vein, I expect to get paid for it.

However, I have often found myself arguing on the side of the open source community. When asked to reconcile these two things, it got me to thinking.

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To Be Or Not To Be: Language Agnostic

Programming Languages: If you’re a professional developer, you have a favorite, maybe several based on different environments that you’ve worked on in the past. They’re probably languages you know inside and out, maybe even languages you’ve submitted patches to or written libraries for.

The thing about picking favorites is it can cloud judgment and cause people to use a tool that just isn’t right for the job. While expertise provides the ability for a developer to perform their job more quickly while avoiding common pitfalls that a given language can present, it also means they learn to work around those flaws without looking at better ways. Read more

Which IDE

A little bit on the age-old debate of which IDE to use, and whether or not to use one. I want to preface this post with a disclaimer: I use Gedit as my ruby on rails programming environment.

To IDE or not to IDE

The old debate between IDEs and Text editors doesn’t really need much input from me.  IDEs give you full fledged debugging, auto-complete and nice extras like Go To Definition. A lot of developers feel more efficient using tools like RubyMine or NetBeans.  Some of us are just happier in a clean, simple, uncomplicated simple text editors like Gedit, notepad++ or nano. Read more

Biting the Bullet

Activerecord provides a lot of power and flexibility to web developers, with that power comes the responsibility of making sure that it is being used in the most efficient way possible. While creating a form it’s relatively simple to instantiate a user object then call related objects by doing something like @user.profile.nickname, an inefficient use of activerecord. A good practice is to use an include statement on the initial query that pulled the user object (eg. User.find(:first, :include=>:profile)).

It’s easy to say, and sometimes harder to do. Enter Bullet. Read more

Five Must-Have Chrome Extensions

In September of 2008 Google launched the Chrome Web Browser. Since that time not only has Google Chrome become more extensible, but it has overtaken Apple’s Safari Web Browser to become the #3 browser on the market. Given the sudden rise in Chrome’s popularity, and its recent release onto the Apple and Linux platforms, any responsible web developer should be taking Chrome  compatibility  seriously. In that vein, I present the five must-have Chrome extensions for web developers. Read more

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That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die.
- H.P. Lovecraft

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