Blog Posts

  • Weekly Progress Report #1

    I have recently taken an interest in trying to utilizing the OKRs on my personal life. It has been a rather complex journey of trying various tools and what not, but I do think the method is promising and will be sure to write more as time goes on.

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  • Starting My Design Journey

    As most frontend developers are aware, one of the most frustrating aspects of our job is that we are often evaluated based on the quality of designs that we are building. Whether we like it or not, it is the first thing people see when we send them portfolio items / projects we've worked on. So while this is not as crippling to those with design skills, those of us that fall on the more technical side often have to resort to templates and design systems in order to work on projects without a designer.

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  • Boring Solutions

    Whelp. Here I am again. This must be like the tenth attempt of mine to get my coding blog up and running. And while that may be discouraging in hindsight, as the saying goes, you only fail when you stop trying. So here I am trying again.

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  • Why I Still Use Sass

    Recently I've been going back and forth on whether or not it was time for me to return to pure CSS land. With my recent foray in CSS Grid, CSS Variables, and Scoped CSS, there was a serious moment where I considered just going to CSS + PostCSS for all my styling going forward.

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  • Review: CSS Grid with Wes Bos

    As most of you know, Wes Bos is responsible for creating some of the best courses out there on popular development topics (that are typically front-end). And with all the buzz about CSS Grid, I was looking forward the day he would release a course on it. Much to my delight, I managed to get early access to the course!

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  • Be a Builder, Not a Barrier

    Over the past few years, I’ve had the chance to talk with multiple designers about their work and what their environment is like. And perhaps I was naive, but I was surprised at the number of times I heard that they were told by developers that X feature they wanted to do was “not possible.” Then when I would ask more about the requirements of X feature, I would often be boggled by how simple the request often was. So that got me thinking, “Why are developers often so quick to say no to what designers want?”

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  • Take Inspiration from Another Source

    I had a friend who recommended that I watch “Your Name” a while back. So I went ahead and purchased the blu-ray not knowing whether or not I’d like it, but I trusted his recommendation nonetheless. Well, it finally came in and I just finished watching it. And I am just in absolute awe at the moment. (Don’t worry. There won’t be any spoilers in this post.)

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  • The Impermanent Nature of Our Work

    Over this past weekend, I had the incredible opportunity of visiting Harry Potter world in Orlando, Florida for the first time! For those who don't know, I'm a huge Harry Potter nerd and to be able to get my robe at Madam Malkin's and then buy my wand at Ollivander's was absolutely magical. That said, while I spent my time in the park, I couldn't help but be blown away by the attention of detail and work that was put into the recreation of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. And for whatever reason, it suddenly gave me this moment of reflection on the impermanent nature of our work.

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  • The Power of Repetition

    Now that I had solved the Rubik's cube, one would think that I would never touch a Rubik's cube again. However, if my accomplishment was merely solving the cube once, this wouldn't really be a note worthy achievement. Because at the end of the day, my goal was to be able to solve any standard Rubik's cube without any instructions. So the last few days have been an interesting exploration into the power of repetition and there is value to doing the same thing over and over again.

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  • Underestimating Reverse Engineering

    When I first encountered my first Rubik's cube, I was fascinated by the numerous colors and patterns. Like many others, the fact that was a three dimensional puzzle had a certain beauty to it that caused me to obsess over it for some time. Yet while I would eventually be successful with solving the first two layers on my own, the final layer always eluded me.

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  • I Can Solve a Rubik's Cube!

    For my entire life, I've always envied those who could solve a Rubik's cube. Not only did I have a level of respect for what I thought would be an impossible task, but there was also a part of me that wanted to be able to join that "elite" group of people. Well, I'm proud to say that I can solve a Rubik's cube!

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  • Why I Switched from Sublime to VS Code

    Let me begin by stating that I have a been a hardcore Sublime Text user for the past 3 years. Not only did I spend $80 on a full license, but I also purchased Wes Bos' Sublime Text Power User guide for $45 so I could get even better at it. In other words, I was committed to the tool and had invested the time and money in it.

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  • A Single Obsession

    For those who don't know me, I'm a compulsive learner. I enjoy ramping up on new topics and since my interests are rather diverse, this leads me to often be pulled in eight different directions at once. And that's not an exaggeration in the slightest. The number of projects that were started with an initial burst of excitement and possibility often got quickly replaced by another which left a trail of project husks behind me.

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  • My Thoughts on "Full Stack"

    Being a full-stack developer is all the craze right now. It seems like all bootcamps with web developer programs are selling people on the idea of being full-stack. And to top it off, it seems like a lot of companies are interested in hiring them. So one might conclude that more developers should try to become full-stack right? Nope. I think not.

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  • So I Converted to Tabs...

    For those who watch Silicon Valley, you might remember this hilarious scene where Richard is dating a girl who uses spaces instead of tabs and there's hilarity that ensues as they do work next to one another. Now, this is a topic that plenty of developers have gotten plenty heated over. And while I love an enthusiastic debate over little details like this from time to time, it's certainly not one of those things that I'd be willing to die on a hill for. Nonetheless, I wanted to write a post about my history with the topic and why I ended up on tabs.

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  • Practicing the Act of Creating

    With November being National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I thought it would be appropriate to follow a similar theme and to simply try to write a post every day this month. I know that it will be a challenging endeavor since it means I'll have to come up with twenty-eight more topics to write about, but I think it'll be a worthwhile adventure!

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  • Three Steps Forward. Two Steps Back

    With the start of a new month, I've decided that it's time to be introspective on my past behavior and patterns in an effort to figure out what has held me back. In many ways, this year has been an exciting one with many new experiences and opportunities for growth that have been invaluable to me. On the flipside however, as I look back at the various goals I tried to set for myself, it seems like I'm still spinning my wheels when it comes to goals that should have been accomplished long ago.

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  • You Can Be Courageous or Comfortable, You Can't Be Both

    As most people are aware, imposter syndrome and other insecurities constantly plague many of us. Unless you have your head completely buried in the ground ignoring your surroundings, there is always that nagging voice of not being good enough or falling behind.

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  • The Importance of Fundamentals (No Matter How "Experienced" You Are)

    As a self-taught developer, I've hit a couple of key milestones in my career: (1) managing to get a job in the field without any formal training and (2) proving that I was able to keep up with everyone and push forward regardless of the challenges in front of me. That said, there is always a question of what to do next. New framework? New language? New technology stack?

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  • The Elusive Return Statement

    Over the past few months, I've been taking a deep dive in ReactJS in ways I would have never anticipated. It's been a whirlwind, but the learning has been incredible yet hair-wrenching in others. This post is about the latter of the two.

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  • "Cheap" Outsourcing

    I was reading my daily Quora digest this morning and the following post: \"What did you do to make your software career better?\" To my surprise and disappointment, one of the most upvoted answers was "to quit ... [because of] cheap outsourcing." And while outsourcing has had an impact on the job market, this answer is complete nonsense

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  • A Change in Scenery

    Over these past couple of months, I have had the opportunity to work on some fun and challenging projects. And while it's been a phenomenal learning experience, it has been a bit of a whirlwind and I'm a little burnt out. So in an effort to try and get my head on straight again, I decided to get out of town for a bit.

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  • Velocity in Development

    Nowadays, it is pretty much impossible to get involved with a project without hearing about "being more agile." And even though I have been on a variety of projects of various agile flavors, one term that I've heard consistently is the team's "velocity."

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  • Emerging From a Crucible

    It's been a little over a month since I last wrote here. And in that time, I have challenged myself to dive headfirst into projects equipped with little more than a belief that I could figure it out along the way.

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  • Developers. Don't Get Too Comfortable

    I recently read "Ten Things I Have Learned" by Milton Glaser and was struck by the notion of the idea of "never having a job."

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  • When Nobody is Watching

    While I was taking a break today, I decided to check to see if one of my favorite choreographers Matt Steffanina had any new material up for some creative inspiration. And after a couple of videos, I stumbled upon this surprising gem...

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  • Do It Even If It's Ugly

    I read this article by Addy Osmani a while back that was in response to the "How It Feels to Learn JavaScript in 2016" post. For those who have not read it, the essence of the article boiled down to this

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  • Just Google Translate Everything Right?

    As I continue catching up on Front End Happy Hour, I came across the episode Mixed drinks and Mixed languages. The topic of discussion was on the trials and tribulations that come with trying to create a site / application that is supported globally (i.e., multiple languages).

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  • Third Time's a Charm

    For those who don't know me, my name is Ben and I come to the world of coding primarily self-taught and the simple fortuitous circumstance of being born in a time and place where technology was easily accessible for me.

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  • Never Finished

    I cannot even begin to count how many times I tried to launch this blog. Each time I sat down to do so, I would get caught up in the million things that I wanted to do with it and end up lost in the sea of ideas and possibility (i.e., articles, tutorials, embedded CodePens featuring awesome animations I would make, etc.).

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