Philosophy

Entitlement, or otherwise?

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A while back, the following tweet appeared on my Twitter feed: My sister is doing an experiment: Whenever men walk towards her, she doesn’t move out of the way first. So far she has collided with 28 men. — Anna Breslaw (@annabreslaw) December 13, 2014 Since then, a few of my friends attempted to replicate […]

Programming

Get Changed for that Interview!

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And by “Get Changed”, I mean: “Try to solve these coding challenges that relate to currency and change”. So, open your favorite editor and let’s get started! Part 1: Make Change First, let’s assume that we’ve defined our currency as follows: Coin Value Quarter 25 Dime 10 Nickel 5 Penny 1 Now, write a function […]

Programming

3 Tools that are worth Paying For

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Gliffy URL: https://www.gliffy.com/ Price: $3.99 / month for the Standard edition. (Paid annually) $7.99 / month for the Business edition. (Paid annually) What does it do? It allows you to draw flow charts and other types of diagrams. Why should I pay for it? Once you start using Gliffy, you’ll want to diagram everything. Unfortunately, […]

Programming

Are my unit tests taking too long?

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Earlier today, one of my friends asked me: What’s the longest running unit test you ever experienced? I quickly answered “72 hours”, but then realized that I should probably clarify that answer. True, jUnit was running for 72 hours at a time, but most of the tests that it was conducting were not unit tests. […]

Programming

How to Modify URL Query Parameters in Node.js

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In my previous post, I suggested that string concatenation is an unreliable way to modify URL queries. Let’s explore this idea a little further (or, just skip to the tl;dr if you just want the solution). First, let’s write a function that appends a URL query parameter via string concatenation:

Now, let’s throw some […]

Programming

How to (Nearly) Sidestep API Limits

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Let’s say that you’re trying to grab a lot of data from a 3rd-party API. In fact, you’re grabbing so much data that you hit the API’s hourly request limit in a mere 3 minutes. What can you do? Well, if the API is open to the public, then your options are: You can take […]

Thoughts

What I Learned in 2015 (pt. 2)

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Emphasize Efficiency, not Effort At the beginning of 2015, I realized that most of my work had become tragically inefficient. Ironically, I had gotten myself into this situation as a result of trying to eliminate inefficiencies. In retrospect, the trap seems very obvious: my team and I were attempting to “get ahead of the curve” […]

Thoughts

What I Learned in 2015 (pt. 1)

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Happy New Year, everybody! You know, the problem with creating New Year’s Resolutions is that they’re a recipe for giving up.  As soon as you fail a resolution for the first time, you immediately tell yourself “Damn it — I screwed up!  Oh well.  I guess I’ll try again next year…”. Rather than publicly declaring […]

Programming

How to Image^2

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That’s right — this article is about using CSS to square your images. Wasn’t that obvious from the title? 😉 Most of the time, WordPress does a pretty good job at creating square thumbnails for your images. But, if your image’s width or height is smaller than the thumbnail, then WordPress won’t actually resize or […]