Posts

You can and you will successfully hire a great engineer! It all starts with one little secret 😉
2021-01-07
12 min read
The tools we use both limit and advance our thinking. When we accurately anticipate the future, our progress accelerates because each step is built on top of a previous enabling idea instead of starting from scratch each time.
2020-04-26
5 min read
Art is powerful because it connects us with our deepest selves, and through the details we choose to include or omit, they have a point of view. Abstractions similarly afford us limitless opportunity to explore, build, learn, and communicate.
2019-09-01
6 min read
Coding is fun! But learning to code is a significant investment of time and maybe money. Naturally, you want to know what you’re going to get out of it.
2018-03-26
14 min read
I’ve been setting up Review Apps on Heroku to streamline our product process. Review apps let you automatically spin up new app intance for every github pull request, creating isolated testing environments for each feature. Pretty neat! …in theory. In practice I hit some hurdles. For example, our app relies on shared third party resources and a large postgres data set. In this post I’ll explain how we handle elasticsearch and postgres in our review apps at Ascent.
2017-11-22
6 min read
A practical comparison of React and Angular 2, as we select a front-end framework for the Ascent app. Why A Front-End Framework? Our javascript is well-organized so far, but consists only of jQuery and plain javascript. This works great for small one-off scripts, but makes it difficult to create larger more complex applications. We have some intensive front-end projects coming up that will require a more robust front-end framework to guide our work and encourage consistency.
2017-07-03
5 min read
The Blind Leading The Blind I have a number of recent example of people starting tech careers 5 years into a different career. They’re already SO strong on the non-code aspects of programming - partly I’m sure because of their personalities but also because they’ve had some time to figure out how to be an adult with a job. Problem solving, teamwork, self-teaching, communication, attention to detail, organization, etc. These people are invaluable team members long before their technical contributions justify their salaries.
2016-01-09
5 min read
I randomly started getting this heroku error today: ~$ heroku --version ERROR: runtime error: invalid memory address or nil pointer dereference ! error getting commands pid 1923 exit 1 It was happening for every heroku command; heroku login, heroku releases, heroku run console, heroku logs. Doing a full uninstall and reinstall of the heroku toolbelt fixed the problem for me.
2015-11-23
1 min read
“The goal is not always meant to be reached, but to serve as a mark for our aim.” –Joseph Joubert Set goals that are directly measurable Example: Speed up test suite to run under two minutes on our CI server The gold standard of goals! Total clarity on what I’m trying to do, and whether or not the goal has been accomplished. A measurable goal is an achievable goal. But sometimes the measurement is difficult, prohibitively expensive, or truly impossible.
2015-10-02
2 min read
We’re starting on a new version of the internal PrettyQuick API that powers our native clients and AJAX. The original version was based largely on what our consumer iOS app needed, but going forward we want to build a more general API to better support multiple clients for multiple constituencies. Luckly, Heroku has thoughtfully prepared a list of API best practice recommendations. I’ve logged my thoughts and usage notes below as I work through each of the items on their list.
2015-09-07
8 min read