Do You Even Microservice, Bro?

Microservices are not new nor are they the hottest technique on the block anymore and that’s why now is a great time to learn about them. They’re tried and true. They’ve been tested and perfected over time by developers far smarter than me or you. Let’s talk about microservices. What they are, when they’re useful, how you can use them, and maybe some pitfalls you might want to avoid.

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Using React With Webpack and ES6 in a Grunt Task

Grunt has fallen out of fashion as the preferred JavaScript task runner but it’s still powerful nonetheless and millions of people are still using it and making modules for it. Like other technologies before it there have been new tools developed and adopted by the community but both Grunt and Gulp are both used by a large portion of the Node community. Normally when we talk about Webpack we’d assume a configuration where the project uses Gulp as their task runner. Today I want to show you how to create a React app using Grunt tasks to run your scripts through Webpack, Babel to support JSX, and add support for ES6 syntax.

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Why Developers Hate Being Called by Recruiters

Last year around this time I was teaching web development to novices who could squeak by and pass a Codecademy course on HTML and CSS. We took those novices and turned them into competent full-stack web developers. We tried to get every one of those students a job. There were offers that came directly to the boot camp from hiring managers all the time but many of my old students ended up being contacted by recruiters after they graduated with little success and much frustration. I myself have used recruiters to find work before and I know why developers are, to put it nicely, annoyed by them.

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How to Be WCAG Compliant

If you’re a frequent visitor then you know I write about what I’m working on and lately it’s been all about web accessibility and WCAG compliance. So maybe you have a client and they want or need to be WCAG compliant to satisfy their legal department, bragging rights, or just because it’s the right thing to do. Well, this is how you do it. Some sites are easier than others but whether you’re developing single page apps, hybrid apps, or plain old static sites it’s not as hard as you might think. Here is how to make your site accessible and WCAG compliant regardless of its complexity.

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The Only SEO Tips You Need

So I previously said SEO is bullshit. I still believe that but only to the extent that professional SEO’s are mostly bullshit artists and it’s hard to find a real pro. Regardless here are some tips that I’ve personally seen work for others and myself (going from a brand new site to 10,000 visitors a day) within a few months. Here is what I’ve learned distilled into a listicle:

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SEO Is Bullshit but Accessibility Is Good

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is such bullshit. There are so many snake oil salesmen out there selling SEO to unsuspecting businesses and those poor customers have no idea that they’re buying a big fat bag of bullshit. Alright, so let me tone that down a bit. SEO – as in fundamental on and off-page optimizations and accessibility – is a good and helpful thing for everyone. What’s bullshit are the shortcuts and “tips” that get irrelevant pages ranked higher than other lesser known pages that have better content. Let’s talk about what’s bad about SEO, when it’s helpful, and the truth about how to rank highly in search results. There’s an endless amount of talk online about how to get a top ranking in Google but there are very few no-nonsense, middle of the road articles that give you the truth about SEO and how to get your site to rank highly in Google search results.

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Common Sense Versioning

If you browse GitHub issues on popular projects long enough you’ll find a healthy argument about versioning eventually. A few years ago the topic got so hot that someone posted detailed rules for software version numbering called Semantic Versioning. A few years later someone else came up with a pretty good system they called Monotonic Versioning. Whenever I init a new npm module it always defaults my version to 1.0.0. That got me thinking about the silliness of some of these arguments over how to properly assign version numbers to your code so I decided I’d throw my (very small, humble, and insignificant) hat into the ring and come up with a common sense versioning system that I’m calling “Common Versioning”.

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Step Away From the Code

As a professional software engineer I had to work hard to master my craft and get to where I am now. It takes a lot of passion to make it to the top (where “the top” is always subjective and subject to change). I have that passion for programming but in recent years it took me over and turned me into a one dimensional being. My identity was wrapped up in my work. It was a boring, fragile existence. I lost sight of who I was as a whole person. I recently turned 30, took a trip to Seattle, and came back with some perspective. So today instead of my usual programming tips or tutorials I want to talk about something equally important and that’s learning to step away from the code, disconnect, and remember who you are. Here’s how I went from a one dimensional person to living a fuller, healthier, more satisfying life.

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Take Over Any Domain in 2 Easy Steps

Want to hijack a domain name? Ever wanted to “hack” Google and point their domain to a porn website or something equally NSFW? Well it turns out it’s super easy. But besides wreaking havoc and setting up practical jokes there’s a useful case for using this information. Today I’ll show you how to host a domain name without having to buy it. All you need is web hosting with a static IP address.

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Staying Current as a Developer

After the collapse of my last startup I took a sort of gap year where I taught full stack development. I always knew that the less you code the faster the industry passes you by. I figured one year wouldn’t hurt. Now I’m working again for a technology company and I can see how fast things have changed in just a year.

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