Measure twice, knit once

I first picked up knitting as a hobby in the winter of 2013 — a cold, depressing DC winter. It was a moving meditation — a rhythm, a flow. It’s no surprise between the weather and the mindset that I started — and stayed in — the scarf/blanket phase of my knitting for a long time.

Beginning knitters often start off with scarf projects — a simple scarf pattern can be the easiest and most approachable thing to create. Cast on. Knit all rows. Bind off. Needles are needles and yarn is yarn. The end.

Knit enough scarves and blankets, and eventually you want more of a challenge. Thus began my complicated, on-again-off-again relationship with sock knitting. (Don’t have the bug yet? Just follow @syllogism).

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Intro to web accessibility

Through presenting at bootcamps, I’ve so far had the chance to expose over 100 devs- and engineers-in-training to web accessibility —- what are we really talking about when we say ‘web accessibility’, who does it affect, and what are some very initial considerations to take into account? This is a short blog recap, including the deck.

Update (7.29.2016): Slide deck updated.

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Data Structure: Trees and Depth-First Tree Traversals in JavaScript

What is a tree?

Trees are a commonly-used data structure in web development. You interact with a very common example of a tree every time you use your browser, likely without knowing it — the Document Object Model (DOM).

DOM tree
Source: w3schools

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Resources: Getting started & beyond

When self-teaching, almost all of us start at the same point. Where do I start? How do I “pick a language”? What do I focus on? I know I did.

I recently started listening to the JavaScript Air podcast, and even more recently went back to listen to some of the earliest episodes. In episode 001, “Learning and Developing JavaScript”, Ashley G. Williams (@ag_dubs) makes a comment that caught my attention:

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Quicksort

Quicksort is a sorting algorithm, used to place the elements of an array into an order. That order is based on comparison —  the things being sorted must have a “less than” / “greater than” relationship. (Source).

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Devume

I recently test-drove the ‘Devume‘ project from the wonderful and talented Justin Seiter, and wanted to briefly highlight the project.

Devume is the hackable JSON resume.
Fork it, tweak it, deploy it!

Devume is a starter repo for a fully JSON-based resume, using Webpack for code bundling and Handlebars for templating. In just a few minutes, you can spin up and host your own resume.

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‘Just break things’

‘Just break things.’ ‘Get your hands dirty.’ ‘Just dive in.’

A simple, and infuriating piece of advice that I’ve been given, and given to others. So surprisingly difficult to carry out sometimes. I was reminded by this bit of advice while working on a project last week.

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Recursion

Oh, recursion.

There are two types of people, those who understand recursion and those who understand that there are two types of people in the world… (r/ProgrammerHumor)

But really. There seem to be people who can very naturally digest the concept of recursion, and those whose brains absolutely reject it. I happened to be one of the latter. In this post, we’ll go over recursion generally, and then work through a diagrammed problem example.

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The Road So Far

I’m currently enrolled in the 30th cohort of MakerSquare, in Austin, Texas. MakerSquare is a three-month full-time career accelerator for software engineering, with locations in LA, San Francisco, and Austin. I’ll be using this space to catalogue my progress through the weeks of the program. I figure it’s best to start with some context — so I’ll begin with a brief post on my background that led me to this unique education experience.

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The insecurity of a professional generalist

The best way I have ever heard to capture my insecurity at being a generalist:

When someone says they want “designers who can code”, what I hear them saying is that they want a Swiss Army knife. The screwdriver, scissors, knife, toothpick and saw. The problem is that a Swiss Army knife doesn’t do anything particularly well. You aren’t going to see a carpenter driving screws with that little nub of a screwdriver, or a seamstress using those tiny scissors to cut fabric. The Swiss Army knife has tools that work on the most basic level, but they would never be considered replacements for the real thing. Worse still, because it tries to do so much, it’s not even that great at being a knife.

Via @MediumWe Don’t Need More Designers Who Can Code by Jesse Weaver