Geocoder Dos and Do Nots

Published Tuesday, October 08, 2019

I was working on a Rails project recently where we needed to 1) track the location of fine art delivery trucks and 2) give dispatchers visibility into which trucks were closest to a given location. Perfect use case for the Ruby geocoder gem, right?

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TIL How to Select Merge with Ecto.Query

Published Monday, August 19, 2019

Here’s the scenario: you’re working with Elixir and Ecto, and you need to retrieve data from a table plus maybe a field or two from an unassociated table. In the past, whenever I ran into this, I’d spin up something I wasn’t totally satisfied with - maybe updating the schema(s), breaking it up into multiple queries, or building a multi-select statement if I was feeling fancy.

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Pattern Matching in Elixir

Published Wednesday, March 14, 2018

At the Flatiron School, our mission is to help people learn how to code. That means that as a member of the engineering team, my work reminds me almost every day of that important, universal truth: learning new stuff is hard.

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How to Run Ecto Migrations on Production

Published Thursday, July 06, 2017

You’d think the answer to this question would be a simple Google search away. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for me this afternoon, working on a Phoenix project with a newly-added Ecto backend. In an effort to save others (and let’s be honest, future me) the same frustration, here’s the most straight-forward solutions I found.

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How to Work with Developers

Published Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Software developers, have you ever felt misunderstood by your non-developer teammates? It happens to most of us, which is why I wrote this post to help clear up some of the most common misunderstandings, miscommunications, and missed opportunities. Feel free to pass it along to anyone who’d love to have an easier time working with developers.

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Flatchat Code Talk

Published Thursday, September 29, 2016

Flatchat is our in-house replacement for Slack, which we’ll be moving our users off soon.

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Get Fuzzy with LEVENSHTEIN

Published Friday, September 16, 2016

Discovered a super handy Postgres extension tonight: fuzzystrmatch. This lil cutie is a real godsend when dealing with potentially crummy user input, such as, oh say, for a Rails project where you’re requiring your less-than-tech-savvy relatives and future inlaws to input their email address in order to access your wedding website. Note: said website is badass, built-from-scratch, and open source.

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Best Ways for Beginners To Contribute to Open Source

Published Saturday, November 07, 2015

When I first started out learning to code, the idea of contributing to an open source project was really intimidating. I got that advice from everyone - “Contribute to open source! It’s so easy! Employers love it!” - but I was still hesistant. I’d only been writing Ruby for a couple months; how was I going to contribute anything useful to someone else’s project?

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Sublime Text Key Bindings

Published Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Keyboard shortcuts are a programmer’s best friend, and Sublime Text lets you write your own. I use these five below on a daily basis, and you’re going to want to, too. Here’s the setup:

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Listen Up - Tech Podcasts

Published Sunday, March 22, 2015

Back in my former life as an art historian / art shipper, it wasn’t enough to simply know about art. You had to know about the other people who know about art - the key figures shaping the field, your peers working on the same stuff you were - that was just as critical as being able to recite off Greek column types or the core members of the Arte Povera movement (which I can still do, thanks very much, humanities degrees).

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Who's Ahead Now?

Published Sunday, March 15, 2015

After week one of learning Rails, I was eager to test out my new skills on a new side project. I wanted to build something fairly simple, that would utilize skills I felt comfortable with - JSON parsing, ERB, simple search and routing - while also pushing me into uncharted territory, like deploying on Heroku. I spent the afternoon brainstorming, circling around some sort of app that would answer a single simple question (like Is It Raining?, one of my fave single serving sites). I had a couple good ideas, but my partner came up with the best one: is Hillary winning?

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Flatiron Twitter CLI

Published Sunday, March 01, 2015

Last week, Avi pitched a pretty cool idea to the class: build an “auto-follow bot” for Flatiron student twitter accounts - something we could use to easily auto-follow everyone in the class.

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Refash Your Bash - Bash Prompt Customization

Published Monday, February 16, 2015

When I was just starting out learning to code, it quickly became clear I’d be spending a lot of time in Terminal. Never one to skimp on workspace feng shui - just ask my old art world colleagues - I set about post haste to fine tune the CRUD out of my bash profile, starting with the bash prompt.

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Using GitHub for Lecture Notes

Published Sunday, February 15, 2015

Flatiron School has a great system for sharing lecture notes: a dedicated GitHub repo. I forked the repo during week one, thinking I’d pull down the files to my local, take notes on the notes (Inception-style meta-noting), then push back up to my forked repo. No sweat.

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Adventures in DNS Configuration

Published Tuesday, February 03, 2015

One of the main tenants of the The Flatiron School is “Always be a beginner,”* which has been pretty easy for me to embrace so far, since I am the noobiest of coding noobs right now. Pretty much every day, I’m reminded of my beginner-dom, even in realms I thought I’d more or less mastered.

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