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6 Tips for Styling with Grommet

Recently, I’ve been using Grommet as a React component & theming library. It’s been a good development experience so far, and there are some compelling tools for it, such as the designer and themer. We haven’t used them much, but it’s exciting to see the work the Grommet team has put in. One of the major pain points of using Grommet is the lack of documentation. However, there is a comprehensive Storybook library that helps...

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Using the Strangler Pattern to Reduce Risk in an Insurance Software Rewrite

It’s always risky starting a large software rewrite. There’s significant risk in replacing a system that has been in use for a long time, as plenty of hidden institutional knowledge may have been lost. In 2019, I began work on one of these rewrites. This InsurTech project was for a regional insurance carrier and was a portal for both independent agents and policy holders. Parts of their system were built on some pretty old...

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Work-from-Home Fatigue? Change Things Up

Work can be stressful and tiresome, especially these days — it can be hard to find motivation in the midst of current events. And when I’m working, I can’t always reach the same level of productivity that I have in the past. Why is that? I can’t speak for other people, but at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, my life immediately transitioned into the exact same routine day after day. With everything closed, I stayed at...

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Three Reasons to Use Yarn in 2020 (and Beyond)

When Yarn was first released, it was a huge step forward for the JavaScript and NPM community. At the time, NPM did not support deterministic sub-dependency resolution. And Yarn was considerably faster, primarily due to the introduction of an offline cache. These days, however, the gap between Yarn and NPM is much closer. NPM 5 introduced a package-lock, which allows for deterministic dependency installation. Additionally, recent...

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Achieve Project-Wide Type Checking with TypeScript and Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio is an excellent integrated development environment (IDE), but sometimes it needs a little hand-holding. Throughout my experience with VS Code, it has never delivered on project-wide type checking and linting. Rather than getting instant feedback from my IDE, I’ve had to rely on my build process as a type checker. Type errors only show up in open files, which only become apparent after a build fails. As it turns out, VS...

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Level up your PostgreSQL Skill with Lateral Joins

PostgreSQL’s lateral joins have a lot of uses. One of my favorites is the ability to reuse calculations in a query. Before I discovered lateral joins, I would either copy calculations throughout the query or use subqueries. Neither of these approaches is ideal because they make the query much more difficult to read—and nearly impossible to update and maintain. Additionally, the query is inefficient, because it performs the...

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Improving Command Line Productivity with GNU Readline

I spend a lot of my day working on the command line, from file navigation to version control to remote work on servers over SSH, and anywhere in between. I’ve found that even small improvements to my workflow significantly add up over time to provide big productivity boosts. Recently, I realized that some features I’d become accustomed to were part of the GNU Readline library. Today, I’d like to share a few very simple Readline...

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My 5 Steps for Tackling Stress

Deadlines, miscommunication, conflict. Regardless of what our jobs, projects, or responsibilities may be, we all face these things during our careers. If not handled properly, the stress from these issues can expand to other areas of life, quickly becoming unmanageable. That’s why it’s critical to learn how to manage stress. While I’m not an expert in the field, I have had some experience dealing with stress and have learned a...