I’ve been working as a software developer since 2015, and in that time, I’ve heard a bunch of different stereotypes about software developers. A common theme throughout many of those stereotypes focuses on software developers’ people skills, or lack thereof. As is the case with most stereotypes, I’ve met far more people that shatter the stereotype than I have that reinforce it.

That being said, there are some social skills I’ve learned (often the hard way) that I think might be helpful to view through the perspective of a software developer.

For context, I’ve had an assortment of jobs before…

Jest, Reducers, and Named Imports/Exports

I started using React in 2015, but I didn’t begin habitually testing my React code until I started using Create React App (CRA).

For a long time, I treated writing tests as something that I knew I should do, but didn’t actually do in practice. Prior to CRA, my excuse was “But I only have limited time to code, and I don’t want to spend my free time configuring infrastructure for testing.” On one hand, it wasn’t completely invalid. On the other, it was still unacceptable.

However, when I saw that CRA shipped with testing configured out of the…

I’ve been using git since 2014, and I try to use the command line as much as possible because it gives me a false sense of competency. However, there have been a handful of occasions where I opened a Pull Request, and realized that I included changes to a file that I didn’t intend to push. In every instance, I was able to remove the modified file from the PR, but I felt like it took way more effort than necessary… Until now.

git checkout {branch} -- {path/to/file}
Actual Example:
git checkout origin/master -- src/index.js

I’m pretty sure I…

Using ngrok to tunnel to a local client that is proxied to a local server

After using Facebook’s Create React App for several months on multiple projects, I think it is as awesome as I am lazy.

I started using it to build simple front-end prototypes of whatever came out of my ADD-powered lottery ball dispenser of a brain.

Once I became familiar with how to use it on the front-end, I wanted to learn how to connect it to a server. …


“Tilde?! What does that even mean?”

I was recently working on the following coding challenge in CodeFights:

Given a string s, find and return the first instance of a non-repeating character in it. If there is no such character, return '_'. Write a solution that only iterates over the string once and uses O(1) additional memory.

Here was my naive solution:

function firstNotRepeatingCharacter(s) {
const record = {}
for (let i = 0; i < s.length; …

Because Flexbox and Prime Numbers Don’t Get Along

I recently deployed a tiny application to rip apart into several blog posts. You can see the app live on Heroku, and you can read the code (some of which I’m ashamed of) on GitHub.

After I made the decision to start blogging, I had to find something to write about. Instead of writing about any of my unfinished side projects, I decided to start yet another side project specifically for this blog because my brain is erratic.

I wanted to find a balance between stuff I’m familiar with, stuff I’m interested in, and stuff that doesn’t have many educational…

“Oh yea, ORDER BY accepts multiple arguments?!”

I think I wrote my first SQL query in 2013. Since then, I’ve used SQL for work, side-projects, curiosity, and sometimes even boredom.

How many rows in that table contain profanity? 🤔. To SQL!

Since I’ve employed this technology on a regular basis for several years now, I assumed that I had a decent understanding of how to use SQL, and more specifically, the ORDER BY keyword… Until recently.

A few months ago, I started using coding challenge sites, such as CodeFights and HackerRank, as video game replacements. Instead of solving puzzles in Fallout, I thought I might as well…

Building a Header for Web on Desktop using Flexbox, Positioning, and Pseudoelements

My team was asked to rebuild our site-wide header. The vast majority of our new front-end code is written in React. However, since the header would be used on every page of the site, we chose to build it with native HTML/CSS/JavaScript. We decided that it didn’t make sense to add a React dependency to every page of the site when many of our legacy pages don’t currently use React.

Before I get started, here is a screenshot of the finished prototype for your reference.

A journey of 1,000 miles…

When I first saw the design, I immediately recognized some fun CSS challenges, like vertical…

Bill Fienberg

Senior Frontend Engineer at Oddball/Competitive axe thrower

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