An old, desolate concrete fortress stands against a clear blue sky.
An old, desolate concrete fortress stands against a clear blue sky.
Image by Christian Bardenhorst via Picsum/Unsplash— https://unsplash.com/photos/8lMhzUjD1Wk

When working with NodeJS it’s likely you’ll wind up with a few secrets; not secrets like “Popeyes has the best fries” but API keys, encryption keys, database passwords, and other things you wouldn’t want anyone else to learn.

These secrets are values you’ll need to use in your code, but you never want to directly include them in the actual code, especially when you code is distributed to users, or if you use public repositories for your code. So how do we run these values in our code? Let’s learn a bit about Environment Variables.

If you’re already familiar with…


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Let’s say we have some clients, maybe they’re working remotely in the field, and they need to communicate some requests to your support team. The support team are also remote but they coordinate together using Slack. The main thing your clients have in common in the field is SMS capability. So, let’s look at building an SMS integration to your support team’s Slack channel. We’ll use a free Twilio account to handle the incoming SMS message and we’ll wire that up to the Slack API and use BlockKit to make some nice, useable, interactive messages in Slack. …


When you’re trying to get ahead in the tech sector building your network and raising your visibility are two things that can go a long way to improving your odds. I’ve not been particularly good at it but my network has managed to save my career several times over the years.

Writing blog posts is one of the many tools at your disposal. To get the most out of your writing efforts you’ll want to get an audience. If you’re reading this on Dev.to then you’re already in a good place to start but where should you spread the word?

Sharing for Reach


One day, a colleague and I were sat in our engineering office having a session about the state of the fleet and our outlooks for the future. We were discussing the latest we had heard on the proposed timeline for the replacement of my beloved first ship Fairweather. The budget and the timeline, it seemed, weren’t going to allow much in the way of overlap between the old workhorse and the new addition — this worried me.

A ship doesn’t just launch and get to work, a ship has to learn how to be a ship through careful tutelage and…


Part one of a series on User Experience lessons from unexpected places.

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Two students work on a marine diesel, source: IYRS.edu

I’ve seen a lot of people like me around the internet. People who are learning about the growing field of User Experience Design and saying to themselves “I had no idea this was a thing” and “I do a lot of this in my day to day.” There are a lot of people, apparently, who want to break into the field but aren’t certain how they can convince employers that their years of experience are somehow applicable. With this series, and really this blog in general, I’m hoping to help some of you think about your past experiences from a…


There’s a brand new car manufacturer on the market and they’ve built the greenest, safest, fastest, most beautiful car the world has ever seen. Even better, they’re cheap! After years of ‘too good to be true’ their claims have been verified, they’ve started production, and you —dear reader — are first in line at the opening of the new dealer showroom.

You walk up to this gleaming new dream car, the salesman invites you to sit down and see how you like it. You love it. You get the nod for a test drive. Drawn in by the gentle fluttering…


Dear, Duolingo,

I’m so so terribly sorry, you are right, I have neglected you, please forgive me, I promise to study right after this post.

Designers are getting more and more creative when it comes to getting your attention, and a lot of times it works. The example in the photo above is just one of several I’ve been hit with today but this one actually struck me with a pang of guilt. Duolingo, the very successful language learning app, knows I haven’t been keeping up with my daily practice on French and German lately and they’re not afraid to…

Jason Wilson

Web Developer, User Experience Wonk, and Mariner.

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