A Retrospective

I wrote the following reflection many months, many late nights, many projects, and many code challenges ago.

As week three comes to an end at the Flatiron School’s Immersive Web Development bootcamp, I am trying to take a minute to reflect on a few things: namely, where I was before I started this program, how I feel now that I am in the thick of it or, more accurately, wading in to what I imagine is the thick of it, and where I hope to be at the end of all this.

Having spent several months before…

Photo by Filimon Ana-Maria on Unsplash

Picture this: you’ve just written thousands of lines of code, you’ve gotten your application running smoothly, and you’ve fulfilled all the requirements you set out to complete. You’ve even effectively communicated what your code is doing with comments so detailed even your parents could understand them. C’est magnifique!

Time to ship it, right? Wouldn’t that be nice? Alas, just let me crush your dreams real quick.

The Importance of Software Testing

Now, imagine this scenario: you’ve shipped your code and it’s being used daily by thousands, nay millions, of delighted customers. These new features you built? They love them! Just look at them froth…

Don’t leave home without it!

Have you ever felt like the code to which you have given precious life lacks discipline and gets away with practically everything? Does its carefree, devil-may-care attitude make your lips curl and your blood boil? Do you constantly suppress a raging inferno of disapproval and indignation as a result of a swelling suspicion that the creation to which you have tirelessly donated your blood, sweat, and tears is silently undermining you at every semicolon? Not to worry — I have the topical solution for you! With one quick and easy application of “use strict” at…

Photo by Panos Sakalakis on Unsplash

So, you just successfully implemented JWT authentication in your React App, you’re feeling pretty excited, and as a proud, self-proclaimed perpetual student, you thought to yourself, “well, that’s pretty cool, but biometric authentication is even cooler.” I mean, who wouldn’t? That makes total sense.

But first, a definition. In a broad sense, biometric authentication is a way to verify one’s identify using one’s physical attributes and measurements: fingerprints, faces, eyes, etc. By analyzing the unique characteristics of certain body parts, this tech compares these measurements against a database to make sure you are you and grant you access. In other…

If you are familiar with the current React framework from Facebook, you may have heard news of the feature soon to be released by “the Captain,” Dan Abramov: hooks. According to the React Documentation, hooks will allow for the use of state and other features without the need for those pesky classes and lifecycle methods. But are classes even that bad? What is the motivation behind introducing this feature that may reduce the need for another?

If the thought of using hooks in place of classes scares you, don’t panic just yet. The React team is implementing a gradual adoption…

Did you see that episode of Netflix’s “Black Mirror,” titled “White Christmas,” where Don Draper, err… Jon Hamm, reveals that he once offered a service where individuals could undergo surgery in order to create a digital clone of their conscience, which “lived” in a counter-top appliance as a personal assistant to the home-owner? The one where the clone appears to have a physical body, free will, and a conscience of her own, but is forced into servitude and obedience through months of solitary confinement, but which are only seconds or minutes in “real-time?”

Jon Hamm enjoying toast while forcing the…

My father lost a portion of his vision in one eye after suffering a detached retina following the long flight to visit me while I was working in Thailand four years ago. Fortunately, after a three weeks in a Vietnamese optometric hospital, including invasive surgery, he was able to retain much of his sight. However, as a retiree who spends hours a day consuming news and entertainment via computer, tablet, or phone, he knows very little about the technologies that work better than adjusting a room’s lighting or even upgrading to larger devices.

About a year ago, I took my…

Chris Benedict

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