“Please refrain from profanity in commit messages” — Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

We’ve all been there, looking through a year old repo’s commits and wondering what you were feeling in that moment. It looks like frustration, going from “Set-up base components and boilerplate unit tests,” to “Fix tests,” until we arrive at a familiar place in commit message history: “asfdasdf.” Okay, maybe by a year I mean yesterday. It happens to every developer. But, it doesn’t have to! Here’s how I try to keep things 💯 in my commit history.

Personal Projects

Always work in a branch, always squash and merge*. Then delete the source branch with your “pls pls pls” commits. Easy.


Being highly involved in the hiring and recruitment process is something that I enjoy and encourage my teammates to do. Over time I have screened thousands of resumes, interviewed hundreds of candidates and actively try to pass on what I’m looking for onto interns and experienced developers alike. While each person has a different experience and need, these are the common themes of what I consider to be a successful resume. A good amount of these may apply to any resume, but my experience is in Software Development.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Define Success and Know Your Audience

Before you start on the arduous journey of writing about yourself, first…

These are some hooks. Photo by Brook Anderson on Unsplash

Update Feb. 6, 2019: I’ve updated this now that Hooks are officially out! Let me know how you like them on Twitter.

React Hooks are an exciting new feature that let you do things in function components instead of using classes, like fetch data. There’s a lot of discussion around them, but you’re here to fetch data!

Fire up a new create-react-app with npx create-react-app hooks-test. Now that Hooks have been officially released, this is the only step you need!

Create a component in /src/ called Photos.js and give it a basic list:

// Photos.js
import React from "react";
import { useFetch…

There are many great plugins already written for Gatsby. You should be able to pick pretty much any data source, from local Markdown files to Wordpress to Contentful, and have something running pretty quickly. The way you pull in data from an external source and turn it into GraphQL’able stuff is actually pretty interesting, so today I’d like to take you from zero-to-cat-facts in Gatsby.

“shallow focus photography of brown cat” by James Sutton on Unsplash

Picking an API

There are many free APIs for you to query for example projects, or you may have your own that you want to consume in Gatsby. You can find a list of them on Todd Motto’s…

The JAMstack has inspired some of the greatest web development tools we’ve ever seen. Publishing amazingly fast, secure, and accessible websites has never been easier, or so free. I’m still having a hard time believing my own personal website now runs for free instead of on a $15/month VPS. If you’re able to convert an older architecture to what we will discuss today, you can invest those savings in your personal development with a course or educational membership.

Photo by Pankaj Patel on Unsplash

Here’s the list of things you may learn from this article:

  • What are these new technologies and what do they do?
  • How…

“MacBOok Pro beside brown mug” by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

Do you find yourself using some of the same components over and over in multiple projects? This is super common, and with a bit of time spent compiling these into one reusable project, you can save time and boost your efficiency in future projects.

In this post I will create a boilerplate step by step that you can use to start your own component library. I will also develop the requirements and make pull requests along the way, as I mentioned in my last post.

Before we get into coding, my first rule of new projects is always come up…

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Having a few personal projects available for the public to see can add to any resume, from students look for their first internship to experienced developers. Even a small utility can impress potential interviewers if you go above and beyond with your process. Personally, a well executed GitHub project is more valuable to see than thousands of lines of modern code. You will always have to adapt to a new codebase at a job, but the skills demonstrated by using branches, pull requests, issues and more can leave a lasting impression.

Start With a Fresh Repository

Coming up with an idea is always the hardest…

Connor Wilson

Senior Front-end Engineer at Jane.com, Director of Frontend Education at @itsbridgeschool. Building things and teaching folks in Toronto.

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