Take a 30 second “byte” out of JavaScript

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Last week we touched on JavaScript primitives: string, number, bigint, boolean, undefined, and symbol. However, I didn’t tell you the whole story. There is one more primitive that I intentionally left out… null.

The value null represents the intentional absence of any object value. It is one of JavaScript's primitive values and is treated as falsy for boolean operations.

So how is null different from undefined? That is a great question! Undefined is the value that is automatically set to a variable when it is constructed (created). It’s there by default. We often use it to mean that a variable…

Take a 30 second “byte” out of JavaScript

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In JavaScript, a primitive (primitive value, primitive data type) is data that is not an object and has no methods. There are 6 primitive data types: string, number, bigint, boolean, undefined, and symbol. There also is null, but we will get into that later!

Most of the time, a primitive value is represented directly at the lowest level of the language implementation.


A string is a sequence of characters used to represent text.

const someString = 'I am a string';

Let’s take a look at this example. We have declared a variable using const someString and then assigned our string…

My experience building a 2D game using React Native, from development to launch on the App Store.

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Home screen of the “Shaky Shuttle”


It’s the simplest games that are the most fun. At least that’s true for me. Flappy Bird was a hit, and it just involved touching the screen to give your bird a little loft. So why couldn’t I create the next Flappy Bird? As a professional web developer, Javascript and HTML/CSS are well known. This makes React Native a perfect framework for me to create a mobile application. I’ve made a couple mobile apps in the past, but could I create a full…

“Free” doesn’t pay the bills, but it makes you and your community better.

Find something that you enjoy, and figure out a way to get paid doing it. Isn’t that everyone’s goal? I was lucky enough to find that I enjoyed writing software. Mostly web and mobile apps. Now the question becomes, do you always have to get paid? The answer is both yes and no. Here are some reasons you might write software for free.

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Build your portfolio

As a young developer you need a way to show your skills. Jobs are plentiful, you just need a way to make yourself standout…

The journey to becoming a remote employee

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Photo by Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash

My journey to becoming a remote employee started with my first job out of college. The city I lived in was far from a booming tech center.

I’d just graduated with a software degree and any job I was looking for involved either moving or buckling up for a commute. Dating my girlfriend (now wife) who was still in college, I decided to continue living in our town.

I accepted a job in Kansas City, an hour’s commute one-way. I was excited about my first job and the drive didn’t seem to phase me. …

Improved development workflow, faster load times, and no more maintenance

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WordPress is powerful. You can do a lot with it. But for some reason, I’ve always despised working with it.

This isn’t an article bashing WordPress. Its usefulness is proven in that it powers a third of the web.

I’m more so reflecting on why I decided to completely ditch WordPress as a platform of choice when working on web development projects.

As a professional web developer, I’m used to writing HTML/CSS/JS. So, why look towards WordPress when I could write the code myself? Mainly because my friends in the agency community always used WordPress (terrible reason, I know).


My journey to Netlify and why I made the switch

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I have been using AWS for years for all sorts of applications. A few EC2 instances here and there. Maybe one or two databases. Most frequently, I used it for hosting websites and DNS registrations/routing. My typical workflow would be to take an S3 bucket, drop a website in there, register the DNS to point to the bucket, and were done. It worked great for what I needed to do, but over the last few months, I pondered if AWS was really the right solution for me 🤔. …

That’s right, I said it. You don’t have to spend 4+ years and thousands of dollars to become a software developer. Now, I’m not saying it’s bad for you to do this. Everyone forges their own path. I’m just saying it’s not necessary, and here’s why.

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image: https://recruitlook.com/what-colleges-are-the-right-fit/

It’s all about experience

Most tech companies have realized that it’s all about the value you can bring. Your experience is usually one of the best indicators. Having gone through a four year university myself with a software degree, I will tell you that I was lost at my first job. Sure, I knew the basics. I could…

Healthy mind, better code

Becoming a skilled and proficient software engineer takes time. There are many seasons in this career path — from the idealistic junior dev, to the grumbling senior dev sipping coffee all day, and the stages in between, where I find myself.

In my career so far, one fact stands out: I do my best coding when I am not actually coding.

What do I mean?

We can all learn language syntax. This, along with problem solving skills, is square one. A book, a class, or even an online video are all good avenues for learning the basics. But once you have those, how do…

Beautiful mapping experiences are game-changers in apps. How do we make this happen in a web app?

Everyone takes notice of an app that has a good map experience. We’ve all seen mobile apps that makes this happen: you’re waiting on your ride share and can actually see your driver getting closer! So how do we make this happen on a web app?

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I prefer Mapbox over Google Maps for a few reasons, mainly that I find it more performant. The following examples will be using React and a third party NPM module, react-mapbox-gl. You can do all the same using vanilla JS and your view library of choice.

Map Setup (React-mapbox-gl Example)

Once we have our map set up…

Ryan Vanbelkum

Front end engineer @ Grubhub. JS, HTML, CSS, ect. ect. ect. ryanvanbelkum.me

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