I started a new job on Monday (it’s going awesome, thanks for asking) and that means a brand new, blank-slate Macbook Pro. Fortunately, I still have my old work computer (my last job maybe wasn’t so wonderful, as I had to bring my own every day…). But next time, I’ll probably have to turn my new work computer in, so I wanted to create a record of my setup. Maybe it’s helpful for others too! By the way, almost all of these programs are F-R-E-E.

It’s absolutely essential to get your terminal set up so you can work efficiently. If…

For all your developer note-taking needs

Taking notes is key to remembering most things in our lives. How many times have you worked on a project, then three months later needed to get back in the code, and it took you hours to come back up to speed? If you had taken a few minutes to jot down some documentation, you could have cut to the chase.

Tech Jargon Series

It’s likely you already know how to write functions in both these ways. function doStuff() {} and () => {} are characters we type all day. But how are they different and why use one over the other?

Note: Examples are given in JavaScript. Your Mileage May Vary with other languages.

The first difference: a name

When you create a function with a name, that is a function declaration. The name may be omitted in function expressions, making that function “anonymous”.

Function declaration:

function doStuff() {};

Function expression:

const doStuff = function() {}

We often see anonymous functions used with ES6 syntax like so:


I’m learning that the first thing any new developer on the job wants to do is upend all the tooling. I was crazy-frustrated when we onboarded a dude at my old company who wanted to do this. Now that I’ve started a new job, I’m the one complaining about tooling (and feeling humble).

So here I was, trying to get into the code base at this tiny startup. I’d gotten my login for Sentry, the error tracking service, and was rearing to pick some bugs and start fixing. Unfortunately, this is what I saw:

Useless minified reference to error in the code

A reference to minified code. This…

Tech Jargon series

There are so many phrases that get thrown around at tech meetups and conferences, assuming that everyone is already down with the lingo. I’m often not down with the lingo. It’s common for developers to act astonished that I lack a piece of knowledge.

The truth is, I often just don’t know the right word for it. As humans, but especially developer humans, we love to dismiss those who don’t “talk the talk”, so this series is about getting a solid understanding of programming concepts that one “should know”.

My first topic for this series is Higher-Order Functions. I was…

Twelve questions to ask at tech interviews

I’ve just come off six weeks’ of interviewing for medior software developer roles, in a market that is desperate for talent (Amsterdam). That means I went on a lot of interviews. In order to tease out which companies might be right for me, I wanted to ask many questions. You’ll have to find the right balance for you and the person(s) interviewing you.

If you’re job-hunting as a junior, you may find that you don’t actually care about the answers to any of these — you just want a job. Even if that’s the case, consider what would be a…

Once again, we’ve made it all the way around the sun. I’m on the precipice of a big move, but honestly, the last few months and their wave of climate reports has got me thinking: none of this matters if we don’t fix the planet. Great way to start a year in review, right?! But I have to say, that’s what’s on my mind.


Conversations with acquaintances for the last six months or so have centered around this fact: I am moving to Amsterdam at the end of the year. In case you’re wondering “aren’t you excited?”, the answer is…

Sometimes a dynamic single-page app is overkill. You just need to get some attractive information on the internet. Welcome back to static sites. With the Gatsby.js framework, you don’t have to leave your React skills behind in the pursuit of faster, better, weaker.

Hiking above the treeline in Bucegi, Romania — totally unrelated to web development, but pretty

What is a static site and why do you want one?

A static site, as opposed to a dynamic site, is one that a) does not interact with a database, and b) looks the same for everyone. Each page of a static site exists as a separate file.

If you’ve worked with React or most other front-end frameworks, you’ll recognize that this is different than our current favorite…

I’ve just spent a big chunk of time remaking my website and I have come realize I like having my images sorted by blog post — on the web, searchable. So I’m going to try to do more posts. I’ll write what I want, and not feel pressure to detail every little thing.

What’s sitting in my image backlog at the moment are snaps from Gunnebo Slott, a local fancyhouse, and from a piece of Vildmarksleden, a trail not far from my home (that goes for 24 miles).

If you are anything like I was, you have at this moment 17 tabs open with articles that you are waiting to read. If these words are passing through your brain at the moment, it’s highly likely I jumped the gun on those other 17 — suckers!

I love my online / offline reading setup. As a bonus, it keeps me away from Facebook and Twitter. As a second bonus, and don’t tell anyone, but I also manage to avoid most pay walls (without doing anything unseemly).


All of this stuff is free, except for the Kindle.

  • A Kindle (probably…

Amber Wilkie

Software developer, mostly Ruby and Javascript. Yogi, Traveler, Enthusiast. All photographs mine. I don’t read the comments — try me on Twitter.

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