Using Robot Framework to automate just about anything. A step-by-step guide.

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Photo by AltumCode on Unsplash

Motivation

If I had it my way, I would automate myself out of a job. I document everything I do at work so I don’t have to explain to the next person how to do things, I just point to the documentation and let them take it from there.

If I have to do something repeatedly in Excel, I’ll write a macro. If there are commands I need to run all the time I’ll script it. I live by the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) code so when it comes to testing you best believe I’m not going to follow the status quo of writing long test procedures in Microsoft Word or Excel. …


A step by step guide to getting MySQL running with Homebrew, MySQL Workbench

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Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar on Unsplash

Motivation

I’ve been loving using Django on the web application that I’ve been working on. I was able to get the project set up quickly so I could start producing Minimum Valuable Product (MVP) for my client, which was great. As I get closer to putting the app out into the wild it felt like it was time to make the move from SQL Lite (which comes with Django by default) to something more production-ready.

Dear SQL Lite: It’s not you, it’s me. I think it’s just time to see other databases.

Django supports the following databases officially:

  • Postgres
  • MariaDB
  • MySQL
  • Oracle…

It’s all about those billable hours

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Getting your freelance or consulting web development business off the ground is tough. I know because I’m going through it firsthand as I start a side web development gig.

How much do websites cost?

This is the $1 million dollar question.

Offer cut-rate prices and you’ll attract bargain hunting customers who are more focused on cost than the value you’re bringing. Set the rates too high and without a portfolio or network to acquire clients and you’re left waiting for the phone to ring.

Searching the internet for the price of a website, you’ll find that cost can vary tremendously based on what the client is looking for and on the experience of the freelancer or web design firm. …


The limit applies to each individual

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Dan Troung — Unsplash

Something couples forget when it comes to Roth IRA contributions is that the limits apply to each individual.

For some reason it didn’t click for me for awhile. I had read the IRS guidance talking about contribution limits and how married couples could only contribute if their combined income was below a certain threshold. It somewhat tricked my brain into thinking that the contribution limit applied to both of us combined.

Once you’re married, you just become one anyway right?

When I made that realization I set up a separate account for my wife with TD Ameritrade and seeded it with some cash from our joint bank account. …


Life as a Father of Two Kids

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Bastion Jeilot — Unsplash

Big Dreams

I’ve always been ambitious. Went to school, studied hard. Got into a big engineering company, ground my way up the ladder there while getting two more Masters degrees on the company dime.

Itching to try my hand at something new I signed a lease to start a restaurant with my brother-in-law. This was a side venture on top of my day job as an engineer.

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Author-Food from Kai Asian Street Fare

It just so happened with construction and permitting delays that my first child was born the first month that the restaurant opened. …


A newbie’s guide to getting up and running with unit testing for a Django project

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Artem Sapegin — Unsplash

Motivation

I’m coming up on week two of my side hustle to build a web application for my bro (I’ll call him the “client”). Time sure flies when someone pays you to do a job! A little about me…I’m a hobbyist developer. At work I’m a systems engineer involved with all sorts of things from gathering customer needs, developing concepts of operation, and architectural designs. I work closely with the development team to implement solutions but I’m not in the trenches cranking out code.

“Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the goddamn customers so the engineers don’t have to! I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can’t you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?” -Tom Smykowski from Office…


Choosing a Point of Sale and Credit Card Processor for a small business

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Blake Wisz — Unsplash

As a new small business owner, you’ll have to figure out how to accept payments. You’d think this would be fun, who doesn’t enjoy accepting money?

Welcome to the nebulous world of credit card processing and POS hardware sales. They need a Truth In Lending Act for this stuff as it feels more complicated at times than buying a house with the games that get played with pricing and fees.

Figure Out What You Need

Before you can compare anything, you have to sit down and figure out what your business needs out of the system. As a restaurant owner, my requirements were:

  • Payroll
  • Timekeeping (want this to integrate into…

The newbie’s guide to setting up version control for your Python project (and some thoughts on freelancing pay)

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Photo by Maxwell Nelson on Unsplash

Background

This all started with a request from my bro who’s a civil engineer who wanted to build a web application that would perform some calculations.

Since I’m not an established freelancer or website design company (I have a full-time job as an engineer myself) I had to do some legwork to figure out what technologies to use to get a project started. This is a continuation of my article “Creating My First Web App with Django”.

Getting a Django project started was easy but now I had to figure out how to run the show like I actually knew what I was doing. …


A newbie guide to getting rolling in under 15 minutes

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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Motivation

If you want to get straight into it, skip my blabber and jump to the tutorial part below.

The other day my brother asked me if I could build a website for him that could capture some user input, perform some calculations, and build leads. I hadn’t worked on websites since the Geocities and MySpace days. Well, maybe not that long ago but I was pretty rusty since web programming isn’t my day job. …


Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of the rallying cry Black Lives Matter.

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Source: Tandem X Visuals (Unsplash)

Three very simple words. A protest against police brutality, not only here in the United States but supported throughout world.

The Auto-Reply

Whenever these words are uttered, an often heard reaction from people is to say “all lives matter”.

Taken altruistically, it’s fair to say. No one life should ranked higher than another, every life should matter.

The House Analogy

The BLM supporter then goes to explain themselves (if they’re so inclined). A common explanation is the burning house analogy.

There is a fire at a house in the neighborhood. All houses matter but the one that needs attention right now is the one in flames. …

About

I Sun

Engineer, restaurant owner, dabbler in the written arts. Proud to call JHU, USC, and UIUC my alma mater. Find me on Twitter @kaistreetfare

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