The ultimate guide to creating a portfolio site for fresh coders

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A portfolio website is an essential tool for a programmer

The site serves two purposes — first to highlight any projects a developer may have worked on in the past, second to show off the coding skill of the developer by designing and building the portfolio site itself.

It’s a look inside the mind of the developer. A junior dev and a senior dev with structure their websites in entirely different ways, from the layout of the page, thinking in components, or structuring the visual identity.

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There is very little magic to making kombucha.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Take a SCOBY and a clean glass jar. Feed it diabetic amounts of sugar and strongly brewed black tea. And that is all there is to it. In return, the SCOBY will churn out kombucha like a caffeinated college freshman the day before a final exam. My SCOBY is a magnificent beast. It’s slimy — with protruding grapevine veins, alternating between the color of churned cream and varnished oak. To the touch, it feels like squishy Play-doh. …

Your Ruby on Rails security cheatsheet

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Photo by Mike Kononov on Unsplash

I’m going to be honest: Security was never high on my mind when I first started developing RoR applications. Rails was a way to prototype an MVP rapidly with all of its shortcuts and conventions — so much so that I never considered the measures I would need to take once the application was actually live. While Rails is not as full of holes as WordPress, which is notorious for being easily hacked, because it’s so often used by fresh developers, it can leave a lot of security gaps in the application.

I wanted to use this article to address the top five that I have seen throughout my development career, but this is absolutely not a complete list. I’m not taking into account common attacks like SQL injections of XSS scripting and forgery. There are entire articles written on writing good code to prevent SQL/js injection. I am also not addressing server security. Whether you’re using AWS, Digital Ocean, Linux, or Heroku, it’s always necessary to follow the basic steps — using a firewall, backing up the database, and enforcing the use of private/public key pair for login. …

The pleasures of slow life by the Kampong river

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I almost don’t want to write this article because it would mean more people finding out about this place.

Kampot is Cambodia’s hidden jewel

The Kampong Bay River lazily floats by, plastic bottles bobbing in the stream to alert the fishermen drifting on slow boats of their nets. The stillness in the air is so strong that it is almost stifling. It lingers like the tiny tadpoles dancing on the surface of the water. The Kampong curves around the bend and drifts by into the lush jungle.

This is Kampot, Cambodia.

Most travelers to Southeast Asia don’t look past the temple city of Angkor Wat, with its raucous backpackers and hip cafes, or the temples and palaces of Phnom Penh. Kampot — nestled on the southern coast of Cambodia — is not an easy destination to reach. The southern coast is 140km away from Phnom Penh and is an almost four hour drive via unpaved roads. …

Understand the essentials of Stimulus to jump-start your app

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Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash

Before 2018, the Rails framework was stuck in the past. There was a new, dynamic JavaScript way to separate browser-side and server-side development. The web was suddenly built not out of divs, but out of components. It was a faster, more modular approach. Then, the team behind Rails released Stimulus.

Rails 6 integrates beautifully with Turbolinks, which speed up web applications by intercepting HTML requests via HTML. However, the downside of Turbolinks is that they wipe out the entire <body> of the page. This is where StimulusJS comes in.

If you haven’t heard of it before, Stimulus is a lightweight JavaScript framework by the creators of Rails. Think of it like a lightweight React.js— or a less painful Angular.js. Stimulus works by creating a set of controllers to store state and refresh dynamic attributes of the page. I’ve put together a primer to using StimulusJS here, so make sure you are familiar with the framework before starting this search tutorial. …

‘Marie Kondo’ your terminal to bring joy back into programming

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The best thing about modern JavaScript development is the modularity of different packages that create a framework.

The worst thing about modern JavaScript development is the modularity of different packages that create a framework.

Every time you create a React.js, Gatsby, or even a VanillaJS site that uses Webpacker, the application will create a node_modults folder to store the different dependencies. Though it’s usually best practice to not push that folder to GitHub, which saves space during integration, I don’t think I ever really think about the space that the node_module folder takes up on my laptop.

When I checked, I was horrified. At this moment, I have almost 7,500 node_module folders, which make up almost 5GB of computer space. …

Dealing with my quarantine freshman 15

“Augustus, sweetheart, save some room for later”

At First, I Couldn’t Be Happier

I was Augustus Gloop — diving into my personal river of gluttony and cavorting through a field of gumdrops.

Tacos and tequila for lunch. Prosecco and pizza for dinner. Quarantine was my delicious purgatory, a magical place where time stood at a mellow standstill. The pounds didn’t matter, the sourdough bread always rose perfectly, and dessert was not merely a suggestion, but a requirement.

But then, reality set in.

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Butter chicken with an entire stick of butter, onion pakora, and homemade garlic naan.

The first step of surviving quarantine is to eat everything within a 10-foot radius.

To prepare for what feels like an upcoming apocalypse — the impending Ragnarok — my coping mechanism is to eat vicariously, to drink abundantly, and to live as if none of us will be here long enough to contract type II diabetes. …

Install Stimulus.js using Webpacker and Ruby on Rails

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Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

Stimulus.js is a lightweight JavaScript framework from the creators of Rails.

Use Stimulus to seamlessly integrate unobtrusive JavaScript into a Rails application. Think of it like adding React or Vue on top of RoR, but a lot more lightweight.

Because it is a framework built with the MVC framework in mind, it combines the simplicity of the Rails pipeline with modern JavaScript standards — it’s modular and lightning quick.

Stimulus creates its own set of controllers that can interact with the DOM inside the application’s front end. It uses Turbolinks to intercept the requests and performs them via AJAX.

Since Rails 6, JavaScript is no longer a part of the asset pipeline and instead integrates using Webpacker by default. The code lives in the app/javascript folder and is loaded into the body of the application layout via the javascript_pack_tag. …

Asking the important questions during quarantine

Name: Maria Altyeva Schuessler

Age: 28
Occupation: Full-Stack Developer

Location: Shanghai, China

No. of days in quarantine: 14 in government-mandated quarantine, but really we’ve been doing this for about 10 weeks.
Quarantine happy hour drink of choice: Campari soda with an olive garnish
Ideal quarantine partner (real or imagined): Miss Vanjie (Miss Vanjie.. Miss… Vanjie)
Most ambitious cooking project attempted: General Tso’s Chicken

It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve had a cup of coffee not made in my own French Press.

I’m trying to use up a bag of Costco beans my mom gave me last Christmas. Ordering coffee for delivery just feels wrong. Also, it always arrives lukewarm, taking all the joy out of it. I am not okay with that. …


Maria Schuessler

Full-Stack Developer | Traveler | Editor of StirCrazy! Mag | Shanghai-based |

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