A whimsical introduction to how computers talk to each other, and what exactly your requests are up to.

In the wide, wild world of the web, there’s a lot of devices that want to talk to each other.

This blog post lives on some computer somewhere in the world, and you’re reading it on your own device in your own corner of the planet. So how did the words and pictures get from there to here?

Gif of Lindsay Lohan and Simon Kunz in The Parent Trap movie doing a complicated multi-step handshake with some dance moves involved. (source)

Protocols are contracts for communication, a series of steps and actions that define a process of sending or receiving information.

Protocols are a bit like secret handshakes. You have to know your part in order for the whole thing to work. Some…


An emoji-filled learning journey about the trade-offs of different website architectures, complete with gifs, diagrams, and demo apps.

If you’ve been hanging around the internet, trying to build websites and apps, you may have heard some words in conversation like static site or server-side rendered (SSR) or single-page app (SPA).

But what do all of these words mean? How does each type of application architecture differ? What are the tradeoffs of each approach and which one should you use when building your website?

Gif of Janelle Monáe in Hidden Figures movie, sitting at a classroom desk with a notebook preparing to take notes with a pencil (source).

The main difference between each of these types of architecture is where rendering decisions are made, or what part of the stack is in charge of deciding what content the user should see when they…


Moonrise over Trinity Alps. Watercolor and gel pen, Marie Chatfield (2018).

or, what I wish I had known how to say when you told me, at age ten, that I intimidated boys (and meant that was a bad thing)

I should come with a warning label: do not stare
at the sun, she is so bright you might forget how to see
anything less shining, look at all else as lack of her.
I am not just a star, I am galactic
abundance, a supercluster of brilliance.
Thousands of moons are lit by the gleanings
of my presence—even in my absence
I am evident. I power planets
with my generosity, ecosystems thrive on the sight of me.
Do not confuse…


Learn how to accurately and effectively advocate for yourself and grow in your career by recording your accomplishments.

Heads up, we’ve moved! If you’d like to continue keeping up with the latest technical content from Square please visit us at our new home https://developer.squareup.com/blog

At some point in your career, you’re going to have to prove to someone that you’re worth it: worth hiring, worth promoting, worth the raise, worth taking a risk on. If you’re lucky, you might have someone who has seen your work first hand, who believes in you and can vouch for you.

Gif of Blanche from TV show The Golden Girls laughing with the caption “Damn, I’m good.” (source)

But even if you have the most supportive and engaged manager in the world, they still won’t know everything you do…


Zilker Park, Austin. Marie Chatfield (2017).

I dreamed myself into your city.

I woke up in the house you own,
woke up in your bed covered in the quilts my mother gave me,
dappled by sunlight filtering through the oaks outside your window.
I felt your reality with my bare soles;
I stood in your kitchen and the tiles were cool against my feet,
I walked in your backyard and each blade of St. Augustine grass
tickled the gaps between my toes while damp dirt hugged my heels.

Do you remember the bicycle we bought, before we diverged,
when this city was our future and not merely…


Street light and tree on Guerrero Street, San Francisco. Marie Chatfield (2016).

In the garden you gave me, I planted a tree
and see how strong the roots did grow —
plunging deep into loam and earth,
they broke new ground and planned to stay.

Where did the grass go?
In this cold soil only frost grows.
Where are the vibrant blooms, the flowering shrubs,
the lush vines, the luxuriant fronds?
All that teeming green is gone.
And what is left?
A field of rocks and dry dirt;
it crumbles like ash, like dust in my palm.

The winter sun is weak and mean.
My tree is dying; look and see the roots…


Entrance to Leise Park, Berlin. Marie Chatfield (2017).

To be with you is to walk alone on quiet city streets —
a nearly silent soundtrack of leather soles and their soft krisks
against the paper flames of leaves and mottled cobbled stones,
the air so still as near to hear each thud of heart—
and in solitude find communion.

To be with you is to imagine entire conversations
and to know that you must know each thought,
you are so deeply aware of me—
I hardly need voice any words, we are so familiar
you hear my thoughts as they condense,
but I tell you everything anyway for the joy of it;
the joy…


Moth holes in an heirloom sweater. Marie Chatfield (2017).

What might have been the fury of moths
is merely loss to age and worry —
which spread with less ferocity,
demand fewer chemicals and containment strategies.

What might have been a hole in a sleeve
presents a portal to other worlds
with far greater worries, far heavier fates;
even curses are blessings and mercies.


The difference between Ember actions and DOM events and why it matters, plus a really rad flowchart.

Heads up, we’ve moved! If you’d like to continue keeping up with the latest technical content from Square please visit us at our new home https://developer.squareup.com/blog

A few days ago, I was working on a really exciting new feature. As part of rolling out these changes, I implemented an onboarding tour — a sequence of tooltips that teach users how to interact with the different parts.

I made one small change to a template in one of our Ember apps, and everything broke. Can you guess what happened?

Before: Clicking on “Next Step of the Tour” opened The Thing.

<div…


Broken glass, San Francisco. Marie Chatfield (2017).

I’ve been conducting a study of brokenness in the city
with an emphasis on glass and dreams.
Everywhere I go, I catalogue:
car windows, shop windows, home windows, bottles.

The sharp shards sparkle in chaotic constellations.
To each I contribute my own disappointments
for the next stranger to appreciate
the odd beauty exposed in the shattering.

Marie Chatfield Rivas

writes code and poetry. always looking for new things to learn. my.pronoun.is/she/her

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store