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COVID-19 has affected everyone, particularly the Sport & Leisure industry. Sport clubs, camps, and all of Park & Rec are shut down. Duncan from Soccer World, Hamilton Ontario’s indoor sport facility, is not standing still though. He took this opportunity to try and offer online classes on Zoom. Soccer World started with Football and Soccer classes catering to young children and teenagers. From that experience, here are some best practices for running Online Classes on Zoom.

Send Zoom Meeting Reminders 1 Hour Before

Avoid no-shows and refunds. Send parents reminders with the Zoom meeting connection information 1 hour before. Sending by both email and SMS works best…


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Asselstine Woolen Mill in operation at Upper Canada Village

Last weekend I visited Upper Canada Village. Most remarkable were the mills still operational to this day. As it was 150 years ago, water powers the sawmill, wool mill and flour mill. Power is produced on a continuous basis to cut lumber, produce wool fabric, and grind wheat into flour. All thanks to the continuous delivery of water. The wool mill was the most impressive with complex machinery to wash, card and thread wool. There is even an operational loom to weave wool into fabric.

This all reminded me of the origins of Toyota as a loom manufacturer. It was…


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In this day and age of internet and computing, things move really fast. Innovation requires you to constantly reinvent yourself. Staying still will get your company killed. Change is the only constant.

We’ve all heard variants of these cliches over and over. They do however hold the key to longevity in business — adapt to change and avoid the status quo.

On the other hand coding for a developer is similar to writing for a novelist — it requires continuous and uninterrupted time of deep concentration and productivity. Getting in the zone like we say. It isn’t possible to do…


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Montreal Metro — The Perfect Place to Code

Like millions of workers across the world, I have an hour commute to get to work. Fortunately public transport in Montreal is very good. In fact the metro is extremely efficient. During rush hour a train passes every 3 minutes. Even better, I am able to have a seat 9 times out of 10. I therefore have 25 minutes mornings and evenings with “me time”. Other commuters will read a book on their Kindle, read the news paper, play a game on their smartphones and even watch Netflix. Me, I like to code in the metro.

In fact, CSVJSON was…


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Activity Registrations on a Cold Winter Evening at a Local Community Center in Montreal

Its January and time to register my kids to winter sessions for their evening and weekend activities: piano, Scouts, judo and badminton. Most of these registrations are still paper-based requiring me to go in person, fill in a form and write a check. On a cold Monday evening, I had to line-up for piano and badminton registrations. Fortunately Scouts are now online. I won’t need to queue to sign-up my kids to winter camp.

As a parent, I wish all registrations were done online. Administrators surely wish it were as well and avoid running after checks, or spending their evenings…


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Illustration credit: Vecteezy

Importing data from Excel is a very common workflow for many applications, especially during on-boarding. For example at Amilia an administrator can import existing clients into their CRM. We provide an Excel template facilitating this process.

The tedious part is building this Excel file. Usually, the admin will have a list of their clients in another Excel file in a different format. This list usually comes from a CSV export from another CRM. The admin will copy, paste and transform the data manually in Excel. The process is long, painful and error prone. Worst of all, it is not reproducible…


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Rapid Application Development with Web Apps Hosted on GitHub Pages

Rapid Application Development or RAD is a technique to develop and test applications very rapidly. In short, RAD is all about involving your customer as you develop the solution. They get to test as you build in order to adapt the solution iteratively. Construction is intertwined with user design. It is therefore critical to move fast: code fast, deliver fast, gather feedback and incorporate changes rapidly. The web is the perfect medium for this.

With the advent of the web, its faster than ever to deliver an application for testing. Web Apps, as they are commonly known, can support the…


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As a developer, whatever industry you’re in, you will work on data imports more than once in your career. It often goes something like this…

Megan (project manager)

We’ve got Joanna, new big and important customer with 5,000 records of existing data. We need to import them into our system.

Sandeep (developer)

Just use the import tool. We accept Excel and CSV. Here’s a template.

Megan

Can you help? Last time a customer used the import tool it created duplicates in the database and it took 2 days to clean.

Sandeep

Like I said before, it was the customer’s fault…


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On November 19th, 2018 WordPress 5 is coming out. This major release completely changes the interface for writing pages and blog posts. The TinyMCE editor gets replaced by blocks — WordPress’ own page builder if you will. It is called the Gutenberg editor.

Gutenberg will change a lot of things. Third party page builders that have existed for years may no longer work, or may become unnecessary. Gutenberg is controversial and a major pivot for WordPress. You can learn more about Gutenberg and implications in this post from Delicious Brains.

Gutenberg is also written in React. This is both a…


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A couple weeks ago I was in Indianapolis at a conference. I met a developer working for a web agency and asked if they used WordPress. With disdain he quickly replied:

WordPress is unpleasant to work with and came quickly become a mess and a nightmare to maintain. We avoid WordPress like the pest. Instead we have built our own CMS.

Its not the first time I hear developers bashing WordPress. Being such an extensible platform, its true that a developer can make a mess of it. …

Martin Drapeau

Founder of Activity Messenger, email and SMS for Sport & Leisure. Former CTO of Amilia. https://www.linkedin.com/in/martin-drapeau

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