Semantic Versioning 2.0.0 (semver.org) is a robust and elementary standard that encapsulates a wealth of information about the software you’re publishing or consuming.

Open source veterans know and understand the importance of this standard. If you’ve run a project in long-term maintenance mode, you come to realize its power one way or another. Still, enthusiastic, fast-moving dev teams like to find ways around this standard. I’ve seen more than a few engineers decide to invent their own ideas around major, minor, and patch increments. Their rationale is rooted in aesthetics or their own release schedule.

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A key principle

Aside from the concise and complete information at semver.org, it is critical to…


I just completed the second and final weekend of a two-weekend hackathon with a 3 month gap in-between the weekends.

I was joined by an old friend turned developer in the interest of creating a small project together. Our requirements included project self sufficiency and limited future maintenance. We had little interest in curating social networks or dealing with custom requests.

It was important to set goals that we could actually achieve. To do that, we had a few ground rules:

The (10) Rules

  1. Above all: complete the project
  2. Enjoy the time in-person. I live in New York, he lives in DC. That means one of us will be traveling. …


(ANGEL SHOULDER) AWS Lambda: I love it! Quick, easy deployments and a better model for more granular on-demand pricing.

(DEVIL SHOULDER) AWS Lambda: I’m feeling JavaScript fatigue again. I have to learn a new deployment process, even though I just perfected my AWS / Docker / Heroku / Digital Ocean deployment.

Enter Claudia JS, an opportunity to let some other enthusiasts take over the minutiae of this Brave New World. You get the chance to quickly get up and running, and learn if this new technology stack is even right for you.

Benefits 101

As outlined by Rinki Sharma in Advantages & Disadvantages of Using AWS Lambda with Advanced…


The first time you pad an estimate, you’ll feel guilty for all the extra money you’re about to make. The last time you do it, you realize you’re accounting for what you’re about to lose.

Client: Asks for a new feature
Me: Recognizes I can build this simple feature for $100.00, provides customer estimate for $100.00
(Older & Wiser) Me: Recognizes $100.00 is the best case, $150.00 is the worst, provides customer estimate for $125.00

In the grand scheme of history, that 25% buffer will net out to $0.00. Some are best-case, many are worst-case, some things fall into the middle. …


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Image by Drew Graham via Unsplash

Last night I had the pleasure of participating in and mostly listening to the speakers at the NYC Ethereum meetup.

I met some great people. I took some notes, and decided it was a good opportunity to document some of the ideas coming from this vibrant and growing community.

For those interested in the actual talk, I recommend you take a look at the video here:

My thoughts come from my notes, my musings on blockchain, and my thoughts on Grid+.

The product & team

Last night’s talk was given by several members of the team at Grid+. Grid+ is a very cool initiative to decentralize and demonopolize the process of retail energy consumption. …


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Image from Loic Djim

I’ve been thinking for a few years about the plight of the quickly reproducing alien termite race that is npm modules. It’s no secret that this community sets the records on module creation, adoption, and eventual abandonment.

In the face of rapid change, it’s a human reaction to cling to those things that are timeless. In honor of really useful tools, I think it’s only fair that I heap some praise on the tools that I use in every project.

These are the workhorse tools, the simple tools, the tools that attract little competition because they are best in breed. These are the projects that commit to semantic versioning, they write (and update) developer documentation, they write unit tests. …


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Image from ellladee

I’m a developer. I like text editors. I like code. I like markup.

Like many 90s kids, my early skills were forged in the fires of Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft FrontPage, and GeoCities. Finding the right mix of WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) web development seemed to be the theme of the decade. Since then, the consensus for UI work has moved aggressively towards written markup.

On one hand, we have Wix and Squarespace Inc. doing great things with WYSIWYG. Despite that, most developers choose to write their own user interfaces. The elegance, the speed, the simplicity, the hotkeys. …


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Photo by Tobias Keller

If you’re just tuning in, allow me to get you up to speed. This article is part three. Part three of a five part series introducing the various techniques in which team leaders and architects can make their projects contributor ready.

The target audience is those with new or relatively early stage projects. As your project grows, you’ll still need to onboard contributors, quickly. However, you’ll have diminished many good hours / months / years of potential productivity on your team’s slow, early ramp up.

Contributor readiness is sink or swim. If you’re working with a growing team, every bit of work you put into making it easier for your developers will compound. If you’re working with a remote team, you have no chance if you’re not at a high-level of contributor readiness. …


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Two weeks ago, I introduced my manifesto for contributor readiness in this article. To American readers a manifesto sounds somewhat sinister. Let’s just say I am taking back the term and using it the way British politicians do.

As I mentioned at the time. A project cannot be considered contributor ready until the project lead has addressed the following five concerns:

  1. Access
  2. Environment
  3. Data
  4. Tools
  5. Testing

Today’s topic is environment*. Environment is the part of the setup where your developers usually spend their first day of work. They install the myriad of packages and dependencies that come standard with a modern dev workflow. …


We all knew that kid growing up. I can still picture my friend Tommy’s basement. Tommy had all the latest toys. Electronics, miniature cars, sports equipment, collectibles, he even had the toys that I was told were ‘too expensive… I’ll talk to your father’ — Mom

Tommy’s home was a consumer wonderland. It was like a fine tapestry composed of the latest goods. If I saw a commercial for it on Saturday morning, Tommy had it by Sunday afternoon. I thought his parents were the best. I couldn’t possibly imagine why mine were so cruel. Tommy truly had everything. …

About

Trevor Ewen

Software developer & investor. Opinions are my own.

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