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If you come from a background other than Computer Science and learned programming through a higher level language such as Ruby (like I did), you may have never really “needed” to be concerned about what bytes, bits, and binary are. Sure, you may have done some research out of interest on the topic, but you never actually needed to create a list of bytes because the language abstracts all of this away from you.

After switching from primarily programming in Ruby to primarily programming in Go, byte slices were a source of confusion for me. I found myself not understanding…

Anytime a developer says “Maybe this situation is a good use case for a singleton,” you’ll hear either shrieks or cheers depending on the past experience of the people in the room. “Singleton” can be a trigger word because if the “singleton” design pattern is implemented incorrectly or used in a situation that might not be the best fit, it can be a pain to deal with. Fortunately, I’m not going to be writing about the “singleton” you’re most likely thinking of. Instead, this post is going to be about the lesser known ability in Ruby, the singleton method.


The Ruby language is known for it’s flexibility. There aren’t many things that Ruby won’t let you do, whether that’s the ability to pass any data structure to any method or the ability to meta-program pretty much everything. If used unwisely, this flexibility can cause headaches for developers. For example, having a class that takes a generic “args” hash can be great if you need to pass in a hash with dynamic values, but can cause issues debugging since this hash can literally contain anything. Ruby 2.0 introduced a new feature that allows ruby developers to continue to take advantage…

And hopefully make you feel like you aren’t coding in the 90's

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How creating HTML emails seem to make people feel

About 2 months ago I graduated from Flatiron School (woohoo!) and started working as a Web Developer at Excella Consulting (double woohoo!) and more specifically on the myUSCIS project. Recently, I picked up the task of styling the email that we send out to users when they receive a message. If you’ve never tried to create and style an email before I’ll let you in on a secret that isn’t much of a secret: they suck. Here are the main reasons that most front-end developers hate emails:

  • Everything must be done with tables. This will make “divs” seem like your…

I graduate Flatiron in 2 days (holy crap) and it’s been a life changing experience. I’ve learned so much about programming in such a short amount of time. We’ve covered a ton of stuff at Flatiron, but one area that I want to gain more experience in is testing applications.

While at Flatiron, we used RSpec quite a bit to test our labs, which are just different coding challenges to gain a deeper understanding of a specific topic. I became comfortable with looking at tests and understood what they were doing, but I never became comfortable actually writing them.


Lately, I’ve been messing around with different coding challenges on Codewars. One of the most enjoyable things for me to do is to look at other people solutions for the problems after I solve them. Some of them are ridiculously clever and are interesting to dissect to see exactly how they are solving the solution. I’ve learned a lot of methods and tricks in Ruby just from looking at other people’s code.

One of these little tricks is using “ampersand colon” (&:). Below is an example that shows when and why developers would use this.

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As you can see, this…

I’m currently in week 8 at Flatiron School and it’s been amazing so far. I’ve fallen in love with Ruby and I appreciate how developer friendly it is. Last week we started to learn Javascript. Before I came to Flatiron, I had messed around with some Javascript so this has allowed me to pick up where I left off. I love Ruby, but as awesome as it is to parse data, I still love using Javascript to create something visual.

I’m currently working on building my portfolio site (it’s still a work in progress, but you can see it here)…

Using Javascript in Rails

When “normal” non-programming people think of Ajax, they probably think of Ajax Cleaner. However, in programming Ajax (“Asynchronous Javascript and XML”) is a Javascript technique used to make requests without the browser having to do a full reload. You can do a lot of cool things with Javascript and it is really “hot” right now in the programming community. To understand how Ajax works and how powerful it can be, you first need to understand how the web as a whole works.

When you type a url in your web browser a lot of things happen before the content is…

The first time I noticed a “divide” in thinking between designers and programmers was at my old job as a print (mostly) graphic designer. A designer there knew that I was learning to code and asked to see something that I had written because they were thinking about learning themselves. Their first response after I booted up a Javascript application in Atom was, “Ohhh, look at all the pretty colors!” …

a Ruby programmer’s best friend

Alright, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t exactly remember everything that happened in the movie The Goonies and if you stop reading right here I’m incredibly sorry. One thing I do remember is there was a guy who looked nightmarishly scary and horrifying but ended up being one of the most awesome characters in the movie. His name was Lotney “Sloth” Fratelli. And he was a boss.

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For those that don’t remember, this is Sloth Fratelli

Like I said before, Sloth is portrayed as this horrifying monster who the kids are trying to avoid. By the end of the movie (***SPOILER ALERT***) Sloth is wearing a…

Tyler Brewer

Software Engineer @ Stitch Fix | Designer | Cyclist | Washington, DC

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