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How I got better at journalling

How I got better at journalling Over the last 18 months or so, I’ve been journalling regularly and it’s made a huge difference to my mental health. My therapist is thrilled but unsurprised (lol). I’ve always found a lot of value in processing thoughts and feelings by writing them down, but in the…

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Using `Hash#fetch` in Ruby for better nil handling

Using Hash#fetch in Ruby for better nil handling Pulling values out of a Hash in Ruby is simple with the [] method, but problems can occur when the value you’re looking up isn’t there. This can result in cumbersome nil checks, or our absolute favourite error Undefined method for nil:NilClass…

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What is State? Why do I need to manage it?

Read my thoughts on state over at egghead

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Better Code Review

I recently read an article by Max Bittker called "How to Review Code You Don't Understand" , and it got me to thinking about times when I've been tasked with doing just that. One of the troubles I have with code review is understanding the context around a change. Given a diff, I can work through…

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Creating a Welcoming Space for Beginners

Before I became a programmer, I was a teacher. For the most part, I taught academic English to speakers of other languages at a University. Although I’ve switched careers, I find that my teaching experience becomes applicable very frequently in my job, and I love taking on a teaching role whenever I…

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Becoming Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Last time I blogged I wrote about how programming was something that comes unnaturally to me. The post seemed to resonate with lots of people — several reached out to share their own experiences, which was extremely encouraging. If you ever want to chat to me about the id, the ego, the superego…

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Continuing your learning as a post-beginner programmer (part 1)

If you’re anything like me, your process for learning something new — say, a javascript framework, a design pattern, or a language — looks something like this: Read the documentation, check out a basic tutorial, and get Hello World up and running, pat yourself on the back. Look up several tutorials…

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