Tags: coding

Can’t code, won’t code - cracking the secret of gender imbalance in STEM

Adult training represents a way into coding for millions of women who never learnt when they were younger. Meetups such as those run by organisations such as Women Who Code and Codebar can introduce women to the collaborative, problem-solving world of programming.

Kite - Programming copilot

This looks like it could be a very nifty tool to have at your disposal while coding. I like that it’s editor-agnostic.

Node: Up and Running

One of these days I’m going to step outside of my PHP comfort zone and actually build something in Node. One of these days. When I do, this book looks like a good place to start (and the online version is free).

The Art of Debugging

I was just helping out with some debugging at work and it reminded me of this great talk/post by Remy:

  1. Replicate: see the bug
  2. Isolate: understand the bug
  3. Eliminate: fix the bug


Regular expressions are my kryptonite so I can definitely imagine using the PHP port of this plain English syntax.

Tiny two way data binding

I really like this approach that Remy is taking: write some code to one thing, and just one thing. I much prefer my JavaScript to be small pieces loosely joined rather than monolithic.

More of this kind of thing, please!

Paul Ford: What is Code? by Paul Ford

It seems grossly unfair to refer to this as an article. It’s a short book. It’s a very good short book; lucid and entertaining in equal measure. A very enjoyable read.

It is, unfortunately, surrounded by some distracting “enhancements” but perhaps you can use your cleaner-upper software of choice to route around their damage: Instapaper, Pocket, Readability, whatever works for you.

PHP is the right tool for the job (for all the wrong reasons) - Sam says you should read this

I think there’s a lot of truth to this. By any objective measurement, PHP is clearly inferior to just about every other programming language out there …but its preinstalled out-of-the-box nature means it’s the path of least resistance.

They Write the Right Stuff

This article first appeared in Fast Company almost twenty years ago. It’s a fascinating look into the culture and process that created and maintained the software for the space shuttle. It’s the opposite of Silicon Valley’s “move fast and break things.”

To be this good, the on-board shuttle group has to be very different — the antithesis of the up-all-night, pizza-and-roller-hockey software coders who have captured the public imagination. To be this good, the on-board shuttle group has to be very ordinary — indistinguishable from any focused, disciplined, and methodically managed creative enterprise.

A JS framework on every table - Allen Pike

The Tower of JavaScript Babel.

localFont - A localStorage solution for web font loading

A quick drag’n’drop way to base 64 encode your web fonts so you can stick ‘em in local storage.

The Shifting Definition of Front-End Developer

I don’t agree with the conclusion of this post:

Let’s define “front-end” to mean the parts of the app relating to user interface, rather than those that happen to be running in the browser’s JavaScript VM.

But I think the author definitely taps into a real issue:

The real problem is the perception that any code running in the browser is front-end code.

Let’s face it: programming something in Angular and Ember has much more in common with programming something in Rails or Django than it has with writing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

This is something we’re running into at Clearleft: we’ve never done backend programming (by choice), but it gets confusing if a client wants us to create something in Angular or Ember, “because that’s front end code, right?”

Peter Nixey - How to be a great software developer

I’m not sure if I agree completely with every point, but this is a great shortlist of things you can do to make your code more resilient and understandable (thereby making you, by any sensible definition, a better programmer).

Node School in Brighton

Tom is running a Node School at 68 Middle Street on the evening of March 27th. I plan to attend and finally wrap my head around all this Node stuff.

Should JavaScript devs build real things?

This post is about the pros and cons of using JavaScript to programme hardware, but within it is a great summation of what makes JavaScript so powerful:

In my opinion the greatest strengths of JavaScript are its immediacy and its accessibility. It has plenty of weakness (insanely weak typing, implicit casting for comparison, terrible problems with numbers, fluid syntax, I could go on…). Regardless, these weaknesses are entirely overcome by those two points above.

Having taught quite a few people to code, the benefit of being able to open a text editor or a browser console and type code that can immediately and reliably be executed is incredible. The power this brings to the learner is unmatched. When trying to learn new things it’s important to get positive reinforcement very quickly and JavaScript has this ability in spades.

Executing console.log(“hello world”) or window.alert(2+5-20) brings immediate feedback, makes you feel as though you’re getting somewhere and that you are interacting directly with the computer as a programmer. For those of you old enough to own a Spectrum, C64 or Vic20 – BASIC (itself heavily derided) had the same benefit.

James Somers – Web developer money

A well-written piece on the nature of work and value on the web, particularly in the start-up economy.

Seb Lee-Delisle: Playing With Code

A nice feature on Seb in the latest issue of Make magazine.

JoshEmerson.co.uk · Blog · Code Club Raspberry Pi Hack Day

Code Club + Raspberry Pi + Hack Day = Awesomeness from Josh

Learnable Programming

It’s a long one, and it’s kind of meta, but if you have any interest in the idea of programming, this in-depth knowledge bomb from Bret Victor is well worth your time.

Work is being done here on Vimeo

A short piece on the experiment that James conducted with Lighthouse in the foyer of the Cleareft office building, trying to show some kind of physical representation of coding.

Creative JavaScript Training on Vimeo

I’m going to be attending Seb’s CreativeJS and HTML5 course in Brighton on September 13th and 14th …and I strongly suspect that it’s going to be great.

If Hemingway wrote JavaScript by fat xxx

This is a rather lovely way to show that in JavaScript, as in Perl, there’s always more than one way to skin a cat (in whatever idiom you prefer).

How to support full Unicode in MySQL databases · Mathias Bynens

Some good database character-encoding advice from Mathias.

Code Club - The Interview - YouTube

It’s kinda nuts that in the space of just a few months, Code Club has gone from being an idea by Clare and Linda into something with an all-star promo video.


Some sensible ideas about having a consistent CSS writing style.

CreativeJS for non-coders on Vimeo

A fantastic taste of what you can expect in Seb’s Creative Coding workshop.

Code Club

This is an excellent idea: get a whole bunch of after-school code clubs going to teach kids how to code in Scratch.

One Div Zero: A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages

A genuinely amusing alternative history of programming languages.

Home - Transloadit

A very handy looking API that turns file uploading (and conversion) into a service.

New Programming Jargon — Global Nerdy

Some of the best neologisms in programming, many of them to do with bug-fixing.

?C ?V Character

A very useful tool for getting character entities (use the "as HTML" option) in one click.

Coding Horror: A Question of Programming Ethics

A cautionary tale that explains just why the password anti-pattern needs to die. Coding horror indeed: in this case, 1,777 GMail accounts were compromised.

Clichés are hard

An offhand remark I made on Twitter spurs Dom on to do a whole lotta research on character encoding in class names.

Get Lat Lon - find the latitude and longitude of a point on a map

A handy tool for grabbing the geocoordinates for a location.

Snipplr - Code 2.0

One of many code-snippet sharing sites out there but this one has some nice features like tagging and popularity. The interface is yuck though. dpaste,com is nicer but more ephemeral.

Mysql database migration and special characters | Orthogonal Thought

This article is a life-saver for me. I'm constantly having trouble with special characters when I'm backing up databases for local copies of my sites.

Monkey Bites

A brilliant list of New Year's Resolutions for Coders.