A writer with no head for business isn’t going to make a living with the words they write, no matter how glorious, how well-crafted, how extraordinary they are, outside an incredible run of good luck.

— Kameron Hurley on Writing as a business

This applies to developers as well. Even if you have no aspirations to start your own business, knowing about options, employee contracts, personal finance, and retirement would do you well.

Rebuilding Wardrobe: Week 2

Wardrobe Week Two

This is the second week in a series on rebuilding WardrobeCMS, the minimal blogging engine. Here is the link to last weeks in case you missed it and want to get caught up.

For this week I want to accomplish two main goals. The first is to get a base install of Laravel 4.3 going and start an admin style guide. Continue reading

Rebuilding Wardrobe: Week 1

wardrobe-design-planning

Welcome to the first week of my rebuilding Wardrobe series. As I mentioned in the announcement I’m going to be journaling the entire process of rebuilding the app and I will be starting from a blank slate. This week is going to be just planning and laying out the goals of the project. Continue reading

The Wardrobe Diaries

I have been working on building a new version of Wardrobe, my little blogging app, and development has stalled as I’ve been swamped with other things. I have thought about it for a few months now and I’ve decided I’m going to do a complete rewrite. Lots of new features have been added to Laravel and with 4.3 on the horizon I think now would be a good time to revisit some of my original goals, and also add new features. Instead of just building it and releasing the finished product I want to do something a little different. I’m going to journal the entire process on this site – from blank screen until completion. Continue reading

Pluck The Weeds In Your Code

Back in the spring, as I was walking back from the mailbox I noticed a tiny little green weed inside a purple bush. The bush hadn’t bloomed yet and was still bare from the winter. I briefly thought about going and pulling the weed, but I kept thinking:

  • I have 10,000 other things I need to do
  • It will still be their tomorrow
  • When the bush blooms it will block out the sun, and without sun it will die.

The third thought was partially right. The bush bloomed and the weed seemed to miraculously be gone. Out of sight, out of mind, they say.

Fast forward to the fall and I’m making my same trip to the mailbox and this time I see a huge green leaf coming out of the top of the bush. The little weed that would have taken 30 seconds to pull has now turned into a massive tree like structure.

I tug and I tug, it’s impossible to remove, the roots from both are all intertwined.

Now pretend that weed is a piece of nasty weird code that you come across in your app. Don’t be lazy, go improve it before it grows out of control.

This post is an excerpt from my Laravel News digest. A weekly email about the Laravel framework.

Using WordPress to Create a Newsletter

On my Laravel News site I send out a weekly digest newsletter and I decided very early that I didn’t want some automated system of just grabbing all this weeks posts and sending those. However, I did want to automate as much as I could and in this tutorial I want to share how I setup WordPress to handle the creation of each weeks mailing. Continue reading

Building a jQuery Plugin with Gulp

With the current design of this site I wanted to have images in the content that stretch out beyond the container. I’ve seen this pattern used quite a bit recently and I think it gives a nice little visual “pop”. Implementation wise this is a pretty easy problem to solve by using negative margins. I decided I would use this as an opportunity to put together a little centerImg jQuery plugin and document my steps along the way. Continue reading

The Sketchnote Workbook

As a developer I am constantly taking notes while reading, planning features, and attending conferences. Conferences are the hardest for me because of how fast the talks go. If I’m writing then I have to be quick and my notes end up being illegible. Continue reading