Lessons from an intermediate journo-programmer’s journey (part 1 of 3)

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Blog | 2 Comments

I’ve had some opportunities to think back on my journey over the past five years — from student to teacher in the same classroom, from writing my first lede to building highly technical projects and systems for journalism. It’s been a long journey, but one constant has been my phrase “I am a journalist first […]

On best practices: Re-examining the philosophy of how I code

Posted by on Sep 21, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

What does it mean to “grow up” to the next level of how we work? How do we take hacking to find a solution, any solution, and turn it into a purposeful, logical craft? It’s a question I’ve been trying to approach for the last year. So, when you ask me what I’m doing these […]

Functions – Chapter 4, JavaScript Patterns

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

In this week’s selection, the JavaScript Patterns book continues into its interesting deep dive on the intracacies of how the language works, looking at functions, or the blocks of code that can actually do something. JS has some quirks everywhere, but particularly in this area, and I think functions and how they work have a […]

JavaScript Patterns — Chapter 3

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

In this reading, we focus on literals and constructors. Again, this continues the exploration into the fundamentals of how JavaScript works — with the goal of being able to grok design patterns — ways of formatting bits of code in the language when structuring systems, all designed to handle the most common cases. Put another […]

Learning…how to think ahead about big-picture coding problems

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Blog | 2 Comments

In past posts on this blog, and conversations with mentors, colleagues and friends — we have lamented the difficulty of the learning path for the intermediate coder. The posts I’ve been writing about recommended book readings are part of a step forward. But if one is not careful, they become an academic exercise. It’s in […]

JavaScript Patterns – Chapters 1 and 2

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

I certainly love stretching my mind and learning new things, but after weeks of reading Ruby and more strictly-typed languages, I breathe a sigh of relief every time I step back into JavaScript world. Some people like it, some people hate it, but for me, it’s just where I spend the most coding time, and […]

An introduction to design patterns — trying again

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

This week, we leave Fowler’s Refactoring behind in favor of embarking on a journey exploring design patterns. As I understand it, when writing code, there are certain ways of structuring a program or application as a whole that are patterns on which we can base the design of code. This is a topic that has […]

Thoughts on Refactoring – Chap. 5, 6, 13, Selected refactorings

Posted by on Jul 3, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

Continuing our journey through Fowler’s refactoring book for this week, we covered a lot of ground which mostly concentrates on the role of testing (Chapter 5) and selected refactoring that seemed most relevant. They did a nice job attacking some of the common problem areas I have (including complex conditionals, too-complicated functions and data structures).

Thoughts on “Refactoring” – Chapters 1-3

Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

I wanted to remember to blog about what I’m learning by reading Martin Fowler’s “Refactoring”, but I fell behind. No apologies, just moving forward from here. I’ll conflate what I’ve covered so far into one post.

Teaching at Medill!

Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

I’ve been in very much a learning space at work, even moreso than usual (writing my first test-driven and object-oriented Ruby code these days), and I am thankful to be in a place where I can learn and grow. As I approach my learning with a redoubled effort, it feels like some sort of balance […]