Rails Vs. Node

Rails Vs. Node

I’m starting to get into Node.js development, as of late. I’ve started two projects so far and generally like the framework, though the all-js-all-the-time seems a little weird to me still. However, the thing I’ve noticed is that there is a huge productivity gap between Node and what I’m used to in Rails. Yes, being new is part of it, but I don’t think that’s the only thing. Rails really does make a shocking amount of decisions for you. Like… a lot, a lot. Folder structure, db schema conventions, where your configuration goes. The list goes on, but suffice to...

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Kevin makes a good case against the use of Cucumber. Mainly, it’s just an abstraction around rSpec that’s hard to debug. I agree with that, though disagree with the bigger picture. Cucumber is a great way for me to carefully plan out what to build. By expressing each PT story as a Cucumber feature, I can quickly bring to light any hidden edges I wasn’t aware of.

That said, it’s not always the right tool for the job, but when it is, it’s nice to have around.

New Open Source Projects

New Open Source Projects

I’ve been working on a couple of open source projects over the past week. The first is called NDA App which is a web-based way to have people sign NDA’s when they stop by the office. After having to paper-sign a few documents recently, I figured it would be worthwhile to steal the way Square and Heroku do things, and open it up for anyone. The second is a NODE.js app for making note taking easy, called Alfred Notes. During the course of my daily development, I try to take as many notes as possible, so I can keep track...

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Command Line First Apps

Command Line First Apps

I’ve been working on a few new projects in my free time and have made a few discoveries. First of all - if you aren’t using Yeoman, you really should be. It takes a lot of the hassle out of building client side apps, Angular in particular, which is my framework of choice. My other major discovery though, has to do with my approach to building rails apps. Rather than focus on the UI and web side of things first, I’ve been living and working in the /lib directory instead. Let me explain… The process has been something like this…...

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Little-Big Data With Heroku Dataclips

Little-Big Data With Heroku Dataclips

Unlock the hidden power of your Heroku postgres database.

Every startup in the Universe today claims to be “data-driven.” That buzz word is right up there with “html5” and “lean startup” in terms of things companies say, but don’t actually follow through on. I wanted to share an easy way to actually be data driven without having to shell out $$$ for a data warehousing service, or invest the time to build your own reporting app and charts. Instead, all we need to know is a little bit of SQL. In fact, with a little patience, you’ll be able to get the BD team running their own reports in...

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AngularJS and Backlift go very well together, since AngularJS makes it easy to work with backend API’s (as we’ll see later) and with Backlift you can dive right into the front-end code without writing a back-end first.

Backlift is a relatively new service to make creating client-side web apps easier. I was sceptical about yet another hosted backend-as-a-service, but after going through the tutorial, I was pretty pleased with the experience. Backlift uses Dropbox to host the files, so building the site was as easy as opening up the project directory with Textmate and editing like normal.

Very cool.

Clean up your PSDs, it’s the right thing to do

This one probably goes without saying, but somehow it still happens. Fast approaching deadlines, mismanaged projects, newly added features, etc. always seem to get in the way of doing this. It’s like cleaning your room when you were a kid, you don’t really want to do it, so everything else seems to get in the way. But come on guys, we’ve grown up. Right?

100% agree on this. Clean PSDs are the design equivilent to well organized code for developers. Keeping things organized saves everyone time and headaches, and means less work in the future, if that PSD ever needs and update.

Pure is ridiculously tiny. The entire set of modules clocks in at 5.7KB minified and gzipped, without forgoing responsive styles, design, or ease of use. Crafted with mobile devices in mind, it was important to us to keep our file sizes small, and every line of CSS was carefully considered. If you decide to only use a subset of these modules, you’ll save even more bytes.

It looks like more and more of these mini-libraries are starting to spring up, which is awesome. Twitter Bootstrap and Zurb Foundation are the heavy-weights are in the room, but come with a lot of downsides. With tools like Compass and Bourbon that play nicely with SCSS, it’s easier than ever to build modular css that can be used between projects.

When I redesigned this site, I decided to start the CSS from scratch. Using the Pure project as a template, I’m interested to see what I can come up with in terms of extracting some CSS to start on my own module library.

Price based on customer perceived value. Don’t price based on cost. This is a severe temptation for people who are building Twilio apps because we know that, OK, a phone call costs me two cents a minute, so if I bill it out to my customer at three cents a minute, that’s a great outcome. That is a terrible outcome for you.

Great advice on SaaS pricing, and selling in general. The video is well worth the watch.