Awesome Automation

The Tool Smith's Blog

An author co-worker once speculated that I (Dobb here) was more published than he, the author of four or five novels at the time. His reasoning: My code runs (read: is published) out on the web.

In many ways I guess I agree with him, and in one way I don't. Let's get that one out of the way... You really don't read what I publish. You interact with it. You see it. It conveys information to you. But being an author myself, mainly of whitepapers and academic articles, I struggle to say that my code is published.

As a verb, publish is "to issue work — a book, journal, or music — in print or make available online." This screams to me: content. My code is akin to the letter blocks a printers' press uses, the book's binding, or the library's shelves. These help get the content to you in a specific way that the author intended. The same can be said of my code — it helps get the client's content to the user in a specific manner.

Now that I've actually written my one objection, I think that is my new answer. I don't publish when my code goes live. However, my blog is content. This blog is published.

As a toolsmith and a utility writer, as a backend engineer or lead developer, most times I can't show anyone the "binder" or the framework or the widget, or even the output that my code creates. Yes, I create, as does my code. I take great pride in code that saves people time and money. (If you need help with anything, just contact me and we'll see what we can do!)

I'll have to explore "authorship" as it pertains to software development in a future post.

Extreme Making

Reading Now

I recently read an article by Brad Halsey (@BradBuilding) of Building Momentum and Field Ready -- an NGO that helps in disaster zones (war and natural) -- in Make: current issue (Feb/Mar 2018).

The extreme circumstances surrounding humanitarian relief require extreme making...

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2 Minute Tool Tip: JS Spread Operator (...) Copying Arrays

Copying Arrays

We are continuing to explore the JS ... and how to copy arrays.

tl;dr

The spread operator ... is fraught with complexities when trying to copy arrays. Personally, I stick with many of the tried and true array methods: slice(), splice(), shift(), unshift(), pop(), e...

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2 Minute Tool Tip: JS Spread Operator (...) Combining Arrays

Combining Arrays

In this 2 Minute Tool Tip, we'll continue exploring the Javascript Spread Operator .... If you'd like to read how the Spread Operator simplifies passing an array to a function, check out the previous 2 Minute Tool Tip.

ES6 has really simplified working with arrays in gener...

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2 Minute Tool Tip: JS Spread Operator (...) Passing Arrays

Passing an array to a function

ES6 has brought a lot of efficiencies to JS. One such new tool is the spread operator, the dot-dot-dot, or three dots ... syntax.

This operator results in, I'd argue, cleaner code that's easier to read and follow as well as adding some nice abilities.

The Old W

...

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2 Minute Tool Tip: Spinner or Progress Bar

News Flash (not): Attention spans have been decreasing.

I'd argue that this is been taking place ever since the first TV remote control was sold.

As an end-user, I know you've stared at a spinner wondering if the process has stalled. When do you give up?

As a developer, it's much easier t...

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