December 06, 2016
I love modules in Ruby: they’re like little folders for your code (ok, well, sometimes they are actually representative of folders in your code). It took me awhile to get comfortable using them, particularly because the concept of
self can be difficult to understand at first. Here’s a quick overview of
self as they pertain to modules in Ruby.
technical, ruby, testing
December 05, 2016
One of my favorite things to do when writing tests is find little ways to write fewer tests but still have the same test coverage. While working on Cryptozoologist, a Rubygem I use to teach gem writing workshops, I utilized a few simple tricks to do this.
technical, ruby, gems
March 31, 2016
Previously, I’ve written about writing a Ruby gem with options for configuration. This is a really great thing to offer your gem users for a number of reasons, but how can we make the interface more helpful to our users? Things like custom error messages for configuration errors and solid testing are two easy ways to get started!
technical, rails, active model, serializers
February 07, 2016
Recently I was working on a Rails application with non-persisted models (aka plain old Ruby objects). We didn’t need a database, which means we didn’t need Active Record either. We opted not to use Active Model, either. We didn’t need most of the stuff...
speaking, conferences, MC
January 31, 2016
Last year I was lucky enough to be an MC for a conference in Barcelona, Spain - Full Stack Fest, a combination of Barcelona Ruby Conf and Future JS. While I have hosted single-day events before, this was my first time being an MC for such a big event...
technical, ruby, gems
January 30, 2016
I love Ruby. I’ve also, unrelated to my love of Ruby, had a paralyzing fear of sharing my Ruby with anyone else. Probably because I’m so emotionally attached to it? Anyways. I got over it and started publishing my first Ruby gem: a Ruby wrapper for the Ravelry API. Here’s the basics of how I set up and published my first gem, as well as a step-by-step guide for making it configurable.
October 02, 2015
I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from conference organizers asking me to submit a technical talk. The nice ones go something like “we really want to see more submissions from women, especially technical talks”, and the demanding ones are a little more “we want more technical talk submissions from women.”
August 11, 2015
There are two primary conversations happening around diversity in tech:
- How the industry is failing and how we should fix it
- How specific companies are how failing at diversity and how they should fix it
It’s unavoidable: a broken industry leads to broken companies.
These conversations are happening in isolation, and they shouldn’t be.
career, resources, conferences, speaking
May 05, 2015
When I was little and you asked me what I wanted to be, I always said a teacher. As a result, I never thought of public speaking as public speaking, I always thought of it as teaching.
career, resources, education
April 13, 2015
The following resources serve as a followup for my talk “Practical Advice for Establishing Your Engineering Career”.
July 24, 2014
It is incredibly difficult to find a good place to work. With companies that fire women after they announce that they’re pregnant, intimidate women into leaving, hire people who think it’s ok to compare women to programming tools, and have abysmally low diversity numbers (although at 10% women in tech, I am no longer surprised by Twitter’s terrible block policy), it’s surprisingly easy to end up working in a toxic environment.
June 19, 2014
It’s a pretty good time to be an engineer, but it’s an even better time to be a senior engineer. In the economy of engineering jobs, there’s an increasing demand for senior talent, but no one is working to increase the supply because senior talent can’t be made, it takes time.
technical, rails, heroku, resque
June 02, 2014
The Heroku guides for deploying Rails apps encourage you to do so using a Procfile and Unicorn. Not being super deployment savvy, I tend to follow the instructions provided to me.
… that is, until they completely, totally, and utterly fail me.
May 14, 2014
Originally written for the Instructure techblog.
Writing tests for large Rails apps with lots of dependencies and complicated modeling is, without question, a complete nightmare. We often spend more time wrestling with tests than we do writing code. The end result of writing tests for legacy code is unfortunately predictable: a test suite full of holes, poor coverage, and tests that aren’t actually testing the thing you think they are. Bugs begin to pile up, technical debt is avoided like the plague, and quick-fix bandaids are applied instead of addressing the problems head on.
April 24, 2014
Since I joined the tech community, I have worked very hard to be acceptable. I have tried to be the “acceptable feminist,” and I’ve done this because I thought it would protect me from the problems present in tech. I really thought that if I was a nice, “reasonable”, friendly, middle-ground person, I’d be safe.
Turns out that isn’t how it works.
April 14, 2014
Since I became a co-leader for Girl Develop It Chicago in January, I introduce myself in much the same way at every workshop, class, and event. It goes a little something like this:
March 18, 2014
When I decided to speak at my first conference, I picked a topic that I knew would be safe. I picked something not threatening, not overly opinionated, and not technical. In short, I picked something I didn’t think I would get aggressive questions about. I picked something feminine: I talked about teaching kids how to program.
February 27, 2014
About once a week, I get an email, chat, tweet, or other electronic communication asking me about some aspect of my job or how I made the transition from a non-technical career. The majority of the time, it’s because that person is considering applying to (or has already been accepted to) an intensive bootcamp-style web developer training program. This is what I say to those people.
December 20, 2013
October 01, 2013
People in the development community tend to throw around the phrase “soft skills” to describe things that are not directly related to writing code. This isn’t exclusive to the development world; lots of people use the term “soft skills” to describe traits that can’t be directly attributed to certifiable/measurable skills and specialities.
September 20, 2013
It’s no secret or a surprise that knitting is a gendered hobby. Most knitters are women and there is nothing offensive or factually incorrect about that statement. While knitting as a hobby is growing and there are more men and boys participating in the craft, it is still primarily women that pick up the needles and work with yarn.
September 01, 2013
This has been the start of my first week as a Software Engineer. I work at a real company doing things with code that people actually use. It is awesome, terrifying, thrilling, challenging, and hands down the coolest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve only been poking around in the code base for a few hours a day, but I’ve come to realize that I am going to learn more at this job than I expected.
August 22, 2013
Since graduating college, I’ve only had one job that required “business casual” attire. I hated that job, partly because a dead-set-in-her-traditional-ways HR representative made snide comments about my wardrobe everyday (“I wish I wasn’t a professional woman so I could wear jeans!”). It was never “business casual” enough for her.
August 20, 2013
One of my favorite ways to explain how passionate I am about coding is to compare it to the world of Harry Potter. To me, learning to code is the closest I will ever get to boarding the train to Hogwarts, taking my O.W.Ls, and crushing my N.E.W.Ts. Picking out a new computer and configuring Vim (new obsession) are akin to selecting a wand at Olivander’s. I could continue with the comparisons, but I think you get it.
August 19, 2013
One of the things I learned from the interview processes I went through is that the presence of women is important. I present you with two different scenarios.
August 15, 2013
A lot of the time when I describe myself and what I’m passionate about, I end up talking about women in programming or women in engineering. Taking about concepts such as power, oppression, injustice, equality, objectification, etc has been a common theme in my life since I started college.
July 22, 2013
Last week I had the pleasure of having lunch at Table XI and taking part in their round table talk for the day, where I gave a Pecha Kucha presentation on what it meant for me to experience being new.
June 22, 2013
Earlier this week, I ran into a brick wall of sexism. What happened after that was infinitely more interesting than the event itself.