Topic:   Software Development

Learn to code with sensibilities for business, product, and collaboration :: a curriculum for entrepreneurs

While there are plenty of amazing “learn to code” options out there, what’s often missing from their content is an integrated business curriculum for engineers building digital products, especially in a team setting. My goal with this curriculum is to teach from the ground-up a toolset for (1) rapidly prototyping software applications, (2) establishing an architecture that is ready to scale, and (3) integrating business and entrepreneurship fundamentals so that - as an engineer - you can be maximally effective to help drive revenue and customer satisfaction.

When to start writing code for your Minimum Viable Product

More often than not, founders pursuing a new software startup end up writing code too early, wasting valuable time that should be spent with customers.

Five questions to ask when choosing a technology stack for your startup

Almost as dangerous as stating your political or religious opinions online is suggesting software tools and languages for a startup. Software engineers are an opinionated and tribal bunch; say the wrong thing and you’ll be ridiculed and cast out of camp faster than you can say “spaces are better than tabs.”

Evolution toward one-way data flow: A quick introduction to Redux

So you’re starting to wake up and realize that React is seriously winning. Perhaps you’ve also heard about Redux but never bothered to dive in to understand what it is and why you should use it. Well, now is the time to get up to speed and get in the game. I’ll give you a quick back-story then dive into some code.

Startups: How to set a realistic timeline when building a software product

“Sure, we'll have that done in three weeks.” says the engineer. The marketer rolls her eyes, of course, and expects it in five. Eleven weeks later, it's delivered (and it's not very good). After an additional seven weeks of ironing out the basic bugs and UX kinks, marketing finally feels comfortable promoting it. Why didn't the engineer just say “about 20 weeks” and aim for delivering a tad early?

Adding Webpack with Hot Module Replacement to speed up Redux/React/Sass development within a Rails5-app

Piggy-backing on my previous post "Rails5, ActionCable, Redux, and React: Walking through an example chat application" I was curious how difficult it would be to spin up a webpack server with hot module replacement (HMR) alongside Rails (i.e. firing it up on another port) to speed up development of the Redux/React/Sass parts of the app.

Rails, ActionCable, Redux, and React: Walking through an example chat application

I spent some time over the holiday break wrapping my head around Rails with Redux. This will be an interesting stack to consider.

Building a new web product: How to best setup engineers AND creatives for a win

Pre-launch startup operations are always chaotic. That being said, equipped with your idea, team, market analysis, customer personas, early validation via surveys and interviews, and a brief overview statement (yes, do all that first), there is something simple you can do to setup your engineers and creatives for a win.

Clarifying the 5+ roles of a “Front-End Web Developer”

Anyone who has looked for a job in this area understands there is widespread confusion about who does what when it comes to designing user experiences (UX) and building user interfaces (UI) in a web browser.

How to build a simple email sign up form with Ruby on Rails

Continuing our Introduction to Web & Mobile Development tutorial series, here we'll learn how to build a simple email sign up feature. Unless you have strong business reasons to require users to only sign up via an Oauth provider such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc., it's best to at least allow your users to sign up directly with an email address.

How to merge HTML, CSS, and JavaScript into your Rails app

Continuing forward in our introduction to web and mobile development tutorial series, here we'll learn how to merge into our Rails app the basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that our UI designer (Tim) quickly built for us.

How to setup a Rails app for Test-Driven- and Behavior-Driven Development with Rspec and Capybara

Continuing forward in our introduction to web and mobile development tutorial series, here we'll learn how to prep our Rails app to begin writing code in a Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) paradigm.

How to design and prep a Ruby on Rails model architecture

Moving along in our web and mobile development series, here we'll discuss the process of prepping Ruby on Rails models before receiving HTML views, CSS, and initial JavaScript files (i.e. the “cutups”) from your designer to merge in to your app.

How to work with a visual designer to efficiently build mockups for your app

Next up in our intro to web and mobile development series, here we'll discuss how to move from wireframes to more detailed images of your user interface (i.e. the “mockups”). This may sound obvious, but the actual creation of mockups should be reserved for the most talented visual designer on your team. If you don't have a legit person for this, recruit one before attempting to move forward here (seriously).

How to build and iterate wireframes for modern app development

Moving forward in our web and mobile development introduction series, here we'll briefly walk through the process of building wireframes based on the UI Spec and UX Flow Chart we put together previously. Wireframe construction usually goes faster if the designer is the one doing the work, but regardless it should be a collaborative process with the entire founding team of your startup.