My Advent of Code 2019 Approach

2018 was my first experience with Advent of Code. It sounded like Codewars, so I jumped right in. Wow, I was really impressed. Not only were the puzzles fun, but I really like these aspects as well:

  • Most of the data sets are large, your algorithms and data structures matter. With modern computing, it can be easy to skip or not be worth the time to optimize code. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t practice it and the Advent of Code puzzles tend to put you into situations where it’s necessary to do so.
  • The puzzle descriptions can be long and contain lots of details not necessary to solve the puzzle. Some folks don’t like this but I do. Raise your hand ✋ if you have been given a vaguely worded specification that you have to comb through to find the real requirements. Like it or not, some degree of detective 🕵️ work is part of a software developer’s job.
  • Each day’s part 2 puzzle provides a twist on the part 1 puzzle. Sometimes its a small adjustment to solve part 2, but sometimes it’s a near rewrite. Though making a major change can be frustrating, this frequently happens for software applications whether it be the customer changing their mind or through the addition of new features.

Learning MDX Deck: Layouts

Welcome back 👋. In this installment of Learning MDX Deck, I will go over MDX Deck’s built-in layouts. It is also possible to create your own layouts. I won’t cover that here, but you can read about it in the MDX Deck documentation. So lets get right to it. Here is what MDX Deck provides for layouts out of the box.

  • Default
  • Invert
  • Split
  • SplitRight
  • FullScreenCode
  • Horizontal

Learning MDX Deck: Deploy To Netlify

In the previous article, Learning MDX Deck: Getting Started, I showed how to get up and running with MDX Deck. MDX Deck is a tool for creating presentation deck websites using MDX. But what good is creating a super sweet presentation if you can’t easily show it off to your friends? Let’s take the exact code from Learning MDX Deck: Getting Started and deploy it to Netlify.

Learning MDX Deck: Getting Started

🙋 What is MDX Deck?

MDX Deck was created by Brent Jackson (@jxnblk) and is a tool for creating presentation deck websites using MDX. MDX provides the ability to use React’s JSX inside Markdown. The combination creates a powerful experience for building a web-based presentation deck. Here are a list of features, as listed on the MDX Deck GitHub Page:

  • 📝 Write presentations in markdown
  • ⚛ Import and use React components
  • 💅 Customizable themes and components
  • 0️⃣ Zero-config CLI
  • 💁‍♀️ Presenter mode
  • 📓 Speaker notes

4 Tips For Workplace Pranks

Any workplace can get stale, boring or in a rut. I think software development can be particularly susceptible because the high level of concentration needed to write code. Over the years I’ve found that that small breaks from the routine can help clear my head and allow me to better focus on my work. This typically means working a few minutes on the crossword or jigsaw puzzles in the break room when getting a coffee. Sometimes, it takes more than a puzzle to shake things up. That’s when I like to play harmless pranks on my coworkers. If done right, not only can this cause a break from the routine but it can crack a few smiles and cause a little laughter.

My Favorite Vue Resources

To learn about Vue, I started following interesting people in the Vue community, listened to podcasts, and completed several tutorials. I thought it might be helpful to others to share some my favorite of those Vue resources.

2019 Self Improvement Plan

Before last year, I had not put together an improvement plan for myself for at least 10 years. Putting down my thoughts on how to get better as a developer really did help. While I didn’t do all the things I set out to do, I did make progress towards last year’s general theme of putting myself out there more:

A New Vue On JavaScript30 - 08 Fun with HTML5 Canvas

This article is part of the A New Vue On JavaScript30 series that explores re-implementing Wes Bos’s (@wesbos) #JavaScript30 projects using Vue. Today I will be working with #JavaScript30’s 08 Fun with HTML5 Canvas project. This project uses a <canvas> element to provide a fun a way to draw in the browser window by clicking and dragging the mouse. As you draw, the line will get larger and smaller as well as change color. Here is an animated gif of it in action.

2018 Give Back Gift List

Every Christmas season, I always dread the task of coming up with gift ideas for me that family members can use. Is that too expensive? Is it not expensive enough? Can this very specific electronics part be easily purchased? These are just some of the questions I ask myself every year but NOT this year. I’m going to 💀🐦🐦⚫. This year, I have the perfect way to build a list and it also checks off another thing I have been meaning to do. Support the free content producers and open source projects I use every day by purchasing their swag. So I present to you:

🎄🎄🎄 Dave Follett’s 2018 Give Back Gift List 🎄🎄🎄

A New Vue On JavaScript30 - 06 Type Ahead

This article is part of the A New Vue On JavaScript30 series that explores re-implementing Wes Bos’s (@wesbos) #JavaScript30 projects using Vue. Today I will be working with #JavaScript30’s 06 - Type Ahead project. This project uses an input to filter down a list of cities as the user types. In addition to filtering the list, it also highlights the input value in the results. Here is an animated gif of it in action.

#JavaScript30 Finished Type Ahead Project

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