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There’s a ton of good React documentation out there. If you have a question about the framework, chances are somebody else has had that question before and they’ve either sought answers on a forum or they found the answer easily in the available docs online. It doesn’t hurt that the official React docs strike an awesome balance of being descriptive and concise (when compared to other official docs out there) with plenty of widely applicable examples.

One seemingly elusive topic is when and why we use certain types of components. Should we make a form a PureComponent? Should we default…


Building an API with Rails is super easy. Active Model makes managing your domain model relationships and querying your database headache-free. Namespacing your API routes only requires a few lines of code and mapping your controllers to namespaced routes only requires one line of code. Active Model Serializers make your JSON responses extremely customizable. On top of all that Rails generators will whip up the structure of your build with a single bash command. Oh ya, and they even have a flag to indicate that you’re generating an API.

Yes, it’s that easy. Rails leaves a…


The technology we (humans) use has conditioned us to be impatient. We (again, humans) have become so easily frustrated by non-instantaneous load times that we forget that the technology we’re using is a luxury. Most people abandon whatever web page they were trying to access if it doesn’t load in under 2 seconds — but sometimes it takes longer than that for a request/response cycle to successfully execute. Enter asynchronicity…

Asynchronous processes are awesome. They allow humans to accomplish a ton of things in not a ton of time. A dictionary would tell you that asynchronous means: “not happening at…


This week I built an app that allows tutors to post their availability for tutoring sessions, and lets students book sessions according to each tutor’s posted availability. The process of building out the app was a lot more fun than I anticipated, mainly because I used 3 app-building tools that lightened my load and allowed me to focus on the ‘what’ of the app rather than sinking hours into the ‘how’. Those 3 tools are: Rails, Omniauth, and Bootstrap.

Rails makes building MVC frameworks frighteningly easy. The generators are super handy for setting up models, migrations, and controllers (although they…


This week I built an app using an MVC framework. I used Active Record to handle the database, Sinatra to handle HTTP requests and responses, and Embedded Ruby (ERB) to render the views. The models and controllers are all written in Ruby.

The app is designed to allow users to monitor and measure energy use in their home (or place of work) by tracking how much each appliance in their home is used, then calculating its individual power consumption using that appliance’s manufacturer-listed wattage. The app allows users to group their appliances by room (kitchen, living room), or by category…


Ahhh the command line… a powerful interface that served as the forerunner for the more intuitive and user friendly interfaces that were built thereafter (using the command line). The command line is, at first, mysterious. It doesn’t tell you how to use it. It’s just a blank field with a blinking cursor. But like a blank page, there are a world of possibilities waiting to be unlocked if you know how to put it to use.

This week I made an app for the command line. Nothing too fancy or ground-breaking, but it works well, I had fun making it…


Problem solving. It’s pretty simple. If something is not right, you develop a solution that makes it right. That’s what drew me to software engineering. Software engineers solve problems great and small. You don’t know how to get from point A to point B? You need to know if it’s going to rain tomorrow? You need somebody to walk your dog? You need to find a good doctor? There are widely available tools that connect you with information or people that solve these problems, and those tools were made by software engineers.

Humans progress as individuals and as a collective…

Wick Bushong

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