Technology is Terrible

April 10, 2016

I get into my hotel at around 8:30pm. I want to watch NXT Takeover on the WWE network and then go to bed. I unpack and then put my Amazon Fire Stick in the HDMI port on the TV.

I start looking for an outlet to plug it in. Nothing close. The armoire weighs a ton and both of the plugs behind it are used up anyway.

Ok, I can just watch on my laptop. Open it up. Keyboard and trackpad not responding. Reboot. No Mac Startup Chime. Keyboard still not working. Reboot. Same. Reboot and hold down Option. Nothin. Repeat with Shift. Repeat with Command Option P M. Wait. Reboot into recovery mode. Computer insists I turn on my Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Which I don’t have. Fuck.

I just want to watch an hour of pro wrestling.

Pour myself a drink.

Plug the Amazon Fire Stick into my USB battery. Turn on Tv and it works.

Connect to hotel wi-fi. Amazon browser not compatible with the OMNI’s interstitial. Go into “cursor mode” and I’m literally surfing the web with up/down/left/right/submit.

Select premium Internet. Fuck it, I want this to work. Enter my name and room number. I’m in!

Navigate passed about 20 apps that I could download, but have not. WWE is at the end and it’s already downloaded.

OF COURSE I have to sign in! Otherwise, someone might have stolen my Fire stick and started watching 1990’s WCW repeats on my dime!

Open phone, launch 1Password to get my login details. Sometime in the past my phone rebooted so I can’t use TouchID to get in. Enter my very long and easy to mistype pass phrase. Thankfully I get it right the first time.

Back to the Fire stick, I log in to the WWE network. It’s really. really. slow.

Find NXT Takeover and start it up. Stuttering and buffering would be an understatement. I let it ride. After about 10 minutes, I’ve seen 2 minutes of the event, doled out in 5 second bursts. Fuck.

Second drink is poured.

Ok, I’ll watch something else. Maybe it’s WWE. The tech behind their network is not very robust.

Hulu! I can catch up on the terrible superhero shows I like. Or Netflix! Can watch Walking Dead. Both require downloading an app and surely logging in. I’m done logging into things for the night.

Oh, I’m still in season 1 of Veronica Mars! And it’s only on Amazon Prime!

Amazingly, it remembers the last episode I watched (God knows I don’t). Start it up.

“Previously on Veronica Mars…” and then the screen turns solid green and does nothing but glitch.

Ok, maybe it’s this episode. I’ll skip it and not worry about missing too much. Start the next episode.

“Previously on Veronica Mars…” and then the screen turns solid green and does nothing but glitch.

I just want to watch TV and go to bed.

Ok, what else is there? The Wire season 1. Haven’t watched it in ages and could honestly settle for Idris Elba reading he phone book for 2 hours. You know what would be awesome? A sitcom around all the time Stringer Bell spent in community college. I mean, they had to have group projects so I can see hours of fun watching him and three 19 year olds try to make business plans for video stores or whatever.

Anyway, this finally works. I watch a couple episodes without incident. Finally. It’s bleaker than I remember.

It’s 11pm and I still want to watch wrestling. Flip back to WWE and now it’s working. But I’m tired. Fast forward to Baylee vs Asuka for the women’s title. Baylee loses. Fucking hell.

“Why You Need a JavaScript Framework” in March's PragPub

March 03, 2016

In March’s PragPub, I’ve got an article titled “Why You Need a JavaScript Framework”.

Remember that application you were working on that started out needing just a bit of JavaScript? And then it needed more? And then just a bit more? And then you had a complete mess on your hands?

You can avoid that next time by using a front-end application framework right from the start.

The issue is a couple bucks. Check out the other contents here.

Rails, Angular, Postgres, and Bootstrap is in print!

January 22, 2016

About a year ago, PragProg approached me to see if I was working on anything book-worthy. I’d just created to document the pain of configuring Rails to do something it clearly didn’t want to do—let you write an application with lots of front-end. Meanwhile, I’d been learning more and more how great Postgres is.

The result is my new book “Rails, Angular, Postgres, and Bootstrap: Powerful, Effective, and Efficient Full-Stack Web Development”. It’s been in beta for a while, but official print verison is now for sale.

You can buy it now and start embracing the full stack of web development using some awesome tools that will serve you well for years to come!

Hierarchy of Software Needs

January 13, 2016

If you regularly work with web technologies, you’ve no-doubt pulled your hair out dealing with the technologies used for front-end development (and, let’s be honest, back-end development, too :). Almost everything about front-end work feels terrible, from the weakness of JavaScript as a language, to the myriad half-documented tools that all somehow manage to do less than make, to the absolute bizarre notion that we are building user interfaces with technologies designed to write term papers.

But why are these experiences unpleasant? I would argue simply that they don’t fully meet our needs as programmers. And we can think about those needs as a hierarchy, each need building on the need below it.

My Talk from Full Stack Toronto 2015

November 30, 2015

My talk from Full Stack Toronto, called “Rails, Postgres, Angular, and Bootstrap - The Power Stack” is up, where I make the case for using not just using a CSS framework, an MVC framework, a middleware framework, and an amazing database, but for using Bootstrap, Angular, Rails, and Postgres and using them together.