Jay McGavren's Journal

2019-07-03

Setting Up New Google Accounts for Developers

I don’t like many of the default settings in GMail and other Google accounts. And sadly, there is no settings import, so new accounts have to be set up manually. I just switched employers, so I find myself having to set up a new account from scratch. I’m recording my settings changes here in the hopes it will help others out.

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2019-06-08

How to Hunt for a Development Job

Update 2019-07-02: I’ve taken an offer! Huge thanks to everyone who got in touch and/or shared that I was looking!

I was laid off from my job a week ago, along with many of my colleagues. Luckily for us, the friendly Twitter developer community has turned out in droves to help us. It’s generated a lot of leads.

I’ve noticed that my communications with contacts at these companies tend to fall into certain patterns. I ask many of the same questions of each. But I also find that I sometimes forget to ask certain details. Or worse, I ask questions in the wrong order, getting a bunch of details about the tech stack but then discovering the position isn’t remote-friendly, for example.

So I’m writing this post to help other job hunters avoid the same pitfalls. I mean for this to be a living document. If you have comments or suggestions, please get in touch!

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2018-05-04

Backend web development tutorial on YouTube

Treehouse asked me to write up an overview of back end web development to publish on their YouTube channel. Yeah, there’s a little sales pitch at the end, but if you want to know what web developers do, it’s a great summary. Our motion graphics team’s work is amazing, as always!

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2017-01-28

Motivating examples for beginning coders

One thing I learned from the authors in the Head First series who came before me is the importance of good “motivating examples” - a task that the reader can easily understand but requires learning a whole suite of skills to actually implement (coinciding as closely as possible with the skills you want to teach). Motivating examples are valuable because they give a reader a sense of progress as they work toward a goal.

Rosetta Code is basically a wiki-based collection of motivating examples for beginning developers. There are tons and tons of tasks on there, each showing solutions in a wide variety of programming languages. But a large portion of them aren’t ideal for beginners:

But there are a lot of great beginner-friendly examples too. I’ve collected promising-looking ones here, for people to mine for inspiration.

Align columns
Anagrams
Averages/Median
Averages/Mode
Character codes
Chat server
Check that file exists
Comma quibbling
Command-line arguments
Compare a list of strings
Count occurrences of a substring
Create an HTML table
CSV data manipulation
Echo server
Even or odd
File input/output
File size
Greatest element of a list
Guess the number/With feedback
Hash from two arrays
I before E except after C
Input loop
Leap year
Letter frequency
Longest string challenge
Mad Libs
Menu
Morse code
N'th
Named parameters
Number names
Object serialization
One-dimensional cellular automata
Palindrome detection
Pangram checker
Password generator
Percentage difference between images
Phrase reversals
Pick random element
Pig the dice game
Playing cards
Plot coordinate pairs
Rate counter
Read a configuration file
Read a file line by line
Read a specific line from a file
Read entire file
Remove duplicate elements
Remove lines from a file
Roman numerals/Encode
Rot-13
Search a list
Secure temporary file
Take notes on the command line
Temperature conversion
Text processing/2
Text processing/Max licenses in use
Textonyms
The Twelve Days of Christmas
Tokenize a string
Top rank per group
Unix/ls
Update a configuration file
URL parser
Web scraping
Word wrap
XML/Input

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