I tried to get ambitious this weekend, with mixed success. After a coworker suggested I try to turn a commonly used bash script into a simple Chrome extension, I thought it would be a good idea for a blog. I had never attempted an extension before, so I realized that it might be too difficult to complete in one weekend, but at least I could blog about what I had learned.

About 30 minutes into my research, I had a familiar concern (which incidentally has never actually turned out to be legitimate). I was worried that writing about a Chrome…

My experience as a developer has been punctuated by hearing others casually using words or phrases that I didn’t understand. I’ve nodded along with data streams and webhooks, EKS and API, and of course lambda. I remember first hearing about lambda functions when studying Java because “Java only uses methods, not functions…though it has lambdas…but don’t worry about that right now.” Today, we’ll start worrying about that.

The Story of Lambda

A lambda is a Greek letter that sort of looks like an isosceles triangle without a bottom. We can see a few different examples of it in the header image for this post…

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Here’s another great example of a subject I’ve learned, but don’t frequently use as a tool because I don’t understand it well enough. If you’re a loyal reader, you may remember that I’ve started to work with a new codebase at work (the one that’s written in TypeScript). This code was written to improve some of our existing processes by using templating to make our scripts smaller, more efficient, and easier to predict. So now, instead of writing custom JavaScript, I plug some strings into the framework — awesome!

A big part of my job is finding and parsing strings…

I studied SQL, JavaScript and React at Flatiron School. I studied Java with my friends at BrightCode and my Python basics came from a Udemy course. This set me up well to code in my workplace…until I was exposed to new repos that were built using TypeScript. I’ve been procrastinating digging into the language because it’s somewhat intuitive if you’re experienced with JavaScript and understand strongly typed syntax, but eventually we have to stop glossing over code we don’t understand and actually write a blog about it. So here we are.

Typed JavaScript

We can see it in the image: TypeScript extends…

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It’s book club week again, so I’ve been working through Chapter 8 of Building Secure & Reliable Systems. I’ve never been a great reader and it’s easy for me to lose focus and find myself having “read” a page without really retaining any of it. To prepare myself for my next group discussion, I’ll do my best to summarize some of the concepts that will help us Design for Resilience.

Resilience describes a system’s ability to withstand attack or failure not necessarily by preventing it, but by building thoughtful contingencies for the inevitable moment of vulnerability. …

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This week we’ve got another “The Knowledge House made me do it” entry. I had a meeting with a student who was interested in using Firebase to store data for her mobile app and she asked if I had an opinion. I did not, but I vowed to form one because I prefer being able to answer questions that people ask me! So…

What is Firebase?

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The Attentive Technical Book Club has started up again, and this time we’re looking to tackle Building Secure & Reliable Systems by Heather Adkins, Betsy Beyer, Paul Blankinship, Piotr Lewandowski, Ana Oprea, and Adam Stubblefield. The book is about 500 pages long and the group is looking to finish it in 10 weeks, which doesn’t give me much time to carefully review any topics that I didn’t fully grasp the first time around. This week (and likely in the future as well), I’ll use this blog to unpack one of the chapters I’ve recently read: Safe Proxies.

What we know so far

Safe Proxies is…

Though I haven’t started writing yet, I’m already coming to you with a new “what I learned” success story. This week, I attended a Frontend Team update call where the working group that I previously attended came up. The the organizers shared what the group had been up to and encouraged everyone else to join. One of the organizers even offered to answer individual questions after the meeting, so I took the time to reach out to her. Long story short, she took 30 minutes out of her day to teach me the reasoning behind some of the linter warnings…

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It wasn’t literally this week, but I recently wrote my first Python command at work. The command was part of a slack integration which allows non-developers to safely edit a table in our database to alter functionality for their clients. Since we were dealing with a DB, we needed a way to run SQL commands, which gave me a bit of anxiety because I’m not great at Python or SQL. Fortunately for me, we use SQLAlchemy at work, which is a toolkit that makes updating our databases with Python a breeze via ORM. I had learned about one ORM, ActiveRecord…

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About a month ago, I wrote a blog post about using webpack to solve for ES6 functions not being supported by Internet Explorer. In the post, I explained that functions like find would throw an error in IE because they are not natively programmed into the browser and that I was hoping to use a webpack plugin to remove find from my code as it transpiled. The post went over configuring webpack and ultimately got the plugin working, but if we were using .find on an array saved as a variable, this was the result:

Array.isArray(arr) ? arr.filter(v => v…

Mike Diaz

Solutions Engineer

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