Writing Once Again

Once again, I will publish what I write. I will rewrite them, I will add and I will remove text. My intent is to be candid, to be myself with my writing.

I have written over 50 drafts on Day One that now, I will prepare them for the intention to be published. I will put aside my insecurity and share with the world my thoughts and muses.

My grammar is not perfect but I will work on it. I intend to become a better writer.

I wanted to publish my articles to github, give anyone the ability to correct my grammar or correct any facts that I will have wrong. But I decided publishing on Medium. Everyone is using it. I may still create a repo for all my published and soon-to-be published articles.

I like to write about anything that sparks my curiosity, anything that stays in my mind. My writing likes to be brief and to the point. I look forward to more writing from me

Advertisements

Painless ES6 workflow with Atom

ES6 on Atom with Babel

Watching the egghead.io ES6 videos, I liked the WebStorm feature to compile ES6 code right from the IDE. I wanted this neat feature as part of my workflow without using WebStorm. Atom was the right choice to achieve close to it. The following are the steps that you need to follow:

1. Install the Babel CLI

The Babel team has done an extraordinary job providing tools to transpile ES6 to ES5. Install the Babel CLI:

$ npm install -g babel

2. Download and install Atom

You can download atom from their homepage: https://atom.io/.
Protip: Launch atom from the Command line. Atom will gather your system settings like the paths to your installed libraries and such.

$ atom

3. Download the Babel language support package

The package will add ES6 support to Atom that includes code formatting and coloring, as well as transpiling. Go through the package settings and adjust them to your needs.
https://atom.io/packages/language-babel

4. Download the script package

script is a neat package that lets you run your scripts directly from Atom.
https://atom.io/packages/script

Once you have installed the packages, write your JavaScript and make sure you set your syntax to ‘Babel ES6 JavaScript’ by clicking on the bottom right of your window where it should say ‘JavaScript’. To avoid any possible confusion, you can turn off the javascript-language package that comes with Atom.

To run your code, press Command + I. This command will run the script package and you should see an output pane at the bottom.

Courtesy to the disabled on the web

Turn on your screen reader, let go of your mouse and take the time to go through the your web project and see if you can experience fully your website. 

It’s common for us as web developers to have accessibility as an oversight because we can still experience our applications normally. Most of us take into consideration heading order, alt  attribute in images and maybe even aria roles.

Context is key. Having links that just say “click here”  is not enough. Icons are visually appealing but if they don’t have context, either by visual text or hidden content for screens, they don’t fulfill their purpose. 

Of course there is more to thr picture, but considering your work to be accessible to those with disabilities is a start. 

A Quick Look into PostCSS

After hearing some buzz about PostCSS I decided to learn more about it.

PostCSS is a CSS parser written in JavaScript. It’s core its small, but its power comes from its modules. It gives you control on how your CSS will export.

Autoprefixer its the most popular module for PostCSS. It parses your CSS and adds browser prefixes based on CanIUse stats. Some available modules bring CSS level 4 features or fallback features for older browsers. Other modules can optimize your CSS or bring preprocessor-like features. But there is also “for fun” features like using British English in your CSS (I know you want to use colour). If none of the modules meet your needs, you can write your own module.

PostCSS is not a replacement for your Preprocessors just yet. You have to decide early in development what PostCSS modules are going to improve your workflow. That is where you will get the most out of PostCSS.

I created a simple PostCSS starter kit for you to tinker with. There are starting points to take a look, cssnext and preprocessor-like.

cssnext provides the modules and a baseline CSS featuring future CSS features. The intent is for source file to work in future browsers. It uses the cssnext module.

Preprocessor-like brings features adopted from Sass or Less to the CSS file.

You can always test in the CSSNext Playground. You can read more on David Clarks post.

My Last 6 Months

I had an eventful 2014. A year of learning, self discovery and big changes.

I ended my tenure at AgencyTEN. Most of my career growth happened here. I had the opportunity to work on great projects with great individuals. I met many great people there that I’m happy to call them friends.

After my departure, I explored the world of freelancing. It was a satisfying experience. I wore many hats, worked on quick turn around projects and continued growing professionally.

Earlier 2014, I joined FromSomebodyElse with Bryant and Justen (two ex-colleagues from AgencyNet). It was a fun and enlightening experience working with them. I took an example of their work ethic that motivated me to do my best. I loved the work I did with them working with them. My favorite work produced with them is the site for Balloon Agency.

I started applying for jobs Worldwide. From Thailand to Netherlands, the World was the limit at to where I would work next. My first stop was Austin, TX.

Austin was a great chapter. My goal in Austin was to move and find a new full-time job. I went to job interviews, met smart individuals and had a great time in such fun city.

I had the space and time to self-reflect and have a better picture of what should be next for me.

I had the opportunity to interview for a position at Amazon. The interview process was a one of a kind for me, to say the least. I came prepared, but not prepared enough. I had the opportunity to talk about my work to a group of smart individuals that had the right questions.

I determined that Seattle was the place to start a new life. There was not a job in place, but we decided that it was best for us. We drove across the United States.

Our trip started in West Palm Beach. Our first stop was New Orleans. We stayed at a haunted hostel, we enjoyed local food and got a good vibe of NOLA. Our next stop was Austin, TX. We stayed there for 5 days, enjoyed the Texas BBQ and the great city that is Austin. Along our journey, we went through various national parks, each withs unique beauty.

Our next stop was Taos New Mexico. We visited the Native American town of Taos, a rather unique and beautiful place. Our next stop was the Grand Canyon in Arizona. We did a 5-hour hike down to Canyon. At night we enjoyed the breathtaking view of the skies Milky Way. Next we visited Las Vegas Nevada and stopped by the Hoover Dam along the way. We walked the Vegas strip, gambled and got front row seats for Cirque Du Soleil “O”.

Our road out from Las Vegas to California, we took the Death Valley road. We made it to the Sequoia Forest. We made a stop at some friends home in Fresno. Our next destination was San Francisco and Sacramento. After Sacramento, we made a straight shot to our destination.

Along our trip, I got a job offer to work at [redacted]. I’ve been putting my skills into practice and continue to grow professionally.

Seattle is a beautiful city, we are happy to be here. The vibe here is great, we don’t mind the rain but I mind the lower temperatures. We enjoy our hikes, the restaurants and just the vibe of the city. I make Pike Place Market part of my commute. We are setting roots in Seattle and we look for a prosper future here.

Another Try

A few months back, I decided that I no longer needed site hosting (or that I didn’t want to pay $20 a month for a site that got less than 100 visitors a month). With that decision, all my blogs went offline. It took me too long, but I finally imported all my old post onto the wordpress.com platform.

I just want to write and share my thoughts. It was between Medium and WordPress.com. Medium is great, but there is a level of anxiety on their broadcast feature when you create a new post. I may post in Medium if I would like to reach more readers. For now, you will be able to read my thoughts here, as well as my previous published articles.

Posture for the Modern Person

The modern person, spends most of their day in front of a screen, most probably hunching towards the screen. When we start with this behavior, we don’t feel any negative so we tend not to change it until we start experiencing aches or if someone else points it out.

Having a good posture is good for you. There is nothing negative about good posture, it makes you look better, your clothes fits better, it makes you feel better and improves your well being.

The following are some quick tips for you to improve on your posture:

Exercise – While I’m trying to focus on quick tips, an essential advice is to have a proper exercise routine. You want your body to be active and healthy.

7 Minute Workout – If you have a busy day, I recommend this exercise routine. Like it says, it just takes 7 seven minutes of your day. It is recommended to be a high intensity workout for full effects. My personal advice after doing it for many months now, is to do it at your own pace, and increase the intensity the more you do it. There are many apps and websites that will help you keep track of the time and the exercise that you need to be performing.

Exercise to improve posture – The following video explains a quick and simple exercise that you do twice a day. After a month of doing the exercise, you should start seeing improvement in your posture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4DFgoJ1p1o

Thoracic Bridge stretch – This is a stretch that just takes 30 seconds to do. It stretches your back and hips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm9L0RIhR3s

Sit down at a 135º angle – Proper posture for long periods of time is at a 135º angle. This is leaning back and giving the impression that you are slacking off. Most chairs recline to this angle.

Walk every 20 minutes – This can be a hard one to do, because we need long periods of focus through out the day. You should try and walk, this improves your blood circulation, your digestive system and doesn’t give your body the opportunity to say that is ok to be sitting down for long periods of time.

Intelliskin – The Intelliskin is an undershirt that you wear during the day. They can be a bit expensive but it’s worth it. I’ve been using it for the past 2 months and I immediately felt positive results. It can be painful at the beginning, which what is happening is that is making your muscles be at the correct posture and aligning or reprogramming them to be at the correct posture.

There are other many great tips and advices that you can do to improve your posture and reduce aches because of bad posture. I encourage you to find what works for you or if you have any tips that you would like to share, please do so.