One Month at Atomic Object: Musings of a Corporate Defector

My on-boarding process at Atomic Object was almost a year in the making. While I was on assignment for GE Aviation to their joint venture company in Shanghai, China, I learned that my contract was not to be renewed for another year. It was part of a cost cutting measure to trim out a large number of corporate expats. This was not totally unexpected as our costs were extremely high.

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Clojure Development in Spacemacs

I’ve recently been doing some basic Clojure development, and it’s been a huge blast. I’ve played around with it in the past, but never bothered to fully set up a development environment. This time, however, I decided to spend a few evenings perfecting my workflow and becoming familiar with the tools available, focusing on my editor of choice: Spacemacs.
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More Robust Browser-Side Networking

What happens to your web application when used over a flaky network connection? Does it swallow errors and stop responding? Does it bounce users immediately to the browser’s built-in “no connection” page? Does it give you a way to continue using the application when network connectivity is restored?

It used to be acceptable to simply say that a web application could only be used when there was a consistent, reliable network connection. They are web applications, after all. But it’s time to stop using that excuse. Read more on More Robust Browser-Side Networking…

Build an Offline Demo of your Ember App with Ember CLI Mirage

Our client wanted a demo version of their Ember app to take to trade shows, use for sales demos, etc. Ideally, it would run on a laptop with no internet connection and not require the use of any developer tools. We decided to run the Ember app against a mocked backend.

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Five Things I Wish I’d Known As a Design Student

I was recently asked to serve on an internship/job panel for design students at a local university. Upon reflecting on my post-graduation life, I realized some things I wish I knew as a student about to enter the workforce. I compiled those realizations into a list of advice for soon-to-be graduating students.
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Debugging Techniques: #1 Break the System into Small Pieces

My PC wouldn’t boot, didn’t even make a sound. I traced the problem down to a particular mounting screw, but there was nothing to indicate that this screw was problematic. It was a perfectly fine screw, correctly installed in the right place. How did I figure this out? Debugging!
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UIStackView Tricks: Proportional Custom UIViews with ‘Fill Proportionally’

In iOS 9, Apple introduced a very handy new UI concept: the UIStackView. Stack views help us quickly compose sequential “stacks” of views without Auto Layout. UIStackView offers a number of distribution and spacing options in Interface Builder. If you’re unfamiliar with UIStackView, I recommend reading “Exploring UIStackView Distribution Types” first.

In this post, I’ll describe how to use the Fill Proportionally option with any custom view while enjoying fine-grained control over the proportions themselves. Read more on UIStackView Tricks: Proportional Custom UIViews with ‘Fill Proportionally’…

Security Hygiene for Software Professionals

As software makers, we face a unique threat model. The computers or accounts we use to develop and deliver software are of more value to an attacker than what ordinary computer users have—cloud service keys can be stolen and used for profit, and the software we ship can be loaded with malware without our knowledge. And that’s before we consider that the code we write has a tremendous value of its own and should be protected.

Taking responsibility for our security hygiene is, thankfully, not very difficult. Today, most tools we need are either already present in our operating systems or can be added without much effort. In this post, I’ll take you down a list of things you should consider.
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