REVIEW: Exercism.io

Me, JS and SEMjs

I have been recently working to improve my Javascript skills and learning more about Javascript. One of the ways I have been doing that is by attending a local meetup called SEMjs, or South East Michigan Javascript meetup. If you are in the southeastern Michigan area, I highly recommend it! They have presentations once a month for various topics, ranging from JS libraries and frameworks, to how REST services work, to lightning talks of various topics, and even had some talks on the Internet of Things. Lately, they have also started having JS study groups, and I just attended once of those. It is a very informal meetup where we all get together and discuss various JS issues. We can bring in our computers and show each other the code we have been working on or code problems we are having, helping and learning from each other.

Enter Exercism.io

Before the last study group, we were talking on gitter (http://gitter.im), and it was mentioned that we should try using exercism.io for working on JS problems, and discussing code. I checked it out, and I have to say, I loved the idea! I have since tried out some of the JS exercises, and have learned a lot in a small amount of time. I would say my JS skills are probably intermediate at this point in my career, and I haven’t done much with TDD (test driven development.) The problems in the JS exercism.io exercises use the jasmine engine (http://jasmine.github.io) for testing, so this was a good introduction to TDD for me.

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Code Smells, written from a Frontend Development Perspective

So, I recently had this issue come up at work, and I wanted to talk about it in a little more depth. Do frontend developers need to adhere to basic coding practices, and can frontend code have “code smells”? A “Code Smell”, as defined in Wikipedia: “…is any symptom in the source code of a program that possibly indicates a deeper problem.”

Being that I originally came from backend coding and I was taught some of the basic ‘best practices’ of programming, I already apply many of these best practices in my frontend code, to avoid these code smells. But, we all make mistakes, and are often rushed to meet deadlines, and sometimes these issues are introduced into our codebases, either by accident or by ignorance. We are all human, after all! And, that is also, coincidently, why we have code reviews!

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Technical Considerations when Using SVG

I finally was given a project that gave me the requirements allowing me to use SVG. At first, I was excited! This is the first professional project I have been able to use SVG with, and I was itching to try it out. But, I tell ya, it’s been ‘interesting’ so far. When I first thought about using SVG in this project, I figured, hey, just use SVG for the icons in the site, instead of a sprite, easy! Well, not exactly THAT easy. There are some things to consider, OTHER than browser and device requirements.
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