Johnathan.org

October 2015 Archives

Starting Soon: Bloc.io

I officially signed up last week for Bloc.io’s Full-stack developer bootcamp becuase I feel while I can learn a good deal of stuff on my own, I’m not going to make on my own to the level I need to be in order to make a fundamental career shift to software development that will actually still support my family.

The program doesn’t officially start until the 9th of November so I have a little over a week to go. It’ll be a long year and change and a lot of new stuff will come my way. I’ve only scratched the surface of what Ruby and Rails can do. I started a simple Rails app a couple days ago that could one day turn into the platform for any and all of my sites, if I stick to it, enough. Right now, I don’t know enough on how to make it great.

With time, I will, and as I progress the app will improve. My goal is to one day have it replace WordPress as my blog, portfolio of work, and anything else about me I feature online. I may even adapt it to restart my photography portfolio.

I’m really looking forward to what I’ll be learning in the coming months and I’ll be sure to share all of it with you.

How to Fix Misspelled Column Names in a Ruby on Rails Database

I came across a small issue this afternoon while building out one of my first Ruby on Rails apps. When I generated the database table, I misspelled a column name. Luckily for me, it’s easy enough to fix and this is how I did it.

1. Create a New Migration

At the command line from within your Rails application folder, run this:

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

You’ll be generating a new database migration with the name FixColumnName (which interprets to [timestamp]_fix_column_name.rb) inside the db/migrate folder inside your rails application. Open that .rb file and update it so it looks something like this:.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

:table_name – the name of the table in question

:old_column – the misspelled column name

:new_column – the correct column name

If you have multiple columns you need to change, introduce additional rename_column functions:

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

Keep in mind that after this migration, you’ll need to update your references to the column everywhere within your app.

Seems like a simple fix but as someone who’s relatively new to Ruby on Rails, this saved me a load of time figuring out what to do and preventing me from starting over.

Future Ruby on Rails Developer

“Rails Developer” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

In my hunt to figure out where I want my career to head long term, I keep coming back to the idea of software development. I’ve told stories about how I had a rare opportunity a couple years back and I didn’t take it. Well, this time I’m the one creating the opportunity.

Right now I’m working on a self-paced course through Coder Manual and I’m having a great time. However, it may be billed as a complete “bootcamp” but the next stage for me really needs to be one-on-one with a touch of free-wheeling. It’s easy to follow along and build the same stuff the instructor is building. Where the real learning takes place is when free flowing creativity starts to happen.

This is where Bloc comes in. A long-term coding bootcamp, Bloc covers front end, rails, and full stack development with the end goal of being job-ready as a junior ruby on rails developer.

I’ve considered other languages like Python, Java, Swift and Objective-C, but none of those really hit home for me what I want to do. Rails as a platform allows developers to build complex and fully-featured web applications that can do amazing things while not having to focus on the medial.

Looking forward to what’s ahead.

The iMac as Told From the Inside

“When we did the previous mouse we spent so much time dialing those feet, the material, the geometry, everything, so that it sounds good and feels good when you move it on the table,” says Ternus, whose title is VP for Mac, iPad, Ecosystem and Audio Engineering. “But then you change the mass of the product and you change the resonant frequency of the product and all of a sudden the feet that we loved weren’t great anymore. They weren’t what we wanted.”

What exactly was wrong with it? I wanted to know.

“It had just changed… kind of… the sound,” says Ternus, who has been working for Apple since 2001. “They all make a noise — the question is getting a noise we like. It sounded… not right.”

Steven Levy received an exclusive view into the world of development behind Apple’s new iMacs and other hardware. It’s a super interesting read and if you’re a Mac user, a must read.

Headspace

I’m always looking for new an interesting ways to stimulate my brain. I’m also always looking for new ways to clear my head when necessary.

This is where Headspace comes in. I’ve used Headspace for a total of one day as of this writing and so far, I’m pretty impressed. Only time will tell if it’ll be worth investing money in. After my first session, I did feel a bit more relaxed and “with the program.”

Headspace is free with a premium subscription option. Once you get past the first level, you need to pay, but the price is pretty affordable. Paying monthly will set you back $12.95 each month. If you pay up a year in advance, it drops to the equivalvent of $7.99 a month.

When you start using Headspace, you’re greeted by a soft spoken gentleman (his name is Andy) who first walks you through the process and how Headpsace works. Once you dive in, you’re introduced to your first ten minute session. Find a place where you won’t be bothered. You don’t necessarily have to find a quiet place, as the voiceover will help you take advantage of the noise.

You can work through the daily meditations on your computer via headspace.com or on their mobile app available for all major mobile platforms.

Feel like paying? Subscribing to Headspace opens up a whole host of situation-specific meditations for things like health, mental performance, and even a series on how to improve your meditation game. One category I find the most beneficial is the SOS category of meditations. If you’re working through a troubling situation or are literally freaking out, the SOS option will help you get your head back in the game and bring your mind back down to Earth.

I won’t give away the rest but I will say that I enjoyed my first Headspace experience. I recommend you give it a shot. I think you’l enjoy it, too. Check it out at headspace.com or download the iOS or Android app.

Formula E: All the Speed Without the Noise

Sometimes I wish this type of racing would come to my neck of the woods. In this video, Formula E is described as being the quietest race in the world.

So what is Formula E, exactly? It’s F1 racing with electricity-powered cars. Because they’re electric, they’re inherently much quieter. If you want a good idea of what to expect at a race like this, checkout the above video. For an idea of what a whole race is like, checkout the below video featuring the Formula E 2015 Round 7 race in Monaco.

Granted, these races are much shorter (40-60 laps), but even still, these races are still exciting and the cars zip around like that Tesla you wish you owned. Watch out for the beginning action. During the broadcast they keep track of each car’s charge levels.

I love Formula E. It’s not on TV very often here in my market (likely because F1 races typically get delegated to some of the lesser-watched Fox networks and Comcast doesn’t carry like Fox Sports 2).

Extra Life 2015

Folks, serious post here. I’m participating in Extra Life 2015 in support of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and I think it would be amazing if you donated just a few bucks. I’ll be streaming on Twitch the 24 gaming session and will be interacting with everyone.

Link to my Extra Life page.

Thanks in advance. It means a lot!

Macs Equal Fewer Helpdesk Calls

I’ve been a mac user for four years and I can honestly say that I’ve spent less time needing to maintain my systems than any Windows PC I’ve never owned.

It’s not really news that IBM rolling out the usage of Macs for its employees, but one thing that’s made at least small headlines is that after rolling out 1900 Macs a week, IBM made an announcement during a talk at the JAMF Nation User Conference that during their deployments and thereafter, the number of Mac users who’ve contacted their tech support for assistance has been several times less than their PC counterparts.

To much fanfare from the crowd, Previn said that IBM is deploying 1,900 Macs per week and currently have 130,000 Macs and iOS devices in the hands of users. And all of these devices are supported by a total of 24 help desk staff members, meaning that each staff member effectively supports 5,375 employees. One stat that particularly stood out was that 5% of Mac users call the help desk, compared to 40% of PC users.

Total Transparency

I’m a huge fan of transparency. To see BareMatrics supporting ten companies’ pushing for transparency in their business is awesome. Check out their site and see which ten startups are totally open about how they’re doing.

On Never Quitting

There seems to be a trend that occurs every few months with me when it comes to my writing. I find myself, and I lose myself, and I repeat. I battle with staying consistent every day and writing something, even if it’s not that interesting. When I first started blogging on a regular basis, I did it in the morning before work as a way to get my mind right and get focused for the day.

Now, I don’t feel like I need to do that before I go to work (my job is much more satisfying) so the time I’ve set aside to write has pretty much drifted off into space. I never came up with an alternate solution to fix this problem.

A friend of mine, maker of Desk (the minimal blogging and publishing app collection), and habitual blogger, John Saddington recently reflected on sticking with something and “showing up every day” and it really gave me the boost I need to jump start my creative juices, again.

It’s so easy for me to blame the lack of creativity when it comes to missing a day, and there were a lot of those. When I first started this blog right after New Years 2015, I was showing up and writing several thousand words a week. Within the first twelve weeks, I put down almost 60,000 words on digital blogging paper and I enjoyed it. I cranked out thoguhts and musings every weekday morning from 5-6AM and didn’t feel like I didn’t have enough time. I just sat down and wrote.

When someone who’s likely written over ten thousand blog posts (9500+ of which are on his current blog) says something like this:

continuing to move forward, personally, professionally, whatever it may be, is the most important thing that you can be doing. Creating momentum and being as confident as you can be in those few steps is life-giving, life-changing.

I pay attention. This is advice I can use not only in my side worlds, but in my personal and professional worlds, too.

So much has happened in the last couple years. I can’t wait to see what the next couple years have in store. The number of potential opportunties around me will grow and my time to jump will happen soon… I just have to continue working to reach my greatest level of awesome.

Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography