Lessons Learned Teaching Git

Up until last month, and for a little over a year, I taught new developers in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript at The Iron Yard in Washington, DC - an immersive code school. Of course, teaching people new to the world of software development must necessarily entail teaching a lot more than just writing code. On day 1 we start working in Atom, for example. Any code editor can be a very foreign environment for these folks. But one of the most difficult concepts for my students to understand is...

Building an Amazon Alexa Skill with Node.js

Okay, first off, this is a loooong blog post. Over 3,500 words... without code examples. Sorry about that, but I wanted it to be relatively complete. There is some high-level navigation directly below that I encourage you to use when you come back later after wasting a few hours here on the first couple sections.

Custom Skills Skill Definition Skill Creation (Code) Testing Wrap Up and Caveats

Building an Amazon Echo (Alexa) skill is quite...

CSS Selector Efficiency and Why I Only Mildly Care

CSS selector efficiency just isn't that important to me.

That's not to say that efficiency generally isn't... it is. And I take great pride in my ability to determine the most efficient route from my home to work and the most efficient use of my time while preparing meals. However, my computer has eight gigabytes of random access memory and a quad core 2.7 gigahertz processor... As such, the load time of web pages I view is rarely affected by the speed of CSS...

My First Cohort

As some of my more dedicated followers might know, in March I left StrongLoop (now part of IBM) after only 14 months with the company. My primary role there was as a developer evangelist which basically means I got to go around to conferences and usergroups speaking about Node.js (read more about that in an earlier post). This was an amazing opportunity and something I had wanted to do for many years. But as much as I love engaging with the Node and JavaScript community around the world...

One Year in Evangelism

We are quickly approaching the end of 2015, and the end of my first year professionally as a developer evangelist. It has been quite the roller coaster, including everything you would expect from a startup: expanded responsibilities, fast pace, and even a successful exit. Looking back on the experience thus far, I have some notes that I want to share, and some advice for others following in this path.

Let me back up first... In 2014 I spoke at 22 events, a couple of those were...