Grunt tutorial

I have been using the JavaScript task runner and build tool Grunt for a few months now.  When I realized how much I liked using it, I wanted to suggest to other developers to try Grunt for themselves.  Although a lot of information is available about it online, Grunt really just requires a few steps at the beginning to get your system set up and I decided to make a tutorial with the aim of making it quick and easy for anyone looking to get started.

I am working on an online learning platform called LearnYoga and that is where the Grunt lesson is hosted.  It is free but requires registering on the site.

Coding Dojo, weeks 9-12 and post-Bootcamp

afternoon at the Coding Dojo

Our cohort of students has graduated from the Coding Dojo.  Now a number of us are engaged in the “engineer in residence” program which is focused on getting projects finished and deployed along with  job search skills and techniques.

In the last handful of weeks I have learned a new language–Ruby–and tried out a couple ways to serve web pages using it: first with Sinatra, then with Rails.  While working on understanding the Rails MVC structure and its ActiveRecord ORM tool for databases, I started a on few projects including a yoga teaching platform (a codebase that I intend to continue to enhance with input from my yogi wife) and a social bookmarking tool.  With working betas of these projects done and having worked through the Dojo material (which heavily emphasized test driven development [TDD]), I was finally ready to take on the Rails black belt exam.

Now that I can call myself a Coding Dojo blackbelt, I am looking forward to many upcoming coding challenges, including building some new projects on the MEAN stack using NodeJS.

Coding Dojo, weeks 4, 5, 6, 7, 8….

The pace keeps accelerating at the Dojo.  We’re currently working with MongoDB and looking at other parts of the MEAN stack, especially the ExpressJS server framework.

Now that we’ve worked our way through the LAMP material, we’re doing pretty much everything in JavaScript for now and coming up will be the section covering Ruby on Rails.

These are a few mockups for web sites I’ve made:

parakeetsTrackerDJM baseballCardsDJM

Coding Dojo, weeks 2 and 3



Is it confusing that I am counting from 0 on the days but 1 on the week? Yes, yes, it is, but I am making a decision to go for clarity rather than consistency here. After all, a whole week zero sounds kind of different than day zero right?
Well that kind of style choice (often with 2 okay answers but neither appearing truly optimal) often presents itself in writing code. We’ve been writing code now for almost three weeks, and in that short time we have covered a massive range of topics including http, HTML, CSS, jQuery, Bootstrap, LESS, ERD, SQL and now this week PHP.
At the end of last week we took our first of four belt exams–this one the “yellow belt” covering HTML and CSS. After some more PHP and mySQL we will be taking the “red belt” test on those subjects [and the LAMP stack, generally speaking]. As we have started with procedural PHP, we have yet to cover the MVC-framework style of PHP coding, which I am looking forward to.
I have some experience with PHP but given the diversity of approaches used with that language, I am learning a great deal even in the current procedural programming section–and I have even less experience with frameworks. The sections coming up should be both challenging and enligtening–once we get a feel for MVC with PHP, we will move on to the material in the second half of this Coding Dojo class. This material includes the new and exciting (and very challenging according to the people I’ve discussed it with among the cohort of students ahead of mine) MEAN [MongoDB ExpressJS AngularJS NodeJS] stack. After that will be Ruby on Rails, but at this point I’m getting pretty far ahead as I have a lot of PHP work to do at the moment.