A quick look at Git cherry-picking

I grew up when tape decks were still a thing. When I was even younger than that, I have memories of using our old turntable in the lounge and putting on whatever record my parents we’re listening to at the time (most often Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band by The Beatles… what an awesome album).

With a tape deck, one had to fast-forward or rewind through all the other songs to arrive at the song of choice. While there were some tape decks that were intelligent enough to know when a song was finished, I don’t remember these catching on too well.

Much like a cassette tape or a record being played through from the start, a Git tree is, at its essence, the same; a record of commits, controlled by a playhead. These commits are “played” onto the tree in a specified order.

Achieve any goal (and track your progress) with Lift

"Lift" LogoLets face it, we all have those tasks in life that we with we did more often- “I should really blog more”, is one of mine (hence this blog post). Sometimes, we have surges of motivation in which we begin our good habit-forming tasks, only to forget about them a few moments later.

The big question is, why shouldn’t we be keeping good habits and achieving our desired goals? I can’t think of any reason other than human nature, really.

Enter “Lift”, a web and iOS app that encourages good habit forming, helps to track progress and adds encouragement via the sending and receiving of “props” from friends connected through Facebook and Twitter.

Test your knowledge of WordPress with “The WordPress Test”

So… you think you know WordPress, huh? 😉 Well, why not test your skills and see where you rank on the world’s stage? Presenting… the WordPress test!

I blogged the other day about using Smarterer and Code School for online education. As a starting point, take the test below and see how you stack up. You never know… the results may just surprise you. 🙂

WordPress

Once you’ve done taking the test, sign up over at Smarterer and take a few other tests to verify and enhance your skills set.

Is DrawSomething a new approach to gathering Big Data?

Data is fast becoming the hot commodity in today’s society. What do we know about our customers? How can we use our customer’s habits and trends to make our product better? While this concept is not uncommon in the non-digital world (printed surveys and small inserts in magazines aren’t uncommon), filling in surveys is fast becoming a common and, frankly, boring method of collecting data about customers or users or a product.

I know, why not make them draw things instead?

DrawSomething, a popular mobile and online game by OMGPOP, has taken the digital world by storm. Worldwide, mobile users are connecting with their friends (many via Facebook) and drawing pictures of words such as “swimming”, “magnet” and “katyperry”, in the hopes that their friend will be able to guess the word correctly. This digital take on the popular “Pictionary” board game is great fun and, frankly, rather difficult to put down. Other than the fun factor, what is the real bigger picture (pardon the punn)?

Daily blogging, what to write and who to blog for

So, now almost a month in and Project 365 is still going strong. At this point, I thought it a good idea to touch base and get some feedback from you all on this month’s posts so far.

It’s often said that one should blog first and foremost for oneself. If you like a topic or post, you should write about it of you want to. While this is true, the next question I ask myself is, why share thoughts and ideas if I’m blogging for myself and, by association, not for readers?

How to improve web developer coding practices (and code)

Every developer approaches their day to day development tasks from a different angle. In addition to this, each developer “designs” their code to suit their own personal preferences and approaches towards specifics in a project. When developers examine code written by other developers, we’re often critical (sometimes hyper-critical) of the code itself, mostly according to our personal preferences. While there is a place for being critical of code, and it should be encouraged, there are a few aspects of this criticism that should be left at the door… namely, the personal preferences.

While we all have our own preferences, it’s important to solidify a few areas when approaching code and to, ultimately, hone the developer’s mindset into certain guidelines. Below are a few thoughts I have running through my mind constantly while developing:

Presentations using SlideRocket

In the last week, Jeff and I presented a workshop at the GROW Academy’s BootCamp, discussing website design & development and focussing on using WordPress to do this. For both our introductory session on Monday and our more in-depth theory discussion on Wednesday, we needed a slideshow presentation to work through the various areas of website construction. Lets zoom back to Monday morning… I needed some slides… in a hurry.

As many of you know, I like to keep my computer as clean as possible. If I don’t use an application, it gets removed and everything that could go onto the machine is thought through before it’s loaded on. Thus, I don’t have PowerPoint, Keynote or anything of the sort… because I don’t need it. Suddenly, I did. Enter SlideRocket.

Re-thinking the concept of the “impossible”

In today’s society, it seems to be a common occurrence to use the word “impossible”. For example, after climbing a mountain, one might say something like; “wow, that was impossible”. No it wasn’t… you just did it. Nowadays we seem to have a tendency to over-exaggerate (pardon the tautology there) and, in many cases, start to believe what we’re saying. Surely, this affects how we approach tasks and situations. Why should it?

Over the past few years (I’d say, since about 2008), I’ve decided to approach tasks day to day from a different angle. How can we say that a task is “impossible” if we haven’t even yet attempted it?

This is quite a common occurrence in web development… developers looking at a task, attempting to analyze it, getting “stuck” at one point and then moving on, deeming it “impossible”. Why does it have to, all of a sudden, be “impossible”, if you haven’t even attempted it yet? Why settle for the “shortcut” when you could just sit down and develop it how you envision it in the first place?

GROW BootCamp 2012 – The Creations

At the GROW Academy 2012, Jeff and I have been discussing and showcasing WordPress and what it can do. We’ve been working with the recruits, setting up WordPress.com websites and learning the system.

We thought it’d be a cool idea to showcase what the recruits of 2012 have compiled.

E-mail is broken

While sitting down to write what was likely to be a completely different blog post, I found myself compelled to write this, so here goes…

E-mail, as a technology, is broken… and we broke it.

E-mail (electronic mail) was originally intended as a means of sending messages digitally in a similar form as a posted letter. A nice simple envelope with a hand-written or typed up letter, possibly to a pen-pal or maybe a notice to cancel an account of sorts… only digital.

As the internet became more popular, it became more a commonplace item in our lives. Nowadays, we almost assume that someone has at least an e-mail address, let alone a Facebook or Twitter account. E-mail is a common form of communication amongst the majority of us who are hooked into technology… so why can’t we use it correctly?