claudiolassala

Claudio is a Principal Consultant at Improving Houston. He has been developing software for 25+ years. When not building software, consulting with clients, doing presentations, delivering training, or hanging out with his family, he can probably be found working on his music.

Homepage: https://claudiolassala.wordpress.com

Starting to learn React

I just got started learning React. Much like I did when I started learning Rails many years ago and documented my findings, I’ll do the same with React. If anything else, at least to have a place to come back to when I don’t remember things. 🙂

To get started, I’m following the following Pluralsight course: Building Applications with React and Flux.

So far, I’ve been through the intro and environment setup. Those were good for me to revisit some things I haven’t played much with yet: Node.JS, Browserify, Flux, and Gulp.

Here’s a quick run through of my notes…

React allows for the creation of components, in similar way to “directives” in Angular. Something got me scared, though: “JavaScript and HTML belong in the same file”. Hmm, I’m not sure I like that. That to me is the Spanglish of programming. I’ll wait and learn a little more before I tell you how I really feel about it.

React has no two-way binding, which I liked in Angular. Again, I need to learn a little more about this to see how I like it.

React can render both on the client and server (different from Angular). This sounds interesting.

Instead of using Sublime to follow along the course, I decided to install Visual Studio Code on the Mac to experiment with it. So far so good.

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Speaking at Houston Tech Fest 2017

I’m speaking at Houston Tech Fest this weekend. I always have a great time there so I always look forward to it. I’ll be giving the two talks below. If you attend to my sessions, please click the “link for feedback” for the session you attended and give me your feedback so I can work on improving it.

Be a Professional Developer and Write Clean Code (Keynote)
9:30-10:30am (Room 300)
Professional developers must write the best code possible, given what they know and what they have at the moment of writing. After a while, we may look at that code and wonder “wow, what was I thinking?”, and that’s a good thing: it shows we have improved. This session is about my observations regarding code I either wrote or had to work with.
Link for feedback

Beyond the Daily Stand-up: An Intro to Scrum (Keynote)
5:20-6:20pm (Room 304)
Countless companies believe they’re doing Scrum because they have 30-minute daily stand-ups (with people sitting and staring at their laptops) every morning. But Scrum is really a lot more than that. In this session, we see all of the main parts of Scrum (roles, artifacts, and events), and we also talk about some real-world collaborations in teams who adopted Scrum.
Link for feedback

Whenever I’m not giving a talk, I’ll most likely be hanging at the Improving booth. Make sure to come by and say hi! 🙂

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Code Review talk at the HDNUG

I’ll be speaking at the Houston .NET User Group (HDNUG) this Thursday, October 12th, at 6:30pm:

Code Review: I mean no harm!
As part of the work I’ve been doing for many years, I get to do a lot of code review. I usually document things that come up doing a code review so I can share it with other developers in the teams. In this session, I share some of the code I’ve looked at, the reasons why the code raised yellow or red flags in my head, and possible solutions I’ve proposed.

This is a fun talk for me and I’ve received great feedback from those who have seen it recently. It’s also going to be the first HDNUG meeting hosted at the new Improving Houston office. So I’m excited!

Here’s the location:
10111 Richmond Ave, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77042

Click here for directions. There’s plenty of free parking right at the location. See you there!

UPDATE: If you attend this talk, please, give me feedback by following this link. It’ll be a big help so I can improve it.

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Naming Test Methods

When I first started writing unit tests, I followed the common convention in C# for method naming:

WithdrawingMoneyShouldDecreaseBalanceByAmount

Later, I adopted the convention of separating words with underscores:

Withdrawing_Money_Should_Decrease_Balance_By_Amount

At some point I figured the approach above makes the name of the method look like the title of an article. I then decided to go with the same approach, but making everything lower case:

withdrawing_money_should_decrease_balance_by_amount

In some cases, I may use uppercase if I want to draw attention to something in particular:

withdrawing_money_should_DECREASE_balance_by_amount

I like when the code is calm to look at, and it draws my attention to things as appropriate.

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Moving Windows Around Using Only Keyboard on Mac and PC

If there’s anything I do all the time, I try to either find or create a shortcut so I can do it using only the keyboard. Moving windows around is one of those things (maximize, minimize, dock to different parts of the screen, move to different monitors, etc.).

On the PC, I use the combination WinKey+(up/down/left/right arrows). For instance, say I’m working with Notepad like this:

If I want it maximized, I hit the Windows Key + Up Arrow:

If I want it restored back to its original state, just hit Windows Key + Down Arrow.

If I need it docked to either the right or left side of the screen, I hit Windows Key + Left/Right Arrow:

If I want to move the window moved to another monitor, just keep hitting Windows Key Left/Right Arrow until the window makes it to the other monitor (once it gets there, I usually hit Windows Key + Up Arrow so it gets maximized).

On the Mac, I use the SizeUp app, which gives me even more options to manage windows on my screen:

I use these shortcuts all day long!!

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Visual Studio’s own feature for windows layouts

As it turns out, I just realized the post where I talk about switching windows layouts in Visual Studio 2017 was dead on arrival. Well, the tips I gave regarding exporting/importing settings and using VCmd to automate some of that is still relevant and useful.

However, for switching windows layouts, somewhere between VS 2013 and 2017 the tool finally introduced something to make that easier:

Regardless of the approach, please consider using your screen real state wisely. I see a lot of developers fighting VS with its several windows all crammed into one screen, while the other screen has either MS-Outlook or a web browser open at all times showing all sorts of useless things that can only steal away productivity and focus.

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Great screen capture tool I use on temporary computer environment

A long time ago I wrote about screen capture. That was 10 years ago. I was using SnagIt. I still am. I like the fact it has a PC and a Mac version, and I use them both every single day.

There are times, however, when I’m doing temporary work at a client’s machine and I don’t want to use my personal SnagIt license, so I use the next best thing: Jing (also by TechSmith). It’s free, and it has several of the main features I use all the time in SnagIt.

Jing has a quick access feature that sits at the top of my screen:

I select the window or area I want to capture, perform some basic annotation, and then either put it on the clipboard (usually to paste it on Evernote) or upload it to screencast.com (free service from TechSmith) so I can easily share the image through a link with other people:

That’s it: simple free tool that I use a lot everyday and makes me more productive. Win-win.

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