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Donald Merand profile picture

Donald Merand

Director of Tech-sploration at EXPLO (www.explo.org)

Location Boston, MA, USA Joined Joined on  Personal website https://donaldmerand.com github website

Education

BA in CS, playing with computers for 30 years.

Work

Director of Tech-sploration at EXPLO

All 168 comments

A collection of my favorites DNS servers

You can increase the speed of a slower, but more secure, DN...

Any FileMaker Devs Here?

Thanks for sharing that resource. Perhaps others visiting t...

Hand and wrist pain?

I'm so sorry to read about your pain. That must be frustrat...

Rails to Introduce View Components

I have the same concern about diluting the existing approach....

Post-Progress Software Development

Also: Hopefully, the harsh realities of the world facing ...

Post-Progress Software Development

I love the idea that the future of computers + the internet...

What is that one tool/stack/framework that you have no interest with despite the popularity?

Came here to say React, realized that everybody else alread...

What are you "old enough to remember" in software development?

I didn't know about the battery trick! I really wish I had....

How many software developers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Back in the nineties it used to take a whole team to do thi...

How do you manage your usernames and passwords?

I came here to say this. Using GPG you can have 4096-bit en...

What's the most excited you've ever been about a new technology?

I don't think over ever been more excited about tech than w...

What are your thoughts on the 4-day work week?

Same. I found 4 10-hour days wasn't any better for me. Curr...

How many computer devices do you own?

Personally I only own a Moto G5 Plus, which has been a grea...

Elixir and The Beam: How Concurrency Really Works

This is a great introduction to the BEAM. I particularly li...

What are you "old enough to remember" in software development?

Staring at a blank DOS prompt in wonder on my dad's 286 in ...

Reconciling Guy Debord: Coding in Grammatical First Person

I think @dmfay did a great job summarizing the philosophic...

Using Windows Subsystem for Linux and Ruby with Jekyll

This is great, thanks for writing it! I've been using the W...

Surrealist Remixes with Markov Chains

The thing I didn't mention is that I may have also implemen...

Surrealist Remixes with Markov Chains

I love this! What's great to me about this article (and so ...

Reveal your macOS Secrets

You're absolutely right - I'll edit my post. Thanks!

Centralize Your Query Logic!

I always learn something really interesting from your artic...

What’s something that should be obvious that developers seem to misunderstand?

Developers should understand that "hard" and "soft" skills ...

Changelog: Mentor Matchmaking!

I love this idea! Nice work @jess + the DEV crew.

Shell Bonsai with tree

This is amazing.

When is code "too clever" / how do you think about readability/cognitive load?

The language that you're using can play into this as well. ...

Can you share your favorite quote or rule related to IT?

Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing ...

What was the worst day in your job?

My second day on the job at my current job was probably my ...

What's your favorite editor/terminal color scheme?

I've been all-Solarized, all the time, for many many years....

Changelog: Github Repo & Glitch Liquid Tags

very cool!

Which programming language/environment is more “powerful” than people realize?

It's not quick, but I just ran into the Power of Prolog whi...

Which programming language/environment is more “powerful” than people realize?

100% agree, I love awk and use it all the time! Also: combi...

Explain Five Like I am Five

I haven't done ANY research on a topic that I am intereste...

Explain Five Like I am Five

What's your reason for asking this question? Are you hoping...

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast

This is excellent. Thank you. I love the main point about t...

How do you clean your screen, keyboard, etc?

I find a microfiber cloth with some water works on the scre...

Works as shown: Elixir's doctest macro

Interesting note about side-effects in doctest code - I did...

Markdown-based task runner - 'saku'

Interesting approach! On the one hand, I love the expressiv...

What Is Your Main Language?

I work in education, and I use Ruby as my go-to platform fo...

When is it right to change the version number of a project?

When in doubt, semantic versioning is a good place to start...

ES6 sets a collection that cannot contain duplicates

It's amazing how many problems you can solve by having the ...

What hobby/skill do you wish you pursued more regularly?

Nice hardtail! What kind of pickups do you have on that? A...

I am stuck.

I second this. As Anne Lamott says, take it bird by bird.

Does God Have A Programming Language?

Considering that our experience of time-based reality is a ...

A Minimal Chromebook Setup for Development & Hacking

Great article! I'm pretty jazzed about the upcoming Crostin...

how important data structures are and best way to learn them

You can, with the strong caveat that you have to be very ve...

how important data structures are and best way to learn them

Nobody "needs" formal education. There's not some secret kn...

Do you prefer chrome or Firefox quantum

That's very exciting about Firefox dev tool integration wit...

Are interruptions really worse for programmers than for other knowledge workers?

Thank you for saying this! I'm a full-time homeschooling pa...

Do you prefer chrome or Firefox quantum

Firefox Developer has a pretty amazing suite of tools as we...

objects? No... array, please!

Obvious to whom? I found these examples, which you didn't m...

objects? No... array, please!

Have you looked at object destructuring much? Seems like it...

How to Bind 'this' in React Without a Constructor

I think it was pretty clear! It also shows a larger point a...

How to Bind 'this' in React Without a Constructor

This is great!

My first step in learning Generative Art

Very cool!

What kind of music do you listen to while working?

For me, it can't have words - I must focus on the music whe...

Pattern Matching in Elixir

Excellent rundown. Thanks for this!

What do you think of the new Go logo?

It's totally the New Balance logo.

How do you model your projects?

BenCAD

Every developers 'oh my god I get it' moment.

Great question! Understanding recursion is the "whoa" that ...

What do you think of the new Go logo?

Looks like a gas station logo.

Open layout vs closed layout? Something in between? What's the ideal office layout?

I like the whole Stanford D School reconfigurable spaces th...

looking for workplace experience? we’re looking for developers

What a great idea!

How do I get experience when I have no experience?

I'm sorry to hear that it didn't work out on your first try...

Ruby Concepts - Singleton Classes

This was fun. Thanks for writing it!

What is your favourite JavaScript framework?

Elm is so great! I use it whenever things get more complica...

How do I get experience when I have no experience?

I second Ben here - definitely apply for jobs even if you f...

From Python to..

If Elixir is on the table, that one gets my vote ;) It's ve...

From Python to..

I wish I could be of better help, but not having learned Go...

From Python to..

Personally I love Ruby the most and use it every day, but w...

CS Graduates (and not): A Question

Thanks! That's an interesting question - I'm interpreting y...

CS Graduates (and not): A Question

It's hard to generalize about this, because in all cases it...

Reveal your macOS Secrets

My favorite Mac keyboard shortcut is ⌘-Shift-?, which brings ...

I’m Ben and I am a Rails developer

Thanks for sharing this, Ben. I'm with you! I just love tha...

What's your job title and why is that your title?

Director of Technology, because "Director" is the title you...

Your Questions Are Dumb; Ask Them Anyway

This is a great article! I'm sending it to my team :) I fi...

I made a JS Module so you can *almost* use the pipeline operator today!

Excellent solution! If you want to crank the functional up ...

Why I'm automatically deleting my old tweets using AWS Lambda

This is a very cool idea and for some, likely a much more r...

Welcome Thread - v11

:) Well, I use it in the password app to generate "words th...

Advanced devs and beginner devs can co-exist harmoniously. It's not rocket science.

This article summarizes why I have an account and regularly...

How do you approach working with juniors working their first professional programming job?

It's crucially important to give new folks space to learn. ...

Custom Ruby Class Macros with Class Instance Variables

This is a fantastic article! Instance variables on all the ...

Welcome Thread - v11

Hi, I'm Donald, and I'm jazzed to have found such a support...

Need Help: Relational vs. Document-based Databases -- What are the pros and cons?

Look into Phoenix, it's got good RDBMS support, and excelle...

Do you write notes while developing? Where do you write them?

I alternate between paper notebooks + Quiver. Sometimes I u...

Is Touch-Typing an Important Skill for Software Developers?

Excellent point! When it comes to driving a computer, which...

Explain Pseudocode

To me, pseudocode is nice when you need to understand the a...

What's the most annoying ad experience you've ever had?

Watching television. My parents pulled the plug on TV when ...

How does your company handle salary negotiation?

My experience has been very straightforward - I wait until ...

Better passwords in Ruby applications with the Pwned Passwords API

What a cool gem. Great article!

What's the big deal with privacy?

Your level of trust is refreshing! I do not share it - not be...

What's the big deal with privacy?

How do you feel about China making a decision to rank its cit...

Is Touch-Typing an Important Skill for Software Developers?

100% agree about removing superfluous code. To play devil'...

On Staying

Great article! I've been at the same job for 12 years, and ...

Do You Prefer Multiple Monitors or Just One? Why?

That's an interesting take! Most folks seem to prefer the o...

Is Touch-Typing an Important Skill for Software Developers?

I'm coming to realize that framing this as a programmer-onl...

Is Touch-Typing an Important Skill for Software Developers?

I'm definitely seeing that folks view fast/no-look typing a...

Is Touch-Typing an Important Skill for Software Developers?

Thanks everybody for your responses! This is very illuminat...

Tech Screenings: Why The Interview Process Fails Candidates

I've heard that some places will temp-hire folks for a tiny...

Tech Screenings: Why The Interview Process Fails Candidates

I second this! I've been hiring for tech roles based mainly...

What's the weirdest easter egg you've left in any project you coded?

I have an API server that gives you compliments if you hit ...

Case against premade CSS frameworks (and Design systems)

It looks like @drrial did a great job addressing my origin...

Is Touch-Typing an Important Skill for Software Developers?

Nicely put.

Is Touch-Typing an Important Skill for Software Developers?

Would you say it's like knife skills for a chef? Every chef...

When did you stop thinking of yourself as a junior/newbie?

I'm curious about why you're asking this question. I worry ...

Case against premade CSS frameworks (and Design systems)

What do you think about the idea that having visual consist...

What are the necessary technical and soft skills to thrive as a remote worker?

Definitely handy. I find it a bit wonky and very poorly-doc...

Ch-Ch-Changes: to shell and back

Great article! I'm a big fan of the Fish Shell, glad to see...

What kind of coding standards do you follow when writing HTML?

Is it more true for HTML than, for example, CSS or JavaScri...

Using JavaScript Promises for Non-Async Control Flow?

Ooh those are handy. Thanks for sharing!

What are the necessary technical and soft skills to thrive as a remote worker?

This is a great question, with a lot of facets that are wor...

Which markdown editor do you use?

I'm a big fan of Quiver on Mac. I mostly use it to store li...

What kind of coding standards do you follow when writing HTML?

Yes! That was news to me too. I made one page that way just...

Is autocomplete really bad for beginners?

I second this. Use the completions, and on a day when you'r...

What kind of coding standards do you follow when writing HTML?

Reading the Google Style Guide for HTML/CSS really helped m...

Dynamically filter data via URL params with Rack::Reducer

This is all very cool! I might try a project using Roda+Seq...

Dynamically filter data via URL params with Rack::Reducer

Interesting - I hadn't seen Roda before, but I'm guessing t...

Dynamically filter data via URL params with Rack::Reducer

Very interesting idea! Might I ask what use case brought yo...

What makes you want to stick with a programming language?

It's hard to pin down exactly, but the thing that makes me ...

Do You Prefer Multiple Monitors or Just One? Why?

100% agree. Physical workspace is super-important. I wish w...

Do You Prefer Multiple Monitors or Just One? Why?

Ha! Yeah, it sounds like it would be tricky to set up. I ha...

Do You Prefer Multiple Monitors or Just One? Why?

So multiple input setups, but on one physical device? I'd n...

Do You Prefer Multiple Monitors or Just One? Why?

Very cool. Thanks!

Do You Prefer Multiple Monitors or Just One? Why?

Awesome, thank you! I can 100% vouch for a standing desk. I...

Do You Prefer Multiple Monitors or Just One? Why?

I wonder if your desire to expand extends to the physical w...

Do You Prefer Multiple Monitors or Just One? Why?

Which window manager are you using, if I might ask?

Do You Prefer Multiple Monitors or Just One? Why?

Whoa, you've got like a whole Boeing cockpit happening! Impre...

Do You Prefer Multiple Monitors or Just One? Why?

I tend to prefer working on just a single laptop screen, wi...

What's your web browser of choice?

I switched from Chrome to Firefox when quantum came out, so...

What are some fundamentals of security every developer should understand?

So it's not just a good idea, it's the law ;)

What are some fundamentals of security every developer should understand?

The less data you store, the fewer security hazards you expos...

"You're overthinking it."

Totally agree with all of this. Well put! I read a great T...

Database naming conventions.

I've tried it, and usually regret it. I'm not sure what's "...

Python as a daemon?

I think small daemons can be written in any language if per...

Where do you store your apps flat file databases?

Capistrano deployments with Rails have some good defaults -...

When reading a thorough tutorial, would you rather read it in a single long article or multiple short articles?

Second this.

Interruptions in the open office

Good luck! If you need it, there's a growing body of eviden...

Interruptions in the open office

I second having a hiding place. Use a conference room if yo...

Using JavaScript Promises for Non-Async Control Flow?

This is a good point - once you start promising you can't s...

On State Dependence and Coupling

One solution: use Elm if you can - it's basically impossibl...

Learning Frameworks and APIs vs Software design principles

There's a learning style component as well. I've known peop...

What's your favorite way to version an API?

I'm really impressed with Stripe's versioning system, which...

Why I switched to Linux and what I'm using Today

Congratulations on your Linux conversion! There's nothing l...

How to Learn

This is such a great article: relevant to me as a human lea...

Using JavaScript Promises for Non-Async Control Flow?

That's good news that JS is getting a pipeline operator! I'...

Looking for a Cloud service or product to import data from REST APIs

We use Zapier at work! It's pretty easy to use, but also ma...

Explain the main differences between ReactJS and AngularJS

Sometimes you go to a restaurant and they cook the food in ...

Why are you NOT worried about the robot apocalypse?

Maciej Ceglowski presented a very nice counter-argument to ...

Critique my JS solution to this CodeWars Kata

@dmfay This is a very elegant solution! I like that you're...

What is a promise in javascript ? how does it solve callback hell issue?

It's funny you should ask, I was just reading the MDN Docs ...

Learning and Working and Family-ing

Thanks for writing this! It's common to think of tech worke...

Which programming language has the prettiest syntax?

Elixir! It has a lot of the syntactical sugar from Ruby, wh...

Devs, why do you use terminal tabs over tmux windows?

I've been using tmux for maybe 1/2 a year now (after years ...

Any recommendations for programming fundamental books for beginners?

You are welcome! Feel free to ping me if you're getting stu...

Any recommendations for programming fundamental books for beginners?

I'm a bit late to the party on this one, but my favorite fi...

Explain Blockchain and bitcoins Like I'm Five

Imagine if you had a key, and a pile of lockable boxes that...

Smooth Ruby One-Liners

This is great! So many helpful tips. I didn't know about th...

Self Documenting code isn't

100% agree that documenting the "why" is something that you...

Explain Microservices Like I'm Five

EJBroeders did an excellent job of explaining this for smart ...

Exploring the Linguistics Behind Regular Expressions

Thanks for writing this! I've got folks on my team who code...

What's your dream job?

I'm a homeschooling parent and also a full-time salaried te...

Explain ORM like I'm five

I love this building blocks analogy! I also agree that it s...

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