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the wedsite of
# daniel a. gallegos
> pronouns: he/him or they/them
>
> also known as: taco, takouhai
* ๐Ÿ”ฎ code alchemist.
* โญ digital storyteller.
* ๐Ÿ’š mestizo monster.

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![](taco.png)
**Daniel A. Gallegos**, also known as **โ€œtacoโ€,** is a [Full-Stack Software Developer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solution_stack) and [Site Reliability Engineer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Site_reliability_engineering) who works with businesses, governments, [educators](https://web.archive.org/web/20230131144232/https://eberly.wvu.edu/news-events/eberly-news/2021/04/12/eberly-college-students-lead-gender-inclusivity-anti-racism-training-at-wvu), [non-profits](https://carrynaloxone.org/), and [startups](https://web.archive.org/web/20160901215818/https://devacademy.la/) to create digital solutions for your real-world problems, ranging from ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ developing government enterprise applications, to ๐ŸŽจ creating graphic assets for professional digital portfolios, to ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ administering servers for a harm reduction coalition.
After spending a decade working with a variety of frontends, backends, deadends, software, hardware, various operating systems and more, Daniel is more than capable of handling whatever software or hardware problem you need solved.
Daniel has contributed to projects around the world, including developing enterprise software applications for the ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช Peruvian government, creating on-brand graphic assets for multiple offices at ๐ŸŽ“ West Virginia University, redesigning an entire technical instituteโ€™s website, working as a HIPPA-compliant system administrator for a ๐Ÿง‘โ€โš•๏ธ harm reduction coalition and managing hundreds of ๐Ÿง Linux servers in the cloud daily. In addition to his extensive software development and system operations experience, Daniel is a skilled technical writer, copywriter, graphic designer, and definitely doesnโ€™t feel weird writing about himself in the third person. Heโ€™s a pro! ๐Ÿ˜‰
Daniel holds a Bachelors in Multidisciplinary Studies (BMdS) from [West Virginia University](https://web.archive.org/web/20230728010055/https://lists.wvu.edu/graduation?county=&letter=--&name=&page=5&state=&term=fall&year=2021), which includes areas of study such as:
* ๐Ÿ’ป Computer Science
* ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ English
* ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spanish
* ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ช Latin American Studies
* ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ LGBTQ+ Studies
* other things classes he took and just enjoyed, tbh
He currently works as a [Site Reliability Engineer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Site_reliability_engineering) for some big healthcare corporation and as a [Webmaster](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webmaster) for a harm reduction coalition. In his free time, Daniel likes tinkering with Linux server administration and self-hosting technologies to better his life and the lives of those around him. As it is with most folks, Danielโ€™s opinions are his own and do not represent the views of his employer(s).

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---
title: "moving on from freenom"
date: "2023-10-06"
categories:
- "life"
- "technology"
tags:
- "ga"
- "daniel-ga"
- "dns"
- "domain"
- "domain-names"
- "freenom"
- "gabon"
- "mestizo-monster"
- "networking"
- "personal-websites"
- "taco-ga"
- "website"
- "websites"
coverImage: "image.png"
---
> why am i still hanging on?
>
> i'm just wasting time
>
> forget my name
>
> i'll do the same
>
> **i'm moving on**
>
> \- [Forget My Name, Coyote Theory](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0VtyKTDbNw)
<figure>
![A screenshot of the Freenom admin interface showing the domain daniel.ga being active and paid for.](https://mestizomonster.files.wordpress.com/2023/10/screenshot_20231006_172053.png?w=1024)
<figcaption>
goodnight, sweet prince.
</figcaption>
</figure>
**tl;dr:** Freenom was forced to hand over all of their .ga domains because the government of Gabon is reclaiming all those domains without a clear path forward for Freenom users. Freenom screwed a bunch of paying customers over, like me; I used to host my personal website on there. However, instead of transferring that site or re-registering it, now Iโ€™m here, on [mestizo.monster](https://mestizo.monster). You should do your research when registering domains. Capitalism sucks (as usual). ๐Ÿซค
* * *
Depending on when youโ€™re reading this, I host/used to host a personal website for myself at [`daniel.ga/llegos`](https://web.archive.org/web/20231005005157/https://daniel.ga/llegos/). The reason for creating this was twofold:
1. It was a cool [domain hack](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_hack) to show off my neat name my mom and dad gave me: [Daniel](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel) [Gallegos](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallegos).
2. The `.ga` domain was _free_! [As in beer](https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/free_as_in_beer). (At the time.)
FreeNom, a domain name registrar, started offering free `.ga` domain name registration from June 12-14, 2013. This was a part of their free offerings from domains including `.tk`, `.cf`, and `.ml`. I didnโ€™t hear about them until 2016. Stumbling across their page made me excited as a broke teenager. I didnโ€™t know any better; I was getting a free domain name! There shouldnโ€™t be any downsides, _right_?
## the immediate downsides of registering โ€œfreeโ€ domain names
You can goโ€ฆ _wild_ with domains when theyโ€™re free. You start blasting out registrations. I say this from experience. Another `.ga` domain name I registered name was a food-related noun youโ€™re familiar with. The almighty taco. ๐ŸŒฎ As someone who likes managing multiple websites that have no purpose except to be funny domain names, I _immediately_ registered `taco.ga`. It was _free_, right? My friend at the time told me that it reminded them of the [Final Fantasy spell name system](https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Magic_tier_system#Overview). I thought hosting an image upload site or a link shortening site would be helpful and amusing. Get two birds stoned at once, or however you say that phrase. An old friend of mine gave me access to his cPanel and let me tinker with setting up web hosting space and different projects that could run on his host, for _freeeee_! I started uploading my screenshots from ShareX to a folder that pointed to `taco.ga`, thinking:
\> โ€œThis is a permanent solution to my image hosting needs and I wonโ€™t ever need to use Imgur ever again!โ€
And, for a _few_ weeks, I was right! I even submitted a Wikipedia edit using a hyperlink to an image that proved that the subject of the page wanted a page moved. Thatโ€™s how you know I trusted it. I was proud of myself. I had created my own space for my own images, and nobody could stop me.
Wellโ€ฆ nobodyโ€ฆ except the domain registrar. But they wouldnโ€™t do that to me, _right_?
## how a โ€œfreeโ€ domain registrar stopped me from owning my domain
There were a few T&Cs that I didnโ€™t read closely when I signed up to Freenomโ€™s services. They were pretty reasonable, donโ€™t host anything illegal along with other terms I glazed over. For my uses, this had to be perfectly fine. However, there was a clause that allowed them to reclaim any โ€œunusedโ€ domain names if there wasnโ€™t (what they deemed to be) sufficientโ€ฆ โ€œcontentโ€ on the front page of the site. That means if I didnโ€™t have an `index.html` saying _โ€œhello worldโ€_ or anything on there, they had the legal right to take my domain name away from me. Mind you, I wasnโ€™t hosting illegal images on there or anything. All I was uploading were random screenshots from my computing life, which was pretty boring. I hadnโ€™t put a โ€œfrontendโ€ on my page yet, if thatโ€™s what they wanted. It, like all the things I put online, was a constant work in progress.
I donโ€™t remember the full death of `taco.ga` well; I canโ€™t give you a proper โ€˜postmortemโ€™. All I remember is that I was upset about it. They may have sent me an email โ€œtelling meโ€ that they were taking it away, but I never saw it hit my inbox. It was a short, proper noun domain that I had started to depend on and they took it away from me. However, I now noticed that when I searched for `taco.ga` on their โ€œfreeโ€ registration site, it suddenly had a value attached to it instead of being โ€œfreeโ€: ten bucks! Alright, it wasnโ€™t _that_ expensive, but I had no money. I was a young teenager living in the middle of South America, at the time. **What** money? I was paywalled out of my own project. What gives?
### how โ€œfreeโ€ domains donโ€™t turn out to be free
Iโ€™m sure you can see a strategy here. Freenomโ€™s plan was the following:
- bait a customer into a โ€œfreeโ€ domain with vague Terms of Service that nobody will read; you can snatch it back if needed
- snatch the domain back from the customer for arbitrary reasons that were in your Terms of Service
- make the customer pay if they want their domain back since theyโ€™ve been using it
And the worst part? It **worked**. I was scared enough with the loss of `taco.ga` that I went out and purchased `daniel.ga` for two years after asking my mom to please help me with my fledgling โ€œtechnology professional careerโ€ (or whatever you want to call my current employment situation). After getting the green light from the woman with the cash, I used my momโ€™s debit card to purchase and solidify my โ€œprofessional presenceโ€ online. You know, like an adult. ๐Ÿ˜Ž
Now that I had my domain name and solidified my presence online, there wouldnโ€™t be any more issues, _right_?
### how โ€œfreeโ€ domain names are free forโ€ฆ _everyone_
Related side tangent: I block ads, and so should you. Thereโ€™s [a laundry list of reasons why I do](https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/07/adblocking-how-about-nah), but I personally do it to keep myself and anyone on my network safe from malware online. I wonโ€™t go into too much detail here, but trust me: you should get [uBlock Origin](https://ublockorigin.com) set up in your browser of choice. Do it for me. ๐Ÿ™
I have a Raspberry Pi 3B that I use as an ad-blocking DNS server. I had it running [Pi-Hole](https://pi-hole.net) with an [Unbound](https://dietpi.com/docs/software/dns_servers/) recursive DNS server in the past, but now Iโ€™ve swapped out Pi-Hole with [AdGuard Home](https://github.com/AdguardTeam/AdGuardHome). It had a nicer user interface and has a lot of blocklists built in, which was an issue I was facing with Pi-Hole โ€“ constantly having to maintain my internet blocklists. I could add my own and disable lists I wanted within their UI with easeโ€ฆ I was more than happy to switch. Moreover, the software allowed me to enable categories for multiple languages. Since I frequent a lot of Spanish-language sites as a native Spanish speaker, I enable these when I get the chance.
I run an [Uptime Kuma](https://github.com/louislam/uptime-kuma) instance here locally and on a VPS I own to [monitor the uptime of Fediverse instances I like](https://uptime.birdcat.cafe) and [make sure that my private, personal, and professional projects are all online](https://uptime.tacowolf.net). After making the switch to AdGuard Home, however, I noticed that `daniel.ga` was suddenly โ€œofflineโ€ for me locally. This confused me; the DNS was parked on a large provider (CloudFlare) at the time. They should be able to serve my site efficiently without any issues, _right_?
### how people use and abuse โ€œfreeโ€ domains
I hopped onto my phoneโ€™s network to try and diagnose the problem. I was able to pull up my website, no issues, but I wasnโ€™t running an ad blocker locally on my phone. (I should set that upโ€ฆ) When I `dig`โ€™d into the situation on my terminal on my ad-blocking home network, however, I noticed that I was blocking my own website somewhere: the DNS was redirecting to the localhost `127.0.0.1` blackhole. What gives?
As fate would have itโ€ฆ one of [AdGuard Homeโ€™s Filter Spanish language filter lists](https://github.com/AdguardTeam/AdguardFilters/blob/master/SpanishFilter/sections/antiadblock.txt#L876) blocks a lot of `.ga`, and other associated FreeNom addresses. Theyโ€™re not alone. Many Fediverse instances cite `.ga`, `.tk`, `.cf`, `.ml` domain name instances as โ€œblock on siteโ€. Theyโ€™re โ€œunstableโ€ to host on and are commonly used for spammy ActivityPub posts and contribute to negative Fediverse health. But why these domains in particular? Shouldnโ€™t Freenom be doing something?! This is against their Terms of Service, _right_?
For the answer to this, we must (begrudgingly) look to [Big Tech](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Tech); in particular, FaceVerseMetaBook. [KrebsonSecurity reported in 2022](https://krebsonsecurity.com/2023/03/sued-by-meta-freenom-halts-domain-registrations/) that they filed a lawsuit last year against Freenom, claiming that Freenom is not doing their due diligence in responding to nearly 100k requests regarding โ€œunlawful activity including cybersquatting and phishingโ€. Because we keep ad blockers on to protect ourselves from attacks such as these, this is a clear reason to add the entirety of the `.ga` domain name to a blocklist: you canโ€™t trust the domain name registrar, Freenom, to do their job! After FaceMetaBookVerse sent their lawyers to Freenom, Freenomโ€™s engineers finally woke up and [started to process the mountain of requests they had in their inbox](https://krebsonsecurity.com/2023/05/phishing-domains-tanked-after-meta-sued-freenom/). However, the damage had already been done. The domains were poisoned.
Big Tech isnโ€™t alone in being annoyed by Freenomโ€™s lack of action. All the countries that the domains belong to are upset that their domain names are on a bunch of blocklists. Thatโ€™s right, those domains (`.ga`, `.tk`, `.cf`, `.ml`) have countries that they originate from!
- `.ga` - [Gabon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabon), a country in West Central Africa
- `.tk` - [Tokelau](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokelau), a nation off the coast of New Zealand
- `.cf` - the [Central African Republic](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_African_Republic), a country in Central Africa
- `.ml` - [Mali](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mali), a country in West Africa
Freenom took advantage of the weak IT infrastructure in these countries and entered a partnership with them with the belief that โ€œproviding free domain names to \[the\] internet population will greatly improve the usage and knowledge of the IT industry in the countryโ€, [the Dot ML Registry claimed in 2013](https://web.archive.org/web/20130417233107/http://www.freedomregistry.com/dotml_pressrelease_04082013.pdf) {pdf}. Iโ€ฆ donโ€™t think they achieved that goal. [A press release from ANINF](https://www.afnic.fr/wp-media/uploads/2023/05/ga-domain-names-soon-to-return-to-Gabonese-management-1.pdf), a national agency responsible for digital infrastructure within the Gabonese government, states that Freenom has failed to provide the internet community with services that properly represent the interests of the Gabon IT industry and the industry at large. As a paying customer (read: part of the industry at large), I am also not satisfied. Because of Freenomโ€™s laziness in keeping up their โ€œfreeโ€, predatory service, multiple countries are now suffering from their domains being abused for phishing and hosting malware.
## lessons learned
> and so what we have learned applies to our lives today
>
> and taco has a lot to say
>
> in this post!
>
> \- [tacotales, i guess?](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuuBkw7QXEI)
What can we learn from this? Multiple things:
- If youโ€™re getting something for free, thereโ€™s a catch.
Iโ€™ve been maintaining other, paid `.net`, `.cafe`, `.party`, and other domains for multiple years and havenโ€™t run into any issues with ad blocklists. Freenom was taking advantage of users by providing a โ€œfreeโ€ service that preyed on them reclaiming domains and making you pay for them if you wanted them back. I register my domains with [Porkbun](https://porkbun.com) and manage my DNS with [Bunny](https://bunny.net), now, and Iโ€™m much happier and have more peace of mind. (Not sponsored, I just like their services.)
- Donโ€™t depend on country-based domains unless you live in them.
Iโ€™m not from Gabon. Donโ€™t plan on visiting anytime soon, but I bet itโ€™s lovely! (I have my own South American countries to visit.) However, I wish the people of Gabon the best success in reclaiming their domains. The people of Gabon, Mali, the CAR, and the nation of Tokelau should be using their own domain names instead of random spammers on the internet. Domain hacks are cool, but think about the people you may be affecting with your domain hack. Someone named Daniel in Gabon probably wants this domain name, and they should get it instead of me.
- Check blocklists to see if the domain name youโ€™re registering is blocked somewhere, just in case!
Searching through [AdGuardโ€™s Filter list](https://github.com/AdguardTeam/AdguardFilters) is a good place to start. Thereโ€™s a ton of blocklists out there for Pi-Hole, AdGuard Home, and many others. Iโ€™m sure you can find them. Youโ€™re resourceful.
- Check how much your domain is going to cost you yearly!
I donโ€™t pay more for $30 yearly for a domain. This is going to change in the future thanks to inflation, but you should expect, right now, to pay about $15-20 for a good domain name each year. As a web developer, I have fun creating domain names and goofy websites to go along with them. Itโ€™s a hobby, but it can get expensive quick! Remember that this is a commitment youโ€™re going to sign up to pay each year. Think it through!
Personally, after thinking it through myself, I came to this conclusion: instead of renewing `daniel.ga`, I bought a new domain name that feels more authentic to me and doesnโ€™t depend on people knowing my name. Youโ€™re on it right now! Iโ€™m also taking this opportunity to test out writing posts through WordPress after being a static site nerd for a decade. Itโ€™s a bold strategy for taco, letโ€™s see how it plays outโ€ฆ ๐Ÿค”
## in conclusion
`daniel.ga/llegos` is dead. Freenom killed it. ๐Ÿ’€
Long live `mestizo.monster`. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

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---
title: "[old] 9 agile techniques that will change your life"
date: "2016-09-07"
tags:
- "agile"
- "english"
- "productivity"
- "programming"
- "tech"
---
> **disclaimer:** this post is really old, from when i first started writing technical articles. it's from 2016.
![](images/846ce-1fnukauh56gz0ntn24ost2a.png)
#### Learn about TDD, OKRs, CI, CD andย more!
Youโ€™ve probably heard of Agile development somewhere. Itโ€™s one of the most popular ways of making software these days. With Agile development, you can pump out functioning software within a few weeks and make both your developers and your clients happy.
Here are nine Agile techniques that have helped us here at [devAcademy](https://medium.com/u/e90784f3811e), and that can help you, too.
* * *
### 1\. Test Driven Development
TDD is one of the most popular development processes today, encouraging a sense of confidence in oneโ€™s code and helping you provide simpler answers to problems. With the [wide variety of testing frameworks available for every programming language out there](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unit_testing_frameworks), thereโ€™s no excuse not to implement TDD in your project.
TDD is a way to define requirements needed to be met through detailed and specific test cases. Afterwards, software is improved to only pass the new tests. Simply put:
- Find out what you want to add.
- Write tests for what you want.
- Write enough code to make your tests pass.
- ???
- Profit!
<figure>
![](images/1ea23-1kuocwnkdwmkkk3tev36m4g.png)
<figcaption>
You see that right there? Thatโ€™s TDD inย action.
</figcaption>
</figure>
Obviously, your tests should include some sort of system of verification that the desired result is achieved correctly. Your test code should also have the same upkeep and maintenance as your production codeโ€Šโ€”โ€Šitโ€™s important! Your tests shouldnโ€™t depend on states of the machine youโ€™re testing on, and tests shouldnโ€™t depend on each other. They should be fast to execute and easy to integrate on any machine.
On our Ruby projects, we use a combination of [RSpec](http://rspec.info/) and [Shoulda](https://github.com/thoughtbot/shoulda) to write awesome, transparent tests for our code. Find a testing framework thatโ€™s right for you and go wild with it.
### 2\. Continuous Integration
When we make things, we normally make a branch for each feature that weโ€™re making, then merge it back into the master branch after weโ€™re done modifying our own code. This makes sure that everyone always has the most updated version of our code.
<figure>
![](images/be0f4-1gmufdl3fkgkgwxljtekwaw.png)
<figcaption>
Go with theย [flow](https://guides.github.com/introduction/flow/)~
</figcaption>
</figure>
Keep your branch updated and make sure your code is available to everyone when youโ€™re done with it. We use platforms like Travis CI to make sure that our code is fully functioning with tests and code quality checks when we merge something to master so that our modifications to the master branch donโ€™t affect everyone else negatively.
### 3\. Continuous Deployment
When I make something new, I always get antsy. I want my new code to be out there as fast as possible, and here at dev we feel like itโ€™s a crucial part of developmentโ€Šโ€”โ€Šnew issues get found faster and more efficiently, and features are pushed out rapidly.
There are a few drawbacks to Continuous Deployment, just like there are in Continuous Integration, but the benefits vastly outweigh the consequences. Your users can experience your latest features within moments of you pushing your code to your repos and can give you feedback in real time. There are no wait times to let your users get that fresh code smell; they get the latest code, all the time.
\[embed\]https://stories.devacademy.la/this-is-what-youre-missing-out-on-with-continuous-deployment-afa6b49c4c8c\[/embed\]
### 4\. Daily stand-ups
The best teams make sure that theyโ€™re all on the same page. You canโ€™t work on a project together unless you know what everyone is doing. Daily stand-ups help teams work in synergy, letting others know whatโ€™s on your plate and your daily progress.
![](images/6a248-1edncfgm8vobt9moh2e94kw.png)
A normal stand-up consists of three questions presented to all team members:
- **What did you do yesterday?**
This question lets your team members know what progress you made on the things you were going to do yesterday, and if you completed them or not. It also makes sure that your other teammates are informed on activities that happened yesterday so they donโ€™t repeat objectives in their work today.
- **What did you do today?**
This questions lets your team members know what youโ€™re going to do today. It also informs your teammates on things that they should try to work on with you and collaborate with so you can achieve your objectives faster.
- **Is anything hindering your progress?**
This is probably the most important question in a stand-up. Being open and honest about our faults helps us grow as people in general. If something was blocking your progress, it doesnโ€™t make you a worse person, it just means you need to improve in that area. Thatโ€™s the whole point of being agileโ€Šโ€”โ€Šidentifying obstacles quickly and resolving them quicker.
### 5\. Pair programming
The best ideas and the best projects have been made by working together. In our personal experience, weโ€™ve found that tacking two people onto one objective helps a lotโ€Šโ€”โ€Šyou have someone else to bounce ideas off of and it distributes some of the load that comes with each objective.
![](images/9bc97-1u0mw6jbas3wbth0fwnazvg.png)
Another person can also help remind you of what goals you need to reach together. With someone else on your team, you can reach objectives faster since thereโ€™s someone to corroborate your work.
### 6\. Retrospectives
Here at [devAcademy](https://medium.com/u/e90784f3811e), we have a weekly meeting to review what we did last week, how we did it, how/if we failed at doing something, and how we contributed to our Objectives and Key Results this week.
> Coding isnโ€™t just a way to make computers do thingsโ€Šโ€”โ€Šitโ€™s a personal journey of finding a digital solution to aย problem.
Coding isnโ€™t just a way to make computers do thingsโ€Šโ€”โ€Šitโ€™s a personal journey of finding a digital solution to a problem. Retrospectives let us help others provide input on everyoneโ€™s progress so we donโ€™t feel alone on our programming expedition.
<figure>
![](images/4bce5-0zzdmerebdnkfeoj_.jpg)
<figcaption>
[What a retrospective looks like atย devHouse](https://www.facebook.com/devacademyla/photos/a.356158231151265.1073741827.316005858499836/838163579617392/)
</figcaption>
</figure>
In Agile development, one of the most essential parts is communication. This helps us achieve just that. We have a meeting every Friday morning to socialize and check on our progress as a team. You should, too.
### 7\. Planning
This is really a no-brainer. You should always make sure that your activities are planned out with some tool that fits in with Agile methods. We use Basecamp, but you can use tools like Trello, Asana, or even plain old Google Calendar for planning out things with your team.
Making sure you have a set timeline makes sure that you can verify that youโ€™re getting work done efficiently. If you can meet your goals before the allotted time frame, youโ€™re probably doing way better than you planned, which is great! Having something to refer to in terms of your progress helps you easily and transparently analyze what you need to improve on, and how to pace yourself.
### 8\. Codeย reviews
Your code isnโ€™t always going to be the best. Sometimes you think your code is awesome, but you havenโ€™t seen the glaring security error or possible cases that could creep up on you in production. Thatโ€™s why we review each otherโ€™s code here at [devAcademy](https://medium.com/u/e90784f3811e). By implementing pair programming, this should be really easy. Your partner and/or supervisors should be able to check your code easily and transparently.
> In Agile development, transparency and communication is essential.
![](images/8cd41-1vto_rjkx4oopljeuuvtq9a.png)
We use GitHub for our code, so we normally comment on our pull requests so we can scrutinize the code weโ€™re working on! That way our entire team is on the same page and we can see why we did/didnโ€™t merge something to the master branch. In Agile development, transparency and communication is essential, and this helps us achieve just that.
### 9\. Objectives and Keyย Results
Have you ever had a big project that you really want to finish, but donโ€™t know where to start? OKRs can help you out with that. This technique of planning out progress and key points in your project came to be in 1999 at Google, and since then theyโ€™ve dominated the market by using this technique. Maybe theyโ€™re onto something, eh?
A good objective encompasses a big goal, answering what your final ambition is. It can be something like โ€œAdopt Agile development techniquesโ€. The point is to have something to work up to.
Good key results show you the details of the journey youโ€™re about to take. Theyโ€™re small steps towards your goal, and they donโ€™t always have to be linear! Things like โ€œEducate team members about Agile techniquesโ€, โ€œImprove productivity using Pair Programmingโ€ and โ€œUse OKRs to plan out our next projectโ€ are all awesome Key Results because they talk about steps to reach your objective.
Once you have some OKRs planned out, youโ€™ll start to notice that youโ€™re going to be more organized and get more stuff done as a team. Youโ€™ll also feel awesome when you cross one of those Objectives off! Itโ€™s a great experience.

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---
title: "[old] a new chapter"
date: "2017-07-30"
tags:
- "english"
- "life"
- "productivity"
- "startup"
- "tech"
---
> **disclaimer:** this post is really old, from when i first started writing. it's from 2017.
#### On new endings and old beginnings
I joined dev in December of 2016. It was my first time dealing with a working environment, and it's been a pretty awesome ride.
![](images/5125e-1vdlg71admo2fwqyuu4lofw.png)
[Lennon](https://medium.com/u/57f86eb26cec) was doing a workshop on Ruby on Rails in Ecuador and noticed I wasnโ€™t half bad with code. Or maybe he noticed I was terrible and needed to fix me up. I like to think it's the former, though. He offered me a position to do part-time work at dev remotely to hone my programming skills. It was a big commitment and lots of hours in Starbound were traded for it, but I agreed.
Working remotely was a unique experience. Being far away from your coworkers feels somewhat isolating, but you get the freedom of being able to do work at home, in your pajamas. I made my own schedule and worked my solid 4 hours a day after class, mainly working on the [devAcademy website](https://devacademy.la).(A lot of people say that staying in your pajamas makes you less productive, but I disagree.)
I worked part-time for a year before getting an offer to work full time for dev here in Peru. Moving to Peru was pretty daunting and the second largest move Iโ€™ve ever done, but it was worth it.
![](images/76d25-1y1zw_kyesuelvht5afvdwq.png)
The move itself was pretty smooth, but took a long time. I had to take a bus to Lima, which took about 36 hours total. I finally watched Fight Club on the way there, though, so it wasn't all in vain. The trip was nice, and I received a warm welcome from the team once I arrived.
![](images/9235d-1yhaes2jr1mzql6q67gieqq.png)
All of my coworkers were super helpful in helping us get settled in Ica. Without them, I donโ€™t think we would have survived around here. I learned a lot about life in Peru! Living here in Ica was quite the experience. Iโ€™d definitely come visit here again. Ica is cheap to live in and a literal oasis in the middle of the desert. The people are nice, the food is great and I think I have a crippling addiction to [Chocotejas](http://perudelights.com/chocotejas-confections-from-the-desert/). They even celebrated my mom's birthday, which I think was super cute.
<figure>
![](images/b13e5-1tyapeerxd-xz3smovqmqeq.png)
<figcaption>
They call cake โ€œkekeโ€ here. Topย kek(e).
</figcaption>
</figure>
On the off-chance I wasnโ€™t coding, I did tourism around Ica. I visited Huacachina, walked around the malls around here, and learned about the history of this little desert oasis. Ica is a bustling and growing place, and Iโ€™m glad to have been a part of it for as long as I was. Itโ€™s a great city to be in.
I also took some driving lessons! I only crashed, like, once.
![](images/828ad-1qg8dvudoturyt7t8pl13zw.png)
Apart from life experience, I got a lot of work experience that I couldnโ€™t have gotten anywhere else. I learned a lot at dev:
- I refined my skills in Ruby on Rails and JavaScript. Rails is my go-to for web development and JavaScript/Node is my go-to for other projects now.
- I learned a lot about emerging software like React Native. Sharing codebases across mobile OSes? Crazy stuff. I feel like this is the start of a new era for applications everywhere.
- I learned how to write code for Alexa Skills. Iโ€™m really excited to see how the Internet of Things evolves with new tech that allows us to interact with software in ways previously unimaginable.
- I figured out how to manage a social media account with over 7k followers and aggregate content that would promote users like you and me in the tech community. Probably the second scariest thing Iโ€™ve done.
- I learned how to work with clients on a 1 to 1 basis. Probably the scariest thing Iโ€™ve done, but I know that Iโ€™ll have to do it again soon.
- I learned how to code in, uhโ€ฆ Java, which wasn't my, uhโ€ฆ favoriteโ€ฆ experience.
- I even learned about networking and setting up routers!
devAcademy has been a key stepping stone in the upwards climb to the best me I can be. Iโ€™m glad to have been a part of the team here for as long as I was. It was essential to me being who I am now. Iโ€™ve learned a lot about how to value my own work and the work of others while cooperating in a team.
Iโ€™m even more excited about code. Itโ€™s something Iโ€™m very passionate about, and working here at dev has cemented that for me. I want to build things that people can use and enjoy, and working here has been a learning experience through and through.
From what Iโ€™ve learned here at dev, I know that I donโ€™t know everything, and I probably never will. But that shouldnโ€™t stop me from pressing on forward and doing my best in whatever I know how to do now.
Someday I hope to work with Lennon once again, but for nowโ€ฆ
New places to go.
New people to see.
New code to write.
New adventures to be had.
![](images/9a03a-1epqtbzfgktmo-yz4c1i79a.png)

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---
title: "[old] everhour vs. hubstaff"
date: "2017-01-11"
tags:
- "english"
- "everhour"
- "startup"
- "tech"
- "time-management"
---
> **disclaimer:** this post is really old, from when i first started writing technical articles. it's from 2017.
![](images/cd7de-177ylvnpfmzpdvg6-8zzbwq.png)
#### What the difference is, and why you might want toย switch
Here at [devAcademy](https://medium.com/u/e90784f3811e) we constantly strive to make ourselves better and find the tools to make our workflow more efficient and streamlined. This helps our developers be less stressed about the way they manage their time, leaving them to focus fully on the work they need to do.
Recently, we tried out [Everhour](https://everhour.com/?utm_source=devacademy&utm_campaign=k-devacademy-medium&utm_medium=blog) and implemented it into our workflow. After trying it out for a week, weโ€™ve decided we want to stick with it. Hereโ€™s why.
#### Reporting vs.ย Tracking
If you look at our previous articles, youโ€™ll notice that we were using Hubstaff before we switched. Hubstaffโ€™s workflow focuses on tracking what hours youโ€™ve worked. Everhour focuses on tracking the tasks youโ€™ve completed instead, letting your working hours be a bit more flexible.
Thatโ€™s not to say that Hubstaff isnโ€™t goodโ€Šโ€”โ€ŠHubstaff is actually pretty good! Their billing system helped us pay our employees by the hour according to what they really clocked in, but we soon realized that it didnโ€™t fit our agile workflow. Hubstaff works best in companies using a more traditional workflow, one where the time spent on a project is more valued than the final product itself.
![](https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/0*wWduLU_7L61QPSfL.)
We focus more on providing our clients with a quality final product, so time tracking isnโ€™t as important. We contract our part-time employees per project, not per number of hours. With our agile way of working, we canโ€™t set rigid time frames on the projects we work onโ€Šโ€”โ€Šit breaks the flow of what needs to be done.
By using Everhour, weโ€™re able to more easily quantify how long weโ€™ll take on a project without feeling pressured to complete our work. We can take our time on each project and work without feeling the weight of an impending deadline on our shoulders.
#### Keeping ourselves secure and trusting ourselves
Our old tool had a feature that took screenshots periodically. This feature allows higher-ups in the company to review and check what we were really doing in the time we tracked. This doesnโ€™t really work in our company, though. We all felt like we were being watched over our shoulder, and like we werenโ€™t trusted enough to get stuff done.
Here at devAcademy, we believe in everyone having an equal footing, where titles shouldnโ€™t matter and where ideas can flow. This tool unintentionally created a hierarchy of people who administrated the tool, making others feel inferior and uncomfortable. This is not to say that the tool is badโ€Šโ€”โ€Šit just doesnโ€™t work for us.
Along with that anxious feeling that being watched, we noticed that the only transparent way to track what we weโ€™re doing is by taking screenshots without blurring them. This poses a new problem.
<figure>
![](images/bd437-0ven-lxa4shczster.jpg)
<figcaption>
[\[Watching the Watchersโ€Šโ€”โ€ŠCarsten\]](https://stock.tookapic.com/photos/56574)
</figcaption>
</figure>
Any security buff knows that taking screenshots periodically and sending them to the cloud can invite people to try and peek on personal information that you access while youโ€™re working. The images taken can include passwords and key parts of the projects we were working on that we didnโ€™t want to make public. This is a problem that worried many of our developers.
By using Everhour, weโ€™re able to feel less restricted and work freely without having to avoid things that could otherwise expose parts of our personal life, like bank statements or access keys. Many of us have reported feeling like we can be more relaxed here with how we tackle problems, letting our work flow freely instead of being restricted to a rigid time frame.
#### A seamless reporting experience
Have I mentioned Everhourโ€™s Chrome Extention? Itโ€™s pretty awesome. It integrates directly into Basecamp, allowing us to get to work on tasks in Basecamp 3 right away instead of having to switch to another app. This seamless integration into the apps we already use lets us implement it without an extensive onboardingโ€Šโ€”โ€Šwe can just use Everhour as if it were a natural thing to do.
With Hubstaff, we had to switch to another application and wait for all of our Basecamp 3 tasks to sync with their API to begin working. This happened _often_. With Everhour, weโ€™re able to get start working right when we assign/weโ€™re assigned tasks.
![](images/cef75-1tnaxnkod-ua-jubkybbjjq.png)
Along with letting us track time, Everhour lets us estimate the amount of time we might spend on a project, letting us better plan out our list of things to tackle this coming week. The best part about all of this is, itโ€™s all right there in Basecamp! Itโ€™s so seamless that you donโ€™t even have think about adding an estimate, it seems like part of the natural process of adding a new To-Do.
![](images/981e4-13g0n1g8n-q-2iybduwbigw.png)
Another thing we adore about Everhour is their rigorous reporting system. We highlighted how much we like reporting in our Basecamp article, and this system helps us integrate Everhour effortlessly with our workflow on Basecamp 3.
The last reporting system we used left us with much to be desired, so this is a breath of fresh air. You can create custom reports, which has a easy to use interface that allows you to change any aspect of how everything is presented to the other users.
<figure>
![](images/73d11-1tk52ev52bomsllbs7-2lxw.png)
<figcaption>
Ricing time.
</figcaption>
</figure>
This helps us with our daily report reviewing what we did yesterday and what weโ€™re going to do today. In fact, we just include a screenshot of a predetermined custom report and describe what wasnโ€™t โ€œclosedโ€ yesterday that was left to be done today.
![](images/812c9-1yskjzal45dfzvfexvxgwbw.png)
This makes it easier for us to start our day and get informed on what everyoneโ€™s doing, refreshing ourselves on what we did yesterday and what needs to get done.
Thereโ€™s a lot more to Everhour, and it has a lot of potential. Weโ€™re integrating it into our workflow because it works really well for us. Itโ€™s streamlined how we communicate with each other on what projects weโ€™re doing. We think itโ€™ll work great for you too.
If youโ€™re interested in trying out [Everhour](https://everhour.com/?utm_source=devacademy&utm_campaign=k-devacademy-medium&utm_medium=blog), we have a special code just for our readers:
```
devacademy
```
This code will allow you to get a 10% lifetime discount on your [Everhour](https://everhour.com/?utm_source=devacademy&utm_campaign=k-devacademy-medium&utm_medium=blog) subscription. Use it when youโ€™re checking out to take advantage of being one of our awesome readers. ๐Ÿ˜‰
* * *
### If you really liked this post, be sure to click that little heart so that others can findย it!
#### And if you liked this, you should check these articlesย out:
\[embed\]https://stories.devacademy.la/hello-basecamp-farewell-slack-35ed2e2de6b9\[/embed\]\[embed\]https://stories.devacademy.la/hello-basecamp-farewell-slack-35ed2e2de6b9\[/embed\]\[embed\]https://stories.devacademy.la/hello-basecamp-farewell-slack-35ed2e2de6b9\[/embed\]

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---
title: "FIRST"
date: "2023-10-05"
categories:
- "miscellaneous"
---
<figure>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQClqtVdqsw
<figcaption>
you dont understand i made a really cool website please give me back my 3ds
</figcaption>
</figure>

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---
title: "[old] hello, basecamp โ€” farewell, slack"
date: "2016-10-28"
tags:
- "communication"
- "english"
- "productivity"
- "startup"
- "tech"
---
> **disclaimer:** this post is really old, from when i first started writing technical articles. it's from 2016.
>
> (i no longer recommend basecamp.)
<figure>
![](images/93ff6-19wudiq3-onrs5yerswabrq.png)
<figcaption>
c:
</figcaption>
</figure>
#### Why we stopped Slacking and set up aย Basecamp
We recently switched to Basecamp at [devAcademy](https://medium.com/u/e90784f3811e). Weโ€™ve used a few tools to organize and communicate within ourselves, but were never satisfied. We settled on Basecamp after reviewing a few options. Why are we taking the plunge? Letโ€™s find out.
* * *
I have never met anyone who has told me that managing a company is easy. Itโ€™s actually quite hard, and many people will tell you the same.
Why?
Because you hired human beings.
![](images/ac1d6-14rnjkfsxp6uctmagcccllg.png)
It wonโ€™t matter if your team members come from the same school, like the same things, or work on the same things. Theyโ€™ll always find a way to clash with each other. Iโ€™m not going to lieโ€Šโ€”โ€ŠI donโ€™t always get along with everyone at dev, and thatโ€™s natural! You canโ€™t expect others to get along with everything you do. Itโ€™s because youโ€™re not a robot. Itโ€™s [only human](https://youtu.be/MXvVX3mI978?t=12). Luckily, thatโ€™s where Basecamp comes in.
Basecamp isnโ€™t like Slack or Trello. Itโ€™s a project management system that works differently from anything else weโ€™ve ever seen. Instead of using lists of cards like Trello, it uses a more forum-like discussion system. Blended with to-do checklists, this lets you manage your projects easier. Instead of having lots of channels like Slack, you simply chat in a per-project Campfire thatโ€™s already integrated into each project.
#### Letโ€™s muse about management
Before moving to Basecamp, we tried a lot of platforms to work on projects together. Trello was one of the strongest competitors, and we used it for a long time. Itโ€™s the platform I was introduced to when I first joined devAcademy.
Trello is a project management application thatโ€™s entirely on the web. Itโ€™s really neat! The entire platform feels fluid and easy to use. They use the kanban paradigm for managing projects, which is separated into boards, which have lists (columns) of cards that let you organize tasks, each with their own to-do lists, descriptions, and comments.
<figure>
![](images/c92b5-1cejlmlda0syljfk05mikqg.png)
<figcaption>
Kanban is a weird word, but it makes for a decent platform.
</figcaption>
</figure>
Trello isnโ€™t bad by any means, but it doesnโ€™t fit our workflow. Thereโ€™s no reporting system. This means that you have to manually search for the things that are due on someoneโ€™s plate. Thatโ€™s time that we donโ€™t have to dedicate to see what we need to do or what others need to do. Projects got dragged behind and people didnโ€™t know what they needed to do. It lowered our productivity instead of elevating it.
Cards are great for collecting ideas, but theyโ€™re not good at giving you a list of things to do. The cards floated around and would always move from one list to another and we would never feel like we could check something off and finish it. It was archived and never seen again.
Basecamp 3 has a whole new way of looking at project organization. Tasks are now individual items in a to-do list, which you can check off when youโ€™re done. (Itโ€™s satisfying.)
![](images/7e021-1zxm8vh5p5srz9afb3s751q.png)
Each item in a list can have anything you can imagine. You can add a due date, comment on it, attach files, assign it to someoneโ€ฆ the list goes on. Itโ€™s super handy and fluid.
Another thing Iโ€™d like to gush about is Basecampโ€™s report system.
![](images/a7fbf-1v0myibwrnk1o2qitqd_qqg.png)
You can ask for a variety of reports in Basecamp 3, and each one provides insight on what everyone is doing or what everyone needs to do.
- โ€œWhatโ€™s overdue?โ€ gives you a list of tasks that are overdue across your teams and projects. Super awesome for checking up on things that shouldโ€™ve been done yesterday so you can remind yourself (and others) on what needs to be done!
- โ€œWhatโ€™s coming up or due soon?โ€ gives you a nice list of chronologically organized tasks across all teams and projects that have a due date. Itโ€™s a way of knowing what to expect in the future without having to dig too much into your projects.
- โ€œWhatโ€™s new to-do and whatโ€™s to-done?โ€ is a clever way of letting you know what things have been added to project checklists and whatโ€™s been completed.
- โ€œWhatโ€™s on someoneโ€™s plate?โ€ gives you a nice list of things that someone needs to do. You can check if [Kattya](https://medium.com/u/7cd86522af8d) is going to host another devHangout this week, or if [Lennon](https://medium.com/u/57f86eb26cec) is going to [buy more Post-It notes today](https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209678661577801&set=a.4350837243595.2168310.1067527170&type=3).
- โ€œWhat has someone been up to?โ€ shows you what someoneโ€™s been doing! This is a great way to review someoneโ€™s progress on projects, or what theyโ€™ve been posting on Team Message Boards.
- โ€œWho clapped for me?โ€ ๐Ÿ‘ check ๐Ÿ‘ those ๐Ÿ‘ mf ๐Ÿ‘ claps ๐Ÿ‘ so ๐Ÿ‘ you ๐Ÿ‘ feel ๐Ÿ‘ good ๐Ÿ‘
Iโ€™d like to emphasize that reports have helped us immensely at dev. Weโ€™re able to see everything clearly and micro-manage ourselves instead of relying on others to nudge us on things that we need to do.
#### Letโ€™s chat aboutย chatting
Along with switching out our project management for Basecampโ€™s, we migrated our chat from Slack to Basecamp. Slack isnโ€™t a bad chat platform, by any means. In fact, I was singing [Slack](https://medium.com/u/26d90a99f605)โ€™s praises a few months ago:
\[embed\]https://stories.devacademy.la/why-slack-is-the-best-chat-platform-for-your-team-a13cd07881\[/embed\]
Slack is a great hub for people to communicate with each other. Theyโ€™re the best chat platform Iโ€™ve seen yet. They have awesome archiving, great unfurls, custom emojis and awesome mobile apps. Theyโ€™re dominating the chat platform field.
![](images/fdf34-1yldut_yvqidlddtc0p4mja.png)
That doesnโ€™t mean that itโ€™s perfect, of course. Slack is not made for organizing ideas. Itโ€™s made for watercooler talk. Channels can be made for separate topics, but itโ€™s a hell of a hassle to sift through the information presented. You have one of two options:
1. Make a billion channels and have nobody use any of them
3. Only have one channel and experience what the depths of hell feel like
Along with that, Slack pressures you into replying to comments and threads _right now_ instead of letting you take your time with messages. This can become an excessive, compulsive checking of your notifications, leading to less productive teams. These can cause unwanted anxiety, as well, even if it doesnโ€™t mean to.
> โ€œHave I checked my notifications recently? Is there a message Iย missed?โ€
Basecamp lets you organize all of your information and use message boards to post threads instead of cumbersome chat rooms. Important information can be sorted into teams, and itโ€™s encouraged to use the message boards instead of chats, but the functionality is still there! Campfires are Basecampโ€™s chat hubs, where you can chat with everyone on that team about everything related to the topic at hand whenever you have a moment.
<figure>
![](images/7ab4b-1vtjbjr7fgbqc1gvljgsykq.png)
<figcaption>
The Surface Studio _does look pretty hella, not gonnaย lie_
</figcaption>
</figure>
#### Letโ€™s speak of synchronousness
One of Basecampโ€™s biggest selling points is that projects can function better if work is asynchronous. A lot of chat platforms and time-saving tools overwhelm users with notifications at times. I really like what one of the founders of Basecamp has to say about interrupting people while theyโ€™re being productive:
> โ€ฆvery few things need to be resolved quickly. โ€œNowโ€ is a huge ask of someone else. You may care, but what someone else is already doing may be even more important. Thatโ€™s why any forms of interruption should be used very carefully.
_\-_ [_Jason Fried_](https://medium.com/u/c030228809f2) _(_[_source_](https://medium.com/@jasonfried/my-fundamental-point-is-that-very-few-things-need-to-be-resolved-quickly-8f070ef5c6a#.oeunj9tk6)_)_
(Jason also wrote an awesome article on why he built Basecamp differently, which you can read [here](https://m.signalvnoise.com/is-group-chat-making-you-sweat-744659addf7d#.rtxx8qcv8).)
At [devAcademy](https://medium.com/u/e90784f3811e), we believe in creating an environment where our developers can code happily. If our team is happy, that means that our clients will be happier, because weโ€™ll be making better products!
We switched to Basecamp because we want an easier way of knowing whatโ€™s on everyoneโ€™s plate. We wanted to reduce some of the stress that natural comes with work. Itโ€™s made us more productive and able to focus better on our tasks.
We think you should, too. โค

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---
title: "[old] how to use github like a proper human being"
date: "2016-08-01"
tags:
- "coding"
- "english"
- "github"
- "programming"
- "tech"
---
> **disclaimer:** this post is really old, from when i first started writing technical articles. it's from 2016.
<figure>
![](images/474c4-1kqhihffhcr2ewixsov13wg.png)
<figcaption>
[Founding Father Octocat v2 by Jamesย Kang](https://octodex.github.com/foundingfather_v2)
</figcaption>
</figure>
#### Learn some etiquette, man.
Our repo organization can suck sometimes. Hereโ€™s how to make it less sucky.
#### Commits
Iโ€™ve seen (and made) so many bad commit messages at [devAcademy](https://medium.com/u/e90784f3811e). We should really start to charge 10 cents for each bad commit someone makes one. Weโ€™d make [millions](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJR1H5tf5wE).
<figure>
![](images/f6b85-1_cjzykncqyesud_hlogc0a.png)
<figcaption>
100 million dollars, to beย exact
</figcaption>
</figure>
We can settle this once and for all, though, by remembering a few guidelines when we commit anything on GitHub. And I mean **ANYTHING.** Personal projects, projects at work, even projects that you think will never see the light of day.
Once you get the habit of making awesome commit messages youโ€™ll start doing them reflexively. You wonโ€™t have to put effort into making them. Your coworkers might like you more, too. _Might_.
<figure>
![](images/9c11c-1t8rlsnjffiarxbaah6ioew.gif)
<figcaption>
reflexive\_commits.gif
</figcaption>
</figure>
When making a commit, I normally follow [this short list of guidelines by Chris Beams](http://chris.beams.io/posts/git-commit/), along with the [git style guide](https://github.com/agis-/git-style-guide). Hereโ€™s what Iโ€™ve learned:
- **Keep your commits atomic.** Whatโ€™s this mean? [Fresh Consulting says](http://www.freshconsulting.com/atomic-commits/) that you should apply changes as you make them. Your commit should revolve around ONE change or fix. If you have to add an โ€œandโ€ in your commit message, youโ€™ve already committed too much.
- **Keep your commit message under 50 characters.** Why? Shorter things are easier to read, like this sentence. Short and to the point.
- **Capitalize the first word your commit message.** This is seen as generally good conduct by most gitsperts. Sentence case is also more professional looking and easier to read. (See a pattern here?)
- **Donโ€™t end your commit message with a period.** Leave people in suspense. Leave them wanting more. Also, you want to make sure your 50 characters are well spent.
- **Use an imperative commit message.** Make your commits sound like you gave a command to someone. Programming is normally defined as โ€œordering your computer to do thingsโ€, so might as well keep that reputation up, right?
- **Use the same language in your commit messages.** Most people seem to use English as their preferred language, but it doesnโ€™t mean you have to. What you do have to do is be consistent. Donโ€™t mix phrases in one language with another language.
<figure>
![](images/2836b-16utifimt4z-d80ulvdsgaa.png)
<figcaption>
DONโ€™T DO THIS. PLEASE. NOBODY LIKES SPANGLISH.
</figcaption>
</figure>
โ€œ_Refactor mediumExample() functionโ€, โ€œRemove unnecessary line in bot.jsโ€,_ and _โ€œAdd SASS gem to gemfile_โ€ are all good examples of easy to understand atomic commits that describe the action youโ€™re doing in 50 characters or less. They might seem like unnecessary fluff to you, but when you or someone else needs to find a specific change you made in the past, theyโ€™ll thank you endlessly.
#### READMEs
Iโ€™ve seen so many projects with lackluster READMEs it kind of makes me sick. This is supposed to sell your project. When someone reads it, they have to be interested in your project in seconds. Only after that, theyโ€™ll consider reading further into it.
Hereโ€™s what I deem are necessary elements in a README:
- **A header image (_somewhat optional_).** Give people something to look at. They need to know what your project is at a glance. Maybe show them a screenshot with a logo placed on top, those are cool.
- **A title**. People need to know what your project is called. Make it obvious and make it stand out so people will remember it.
- **Some badges (_optional_)**. [Badges are cool, right?](http://forthebadge.com/) These should be important things like a Travis build status, Code Coverage or a David DM check or something like that.
- **A short description.** Twenty words or less. This small sentence should summarize everything that your projectโ€™s about. Itโ€™s your tagline, basically. Sell your project.
- **A small list of features.** Four to five things that say โ€œHey, this is whatโ€™s cool about this project!โ€. Get people interested in your project with some radical things that your product does.
- **A _short_ summary of installation and/or usage.** Your app should not take 10 paragraphs to describe how to install and/or use it, and you shouldnโ€™t have to write an entire manual to quickly show some people how it works. Write up the quick, TL;DR version of installing and/or using your project. Nothing fancy, just enough to get people up and running.
- **External links to more documentation.** You wrote documentation for your project, right? _Right?_ **_RIGHT?!_** If so, _please_ donโ€™t include the entirety of it here. GitHub has Wikis for your project, which makes for a much better method of presenting content, as opposed to one huge Markdown file. Link to some important articles here in a nice bullet list.
#### Branches
This is simple. Keep your branch names somewhat descriptive of whatโ€™s in them. GitHub automatically names your fixes after a patch if you edit them online, so whatever, but when youโ€™re offline and youโ€™re using git on your machine, give a nice, descriptive name to your branch thatโ€™s less than 30 characters.
[This git style guide](https://github.com/agis-/git-style-guide) says that **you should use โ€œshort and descriptiveโ€ names**, and I feel thatโ€™s a good benchmark for naming. Use something like โ€œrails-5-upgradeโ€ or use it to refer to a specific issue on GitHub, like โ€œissue-57โ€. Make your branch name tell a story with as few characters as possible and give a _super_ quick synopsis of what youโ€™re doing on it.
Also, for the love of Torvalds, **keep your branches up to date with the master branch**. I donโ€™t care if itโ€™s a pain to do. Make sure that when you submit a PR, the owner doesnโ€™t have to go through a million hoops just to merge your branch to master. Merge conflict? Fix it.
#### Issues
Letโ€™s talk bug reports for a moment here. Have you ever tried to fix something without knowing what the problem was in the first place? Huh? Whatโ€™s, that, you say?
<figure>
![](images/af1d6-19sx8dn-bz3srv-g1o0hlwg.png)
<figcaption>
Thatโ€™s you. [Thatโ€™s how dumb youย sound.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nm5jl7aM08)
</figcaption>
</figure>
> You canโ€™t possibly expect me to fix something without knowing what the problem was in the firstย place.
Exactly! So many people submit issue reports on GitHub without describing a damn thing. Be descriptive with your issues. It helps everyone out.
How do you honestly expect someone to help you out with your problem if you canโ€™t even take the time to describe it? Here are some things you should include in a bug report to make everyoneโ€™s lives easier:
- **What you were trying to do.** What were the conditions that produced this error? Were you trying to run a command or navigate to a page? So many questions, so little time. Include some screenshots or a log, if you can.
- **What actually happened.** You know, how things messed up.
- **What you think went wrong (_optional_).** This screwed up somehow, right? Take a guess as to why.
- **How to reproduce your issue.**
- **Other _important_ details.** OS, Version of whatever you were using, some logs if you have them, some screenshots. Help us help you.
Now that weโ€™ve got that out of the way, letโ€™s talk about _replying_ to issues. Be nice. Say โ€œpleaseโ€ and โ€œthank youโ€. Just because someone submitted a bad issue doesnโ€™t mean theyโ€™re a bad person. Being nice to people is the first step to getting them to cooperate. Try to solve their problem while asking for more information. Offer solutions, not more problems.
Project maintainers should probably use [issue templates](https://help.github.com/articles/creating-an-issue-template-for-your-repository/) on their projects with the above issue suggestions. Theyโ€™re there for a reason. Itโ€™ll help your users make better issues and get you better bug reports/suggestions. Help them help you.
#### Pull Requests
Everyone likes a helping hand. Most of the time, though, people would like knowing _how_ youโ€™re helping them. This applies to Pull Requests, too. By using your descriptive commit style and **adding a quick bullet list of the changes you made to their code**, youโ€™ll catch the ownerโ€™s attention and make them want to merge your branch faster.
I mean, why am I going to add your code to my awesome project if I have no idea what it does? You donโ€™t have to write an essay on why these changes are for the better, but at least **give a short description on why your code is going to benefit the project.**
Also, project maintainers. **_Thank your contributors_**_._ Itโ€™s a simple gesture that goes a long way. This person put time and effort into helping your project, and even if it was only one line of code, _thank them._ Doesnโ€™t matter if their code is awful, thank them for the time that they took to help out with your project. [Weโ€™re all in this together](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbrbUfYSt0E), right?
#### Nowโ€ฆ
Iโ€™m betting youโ€™re going to go to [my repos on GitHub](https://github.com/thattacoguy) and start [yelling at me on Twitter](https://twitter.com/that_taco_guy) about how I donโ€™t follow my own guide. Youโ€™re right, Iโ€™m not right now; I wrote this up as a guide to follow to make better commits based on what seems to be hip and trendy now. Letโ€™s get better together!
* * *
### If you really liked this post, be sure to click that little green heart so that others can findย it!
<figure>
![](images/755a8-1xs_n7ruqrbe-eszcs4oxrg.gif)
<figcaption>
Just do it. You know you want to.ย โค
</figcaption>
</figure>

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---
title: "[old] this is what youโ€™re missing out on with continuous deployment"
date: "2016-08-12"
tags:
- "continuous-integration"
- "english"
- "github"
- "programming"
- "tech"
---
> **disclaimer:** this post is really old, from when i first started writing technical articles. it's from 2016.
![](images/dc0fc-1uuy2mvmyhb446qd5ovsg-a.png)
#### Ship it harder, better, faster,ย stronger
A few months ago, [Lennon](https://medium.com/u/57f86eb26cec) asked me to look into Continuous Deployment options for [devAcademy](https://medium.com/u/e90784f3811e). I got excited.
I had used a few CD platforms before with my _very_ short lived experience with setting up a server for a really obscure video g[a](https://github.com/TacoWolf/Canus)me. Most of the forks around there used Travis for their projects to make sure their builds would at least run, but I felt like there was more to continually integrating a project. I wanted to learn more, and now I had the opportunity to do so. Woo!
Now, youโ€™re probably asking yourself,
> What can I do with Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment?
#### **Hereโ€™s what I foundย out:**
### Robots test things so you donโ€™t haveย to
You can use CD to run unit tests automatically. Our [website](https://devacademy.la), which runs on Rails, has a bunch of [RSpec](http://rspec.info/) tests that run, and all of those tests have to pass before any changes are accepted into the master branch.
Now, RSpec can be run by itself using [Guard](https://github.com/guard/guard-rspec), but Iโ€™ve never had any success with it, personally. This means **we have to run tests ourselves locally before we commit to make sure our code works**.
You know how many times we forget to run our tests?
> **Every. Single.ย Time.**
How do we fix this? **Automate it!**
<figure>
![](images/4c504-1jxzwvlfmv0kn5ar_v1ax9a.png)
<figcaption>
this feels so satisfying to lookย at
</figcaption>
</figure>
> **By using a Continuous Integration platform, we can make sure that each commit we make passes all of ourย tests**.
Once a commit is pushed to our GitHub repos, our CI/CD platform grabs the latest copy and starts to run commands based on our configuration file in the repository, which is super easy to configure. Once the command goes green, you can ship it! Super simple stuff.
We also have Simplecov to check our code coverage, which runs right alongside our RSpec tests. That means that when we run a build, we also get a percentage of how much code weโ€™re actually testing.
![](images/22a3c-1jidr3-zogqapfumc0ltmq.png)
Real neat-o.
### Robots check things so you donโ€™t haveย to
> **You can use a CI/CD platform to check your code automatically.**
The previously mentioned Rails app we maintain every day has to have some sort of rigorous standard so that our code continues to be awesome. We use [Rubocop](https://github.com/bbatsov/rubocop) to make sure that we follow the [Ruby style guide made by the community](https://github.com/bbatsov/ruby-style-guide) in all of our Ruby/Rails projects.
<figure>
![](images/5c6f2-0bebwajr462xoi5of.png)
<figcaption>
โ€œRole models are important.โ€โ€Šโ€”โ€ŠRobocop
</figcaption>
</figure>
As I mentioned earlier, we have to run our tests manually on our end, and sometimes we forget. With Rubocop, itโ€™s the same. We forget to check our code _often_. This sometimes leads to us committing things that arenโ€™t in line with the rest of our code, which is bad.
<figure>
![](images/7bef4-1ycdnl3s6-wszvumig5mxwq.png)
<figcaption>
aesthetically pleasing
</figcaption>
</figure>
Luckily, weโ€™ve set up our CI/CD platform to run Rubocop right after RSpec. If something isnโ€™t up to standard, t