Sunday, July 17, 2011

Learning Git

Scott Chacon: Getting GitImage by fraserspeirs via FlickrTo learn a challenging topic, first find someone who knows both the topic and how to teach.  For git, Scott Chacon is one of those guys.  Scott is a Rails developer working for github, THE place to host your open source git repository.  Here's Scott:

I recommend trying everything discussed yourself as the video progresses, stopping when you need more time or need to google what you don't understand.
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Become a Learning Machine

BinaryImage by Xerones via FlickrIf you find your education lacking, its now easier than ever to learn your way out of it. Universities all over the world put their lectures online. You can find one that teaches the topic of interest in a way that works for you.

And if you don't understand something, you can STOP the lecture and google it until you do. Replay the few seconds of video to make sure you heard it right. Do whatever it takes. You're in control.

Become a learning machine. Then no one can stop you.

Case in point. I lack a computer science background and get stumped when asked about basic software engineering concepts like sorting algorithms.  And I'm a software engineering. Or at least I play one on TV. :-)

So I finally decided to do something about it. I've found several courses on the topic. Here's a great one from Australia:

All the world's knowledge is being made accessible to you. Seize the opportunity!
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JavaScript Semicolon Insertion

Code reviewImage by richardmasoner via FlickrHere's a good discussion of when a Javascript developer should use semicolons.

Basically, semicolons are statement separators and there are situations where a line break won't be interpreted as the end of a statement.

Many Javascript developers put them at the end of every line, but this is unnecessary.  Its better to actually understand the cases where a line break won't end a statement.

If you use a minification tool that doesn't interpret line breaks correctly, bugs could be introduced.  But if you use semicolons only where you need to, a bad tool will probably break most things right away. And that will be obvious.  Use semicolons ALMOST everywhere and then you won't discover the problems until you test specific lines that don't have them.
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