New Content


For the past couple of years this has been a place for me to occasionally share programming and web technology ideas or projects. Since this is a personal blog/site the topics are endless but I intentionally restricted myself to the topic of web technologies. However, I feel like the time has come to branch out and begin posting about some of my other interests. For now this blog will remain primarily focused on technology, but that now encompasses networking, live sound, audio engineering, and other things in addition to web technologies.

As a result of adding these topics you can expect more posts and more consistent timing. I've got lot's of things to post about so expect to start seeing new things soon!

Year In Review


Seeing as how 2015 is here, I thought I would take a look back at what's happened here on the blog during 2014. This past year saw several significant changes: new design, more content, and more traffic. As I've already covered the new design here I'll discuss my content strategy and the resulting traffic. When creating content there's always a fine balance to be struck between quantity and quality. Ideally you would have both but sometimes that's difficult to do. When I redesigned the site towards the beginning of the year I made a commitment to myself to post new content on a regular basis. In addition I've always tried to pick topics or things that are practical or relevant. That way my content is useful and valuable to those reading.

Ultimately that means more traffic and I'm proud to say that 2014 was crazy in terms of traffic increase. I use Google Analytics (it's indespensible, btw) to track my audience and learn how they interact with my site. During 2014 almost every metric saw ridiculous increase. In fact, there are three that I'm specifically excited about. First is the number of users, which increased by 2,271%. Similarly the number of sessions went up 2,856% and the average length of those sessions increased by 89%. These percentages are all based on a direct comparison to the previous years' numbers.

I say all of that to say THANK YOU!!! This past year has been great and I'm thankful that my blog posts have been useful to some. I'm excited for the new year and the upcoming announcements/projects. So stay tuned because I'm planning/hoping that 2015 will repeat and surpass the success of 2014.

Laravel Forge and Workflow


As a developer, workflow is incredibly important. The more efficient and streamlined your development process is, the easier it is to do your job. And not only does it make things easier but it can have some added benefits as well. Laravel Forge is one of Taylor Otwell's efforts to help Laravel developers enjoy a great workflow. It's essentially a very specialized server admin dashboard/control panel aimed at the same developer audience that is likely to heavily use Laravel. One easy way to think of it is like a replacement for CPanel.

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Optimizing Animation Rendering


About two months ago I was working on an enterprise level front-end application that ran on AngularJS. Luckily the project was very forward-thinking and modern, especially given the large corporation behind it. What that meant practially was that we were using cutting edge technologies and design patterns; ie SCSS, heavy use of complex pure CSS elements (as opposed to images), and plenty of CSS animations. That made the project a lot of fun to work on, but it also presented a challenge at every step because this was an enterprise application meaning that each screen needed to present a large amount of data alongside multiple levels of navigation and several actionable items.
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Semantic Everything


I recently found myself introducing a teenager to HTML, CSS, and Javascript for the very first time and used the phrase "semantic HTML" before realizing that non-developers (read: normal people) don't understand what this means. They lack the proper context to grasp the point we're trying to make when we use the word semantic. At the same time I've been working with some fellow developers who aren't as well-versed in semantic HTML and modern markup best practices. For the project in question I'm partially responsible for the cleanliness/desgin of the markup and accompanying styles yet I'm not the only person creating HTML. As a result there are times when semantic HTML isn't always implemented. These are just two recent examples of a larger issue which I'd like to discuss.
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