Thoughts & Hacks

Sometimes we write stuff and share it here.

Pullwalla is now in the App Store

Pra is now Pullwalla! The app that began as a command line tool named Pra has made the next step in its journey with a new name and new features. The goal remains the same: Pullwalla is designed to be a single, unified interface that allows you to easily manage all the pull requests you Read More…

Pra v1.4.0

Version v1.4.0 of Pra just made it to the App Store. This release was focused on reliability and robustness. The last release was focused more heavily on new features. If you missed that checkout the Pra v1.3.0 post. Reliability After the v1.3.0 release I quickly got feedback that there were some reliability issues. First there Read More…

Pra v1.3.0

This release includes a mix of foundational features, small improvement features, as well as some bug fixes, performance improvements, etc. Ignore Organizations We added the ability to Ignore Organizations in addition to already being able to ignore a repository. This is an extemely useful feature that can help you gain focus by ignoring pull requests Read More…

Work Is Work

It starts innocently enough… an exec asks: ”Shouldn’t our product do X?” Why, yes! Of course it should. It’s not a bad idea, and on the surface it doesn’t seem like a heavy lift to build. So the team starts talking about the new feature in our standup meeting (product owner, developers, dev manager, and Read More…

How to Get a Job as a Developer

I recently had the privilege of representing UpTech to the students at LearningFuze by presenting my thoughts and experiences surrounding finding a job as a developer. We had such a great time talking with the students and received some great feedback on how the presentation helped them. “Your tips for finding a job were very Read More…

Pra - The App Store Audible

It is Sunday, Feb 17th, 2019 at 10:58 pm and I have just submitted the Minimal Free Version of Pra to the Apple App Store for review. I post in our team Slack channel that I’ve submitted and I cross my fingers as we wait for Apple to respond. Minimal Free Version It is probably Read More…

Pra: Status Update 001

This is the first status update of the Pra macOS application. I figured what better time to do this than right after 2018 ends and 2019 begins. My goal with this is to give you an idea of where I am with the development, give you some insight into the things I am doing and Read More…

Navigation Bar Behind Status Bar

You might find yourself in an situation where you want to use the UINavigationBar API to create a navigation bar in one of your views. But it doesn’t look quite right. It doesn’t extend up behind the status bar like you’ve seen it do countless times before when using a UINavigationController. What gives? How do Read More…

Pra: Thinking about Money

While I am waiting to collect information from the survey, I started thinking about how I could make money with Pra. I thought about it before at a high level. But now I have started thinking about it in more depth. Expectations It is important to understand that my expectations aren’t that this product be Read More…

Pull Request Notifications: an Anti-Pattern

Back in 2013, I was lead of a software development team at ReachLocal, Inc. At the time we were using GitHub for open source projects and Atlassian Stash for our private Git repositories. We required at least one reviewer to review each pull request before it could be merged into the mainline. We also generally Read More…

Sizing and Optimizing Images for iOS

Why? Sizing and Optimizing images for iOS can have a huge impact on performance of your app and the overall user experience. Therefore, it is important to take the time to figure out the proper sizing for your images and to make sure that they get appropriately resized and optimized for your needs. Understanding your Read More…

Startup Hacks - Hotjar

One of our clients, 8i is a software development company focusing on creating lifelike humans in mixed reality. As part of a new product initiative, they developed a new, low-cost studio for capturing people’s holograms outside of their office. To test product market fit, they deployed a stage at a Ready Player One party at Read More…

Inline Links in Text in iOS Apps

Today, I was working on a client project. As usual a couple of designers had done some high fidelity designs in Sketch that I was riffing off. In the designs on the Sign Up screen near the bottom there was the classic notice stating that by signing up you are agreeing to the User Agreement Read More…

Git Commit and Tag Signing

I believe that there is a large gap in current development practices in terms of association of identity and source code. This is something that a large percentage of people have been ignoring for quite some time. I was one of those people until recently. I started asking myself the question: How hard would it Read More…

Remote Stand-ups at UpTech

The Problem Given that UpTech is a consultancy, our team is often pretty fragmented in terms of physical location. For example, I might be on-site at a client’s office while another member is at a different client’s office, and yet other members are at our office. This physical fragmentation makes it difficult to stay on Read More…

RSpec Basics

This is yet another screencast I dug up while cleaning out some of the digital clutter. This one provides a great basic walk through of outside in development despite using a sligtly older version of RSpec. The biggest difference in RSpec versions at this point is the way expections are written. In this screencast it Read More…

Cucumber Basics

This is another screencast I dug up while cleaning out some of the digital clutter in my life. This one still provides a great basic walk through of how to properly define acceptance tests and use them to drive out code with Cucumber. Your browser does not support the video element. Please upgrade/switch to a Read More…

Git Under the Hood Screencast

Back in 2013 I did a series of screencasts with a good friend of mine, Brian Miller. I was going through things trying to remove some of the digital clutter and noise in my life. In the process I found this screencast and realized it is still very applicable today. Therefore, I figured I might Read More…

Building a SegmentedViewController

Let’s say you run into a scenario where you need to build a mobile interface that has tabs at the top of the screen. If you are working on Android this isn’t too much of a problem as it is natively supported and part of their Material Design. If you are building an iOS app Read More…