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Sunday, 16 December

10:11

Have you seen our new website yet? Zinn Education Project

We are pleased to introduce the new and improved Zinn Education Project website.  Read about the new features below, check out the site for yourself,  and spread the word.

New Feature: Peoples History Lessons, Books, and Films

The free downloadable lessons and a database of classroom-friendly books and films can now be searched and downloaded from all mobile platforms. You can search for teaching materials by time period and theme.

Visited before? Then check out our new lessons.

 

New Feature: This Day in Peoples History is Online

Our popular This Day in Peoples History (#tdih) series previously only available as daily Facebook posts now has a searchable online database. Each day in history includes links to related lessons and resources.

We need your...

Saturday, 15 December

13:31

Reflections on being an indie hacker freeCodeCamp.org - Medium

Reflections on Being an Indie Hacker

Spent a week in Wells, VT to disconnect from work and reflect on all the things!

My name is Tigran and by definition, Im probably a half-indie hacker. Why half you may ask? Because Im a full-time software engineer at Buffer but at the same time Im building an online profitable side-business called Cronhub.

If we think how one of my favorite Internet sites, Indie Hackers defines it, I think I fit into that definition but not quite.

How IndieHackers.com defines indie hacker

I generate money independently through the product Ive created but also have a primary source of income which is my employer. Im a solo founder and have been bootstrapping Cronhub for the past 8 months or so. As you see I may have the rights to call myself an indie hacker, right? If your answer is yes then lets read my story further. Also, Ive written another article if you like to read more about how I work remotely.

I wanted to be an indie hacker for multiple reasons but the biggest motivation has always been my passion for building products. In the past, Ive built other side-projects that were free. I even created a side-project when I was studying at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) called Wheelie. It became the official ride-sharing online platform for RIT students. However, Ive shut it down two years ago due losing my interest for the product as well as worrying too much about safety issues. So yes, I love side-projects because its fun and you get to learn a wide range of skills.

Another reason why I started Cronhub is financial income. I understand that money doesnt necessarily buy happiness but it can buy freedom and I think its a big deal at least for me. Not having enough money is always very stressful and making money is usually more fun.

For the past year or so Ive started to value my time a lot and decided if I ever get involved in side-projects it wont be for free. Having a full-time job and a family doesnt give you too much free time so I better justify what I spend my time on. This thinking really changed my perspective on things that I was keen to work on. This article is a reflection of that journey.

The motivation behind this article

The motivation for writing this article is primarily based on wanting to share my knowledge and experience with others who are thinking of becoming an indie hacker. When I started this journey I always enjoyed reading other peop...

09:18

What not to save into a Git repository freeCodeCamp.org - Medium

https://medium.com/media/33cc57e35154ae349a9f32018a462569/href

You should not commit these four types of files into your Git repository.

  1. Files that dont belong to the project
  2. Files that are automatically generated
  3. Libraries (depends on the situation)
  4. Credentials

Files that dont belong to the project

Files like .DS_Store (for Mac OS), Thumds.db (for Windows), .vscode (for code editors) have nothing to do with your project.

They should not be checked in.

Files that are automatically generated

This includes files from preprocessors (like Sass to CSS). You dont check in the CSS. You check in the Sass files.

If you use JavaScript compilers like Webpack or Rollup, you dont check in the generated JavaScript file. You check in the code you write.

Libraries

If you dont use a package manager, you should check in your libraries. This is because if you want to download the library, you have to:

  1. Google for the library
  2. Get to the website
  3. Find the link
  4. Download the library
  5. Put into your project

This process is tedious. If your code needs the library to work, you should check in the library.

On the other hand, if you use a package manager, you shouldnt check in a library because you can install the library with a single command like npm install.

Credentials

You shouldnt store credentials like usernames, passwords, API keys and API secrets.

If someone else steals your credentials, they can do nasty things with it. I almost lost $40,00 to $60,000 because a friend accidentally exposed my amazon credentials. Luckily, the amount was waived.

If you dont want to get into sticky situations like I did, then dont store your credentials in a Git repository.

Thanks for reading. Did this article help you in any way? If you did, I hope you consider sharing it. You might help someone out. Thank you!

This article was originally posted at my blog.
Sign up for my newsletter if you want more articles to help you become a better frontend developer.

...

05:07

A Thorough Introduction to Distributed Systems freeCodeCamp.org - Medium

What is a Distributed System and why is it so complicated?

A bear contemplating distributed systems

Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. What is a distributed system?
  2. Why distribute a system?
  3. Database scaling example

Distributed System Categories

  1. Distributed Data Stores
  2. Distributed Computing
  3. Distributed File Systems
  4. Distributed Messaging
  5. Distributed Applications
  6. Distributed Ledgers

Summary

Introduction

With the ever-growing technological expansion of the world, distributed systems are becoming more and more widespread. They are a vast and complex field of study in computer science.

This article aims to introduce you to distributed systems in a basic manner, showing you a glimpse of the different categories of such systems while not diving deep into the details.

What is a distributed system?

A distributed system in its most simplest definition is a group of computers working together as to appear as a single computer to the end-user.

These machines have a shared state, operate concurrently and can fail independently without affecting the whole systems uptime.

I propose we incrementally work through an example of distributing a system so that you can get a better sense of it all:

A traditional stack

Lets go with a database! Traditional databases are stored on the filesystem of one single machine, whenever you want to fetch/insert information in ityou talk to that machine directly.

For us to distribute this database system, wed need to have this database run on multiple machines at the same time. The user must be able to talk to whichever machine he chooses and should not be able to tell that he is not talking to a single machineif he inserts a record into node#1, node #3 must be able to return that record.

...

04:51

What does yoga have to do with programming? freeCodeCamp.org - Medium

You might be surprised.

source

At first sight, there are a few fields as distant as programming and yoga. One requires sitting or standing behind a desk, deep focus, and highly developed logical skills. The other is all about mindfulness, flexibility, and deep breathing.

I had been doing yoga for a couple of years already before joining a coding boot camp in Lisbon. I was so delighted to see that Le Wagon included a yoga session in a weekly schedule that I could almost feel my neck muscles relaxing when I read it. Being a multipotentialite, I love unexpected combosand the intersection between web development and yoga is one of them. And Ill tell you a secret: Im not alone.

So there were things I expected to get out of doing yoga during the bootcamp:

  1. Increased flexibility after sitting still for hours.
  2. Better mobilitysince Ive had issues with sciatica for years now, I knew I just couldnt afford not to do some form of exercises, and so it happened that yoga met my needs best.
  3. Relax. Since a coding bootcamp = very busy schedule, setting aside an hour or two to only focus on yourself is a great way to unwind.
source

Working as a programmer, you are constantly exposed to shifting feelings. One day you feel like youre on top of the world as that little JavaScript element finally started doing what you wanted it to, the next day you spend hours chasing a bug that turns out to be something as trivial as a typo (refreshing your browser and not understanding why your changes are not being applied, only to discover youve been staring at production, not development, anyone?). This job can be a lot of fun, but you also need ways to handle the frustrations, self-doubt, and short deadlines.

You might carry in your mind the idea that yoga is a stretching activity mainly for women who dont understand real physical activity, as public opinion is often telling you. If so, I encourage you to try it at least once.

Just try to choose a good, experienced teacher rather than one of those slack training-center classes where the main focus is on looking good and not sweating too much. Perhaps, just perhaps, you might change your mind.

During my time at Le Wagon I discovered some unexpected benefits of yoga and was surprised by how regular practice was influencing my progress in learning programming. I happily continue to take advantage of all these discov...

04:46

How I went from stay-at-home mum to Front-end Web Developer freeCodeCamp.org - Medium

Photo by: Matthew Henry

I thought about writing about my personal coding journey many times, but never had the courage to do so. I was dismissive and thought: Why would anyone want to read this?

Developers come from all walks of life. However, I want to talk about learning to code with young children, and the challenges of juggling parenting and studying.

My background

Im not a conventional candidate for becoming a web developer. I went down a humanities route and I have no computer science background. I fell into a career in Higher Education and for over a decade I moved up the ranks in administration. I enjoyed my work but wasnt fulfilled by my career choice.

About seven years ago in search for a new career path, I sought advice to get into a more technical role. So I started learning the web fundamentals: HTML and CSS. I used Codecademy. My first attempt at coding was half-hearted. Fear was the main reason. I feared that the transition would take too long. I also got distracted by my upcoming wedding.

6 years laterone husband, a flat, and two babies under two!

I had my first baby in January 2015. In a nutshell, having my son was a shock to the system and completely turned my world upside down. The sleep deprivation felt like torture and I had difficulty with breastfeeding. I was in a zombie state for the first six months.

As things started to settle down, I found out that I was pregnantagain. This was during my first week back at work! My daughter was born in September 2016. Now I had two babies under twenty months!

Realization, motivation and career change

By mid 2017 at the age of 34, I decided to leave my job. I did this for two reasons. It was no longer financially viable for me to work and have my children in childcare. It was difficult to work full-time, while looking after two young children with a husband who worked away a lot.

The thoughts I had seven years earlier never went away. I could wait until the children were older and start to look for part-time work, or to finally pursue a job in tech. My husband, who already works in the tech industry, gave me the same advice.

Learn the fundamentals: HTML, CSS and JavaScript. With a combination of these three skill sets I knew I could become a front-end developer.

freeCodeCamp and the start of my coding journey

I researched which online learning platform I should follow. I read good things about freeCode...

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