What's Up - March 2016

Wow, It’s been 5 weeks since my last post. I must have been REAL busy. And so I have…

Projects

Continuing Sustainica.org.

Keeping the site up-to-date and helping out with new content. We recently added a conference schedule which is filling up nicely with speakers. The actual site is still hosted on United Domains, but the test site is on Digital Ocean and it’s quite chill to update through Git pushes and the Grunt build process. I run a swift npm run deploy and the site is built and pushed to our test environment. Then I use Beyond Compare to locally synchronize the generated HTML and CSS to the live hosting over SFTP. Haven’t gotten to actually setting up the FTP synchronization from my DO setup; but it currently works fine like this. Perhaps we’ll move everything onto DO soon.

In the meantime I checked out how Google Apps Scripts work in combination with Google Forms and Sheets. You can do pretty powerfull things like setting up a complete conference registration system with some straight-forwarding coding and ten minutes time.

Started helping out XPower with Solits.be WordPress website.

Helped them optimize site loading and continuing setting up theme customizations and WordPress improvements, organizing tasks through a Trello board.

Built my first ReactJS application

For work I had to deliver a Web App as a “proof-of-concept” of displaying city-statistics in a nice way, so I decided to use ReactJS after enjoying Wes Bos’s React For Beginners tutorial. It’s been a great learning experience, starting off with ES6 using Babelify and gaining some insight in how ASP SignalR works. This was also my first “Gulp” project.

I love learning on the job and appreciate the time they gave me to build this a lot!

Today I also started learning about Redux, a very interesting approach to programming applications. I’m following this excellent getting started with Redux tutorial by Dan Abramov, which taught me about pure functions and immutability. Fascinating.

Software

My Surface Pro 3 is finally on Windows 10, version 1511 (OS Build 10586.164) and all seems stable. The Mail app even gained my trust! It only required me to do a “PC Reset” with “keeping personal files”… It took me half of a Sunday to set everything back up, but I haven’t had funny app crashes since the update. keeps fingers crossed

We got an Office 365 Home subscription. I am using Outlook for tasks and email, which hasn’t really changed over the years in terms of UX and features. Also decided to move away from “the Cloud” and use Word and Excel locally. I must admit I like how these apps react and feel while working with them.

My favorite application is most definitely OneNote. I use it for daily logs, notes and keeping track of todos. I enjoy the open drawing “canvas”, editing options, tags and powerful search of Microsoft’s OneNote so much more over Evernote’s limited editing features.

I lost my patience with Evernote last january and therefore cancelled my subscription. I am currently wondering what to do with the +10000 notes I have in there.

Microsoft’s “Visual Studio Code” has quickly gained its place as my favorite coding workhorse. Continous improvement releases and excellent support have made this tool my editor of choice! So yay, Microsoft!

I do wish that they would start offering the possibility to set up your own domain for Office 365 for email.

Social

Due to the side-projects I haven’t met up with the GDG Düsseldorf gang lately. I keep in touch, but have been out of duty for a while now. Maybe I’ll go to the next meetup. Who knows.

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