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Best Programming & Coding Podcasts 2016.

Here are the best programming & coding podcasts of 2016. Add these web development podcasts to your list to help you become a better programmer & coder.

Developer Tea

Developer Tea is hosted by Jonathan Cutrell. Developer Tea is a podcast made for web and software developers. Topics covered in Developer Tea are all related to becoming a better developer. The topics covered in this podcast includes learning & coding tips, questions & answers with listeners, interviews, etc. Episodes are very frequent and very short in length, making it an ideal coding podcast to listen to during shot breaks, walks or even commutes. This is my favourite programming podcast out right now.

JavaScript Air

JavaScript Air is hosted by Kent C Dodds(Egghead.io instructor and Google developer). JavaScript Air is a live broadcast podcast about all things JavaScript. Each episode generally features on a JS Framework or tool. A unique thing about JavaScript Air is it features a panel of JavaScript experts and guests every episode. The guests and panelist are prominent members of the programming community. During the live broadcast of each episode, listeners can asks questions via twitter. This is the best JavaScript podcast out there right now.

Shop Talk Show

The Shop Talk Show is a personal favourite of mine and is hosted by Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier. If you make websites then you definitely know that Chris is the brains behind possibly the greatest CSS site, css-tricks. He also runs a site called codepen, so he definitely knows what he’s talking about. Shop Talk Show is a podcast geared towards front-end developers and new episodes are weekly and are about an hour long each.

Full Stack Radio

Full Stack Radio is hosted by Adam Wathan. Full Stack Radio is a podcast aimed at developers interested in building great software products. Every episode of full stack radio features a guest discussing their work processes. Topics have ranged from user experience and coding patterns to everything in between. Episode have been from 30 to 60 minutes long.

The Web Ahead

The Web Ahead is hosted by Jen Simmons. The Web Ahead is an interview themed podcast that deals with the history, present and future of the web and all the things that make it. The guests are all experts of their respective fields, making it for some great quality discussion. Episodes last well over an hour, giving this podcast a fresh feeling of not being constrained by time.

CodePen Radio

Hosted by Chris Coyier, Alex Vazquez, and Tim Sabat, the co-founders of CodePen. CodePen is an online web based coding tool. CodePen Radio talks about the challenges of running a web software business. Episodes are generally from 30 minutes to a little above that, depending on the content. Sometimes they have revisited or split up a topic to multiple episodes.

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WordPress 4.6 Features & Release Date.

WordPress 4.6 will release on 16th August 2016. WordPress 4.6 is in beta currently and will have many new features.

WordPress 4.6 is scheduled to be released on 16th August 2016. WordPress continues to amaze with regular updates, something that is quite rare in a project of such scale.

WordPress 4.6 core development is being led by Dominik Schilling and of course has a wide range of contributors on the project. Several beta versions of WordPress 4.6 have already been released so far.


Some great new features in WordPress 4.6 are:

Shiny updates

This sounds pretty cool, right? It is! Shiny Updates will enable updating, installing and deleting plugins and themes much easier. You will no longer be redirected top a dull progress screen!

Editor updates

The WP editor is the place where we spend most of our time. Hence it makes sense that this is the section that has quite a few amazing upgrades. The auto saving has been improved. Broken links are now highlighted(while using the visual editor)

WP Admin returns to native system fonts

Currently, WordPress used the very beautiful Open Sans as the font in the WP Admin. While very nice to look at, this did make your Admin panel somewhat slower and relied on 3rd party services. Now, whatever is the default font on your Operating System, will be used in the WordPress Admin area.

WordPress Core updates

WordPress Core is what makes WP so awesome. a couple of new WP Classes have been added. These new classes include:
WP_Post_Type (Gives methods to handle post type supports, hooks, rewrite rules, meta-boxes, and taxonomies) ,
WP_Term_Query (Improves the structure for generating term queries),
WP_Site_Query (Allows sites to lazy load),
and WP_Network_Query (Allows networks to lazy load) and
register_meta()(A way for plugin and theme developers to standardize all the meta data store in users, comments, posts or terms.).


That’s more than a handful of updates and new features! I personally can’t wait to test them out and write up on how it goes!

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Fastest way to start Reactjs.

Start Reactjs using a generator via npm

The fastest way to get start Reactjs is by installing a development environment via a generator. Setting up a development environment is not only the most time consuming part of your Reactjs development, it is sometimes the most difficult part of it as well. There are a number of reasons for this. Installing any npm related thing can be tricky on windows(funny how compatibility doesn’t matter when developers only write their “frameworks” for unix based systems, however if something doesn’t work on IE, well we remember those days, right?).

These two steps install Yeoman & the react generator(it is assumed that you have node.js installed [I mean, why wouldn’t you?!])


npm install -g yo
npm install -g generator-react-gen

The next step allows you to generate your React.js project (you can use all the default values for the quickest start)
yo react-gen

To start your app, use
npm run start

You are all set to start writing & viewing your React.js app!

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React testing with Jest.

Jest is an open source JavaScript testing framework made by Facebook for React testing. Jest is built on top of Jasmine. Jasmine is a testing framework for JavaScript that is built on the principles of behaviour-driven development. Jasmine does not require any other JavaScript frameworks or even a DOM(Document Object Model). Jest is basically Jasmine on steroids. Some cool features of Jest include that it runs tests in parallel (making them faster), tests asynchronous code using inbuilt timer functions and automatically finds tests and can also be run from the command line. Jest’s coolest feature though, is the fact that it auto-mocks(eg tests everything) by default. You have to specify what not to test, instead of what to test.

React testing with Jest can be done in only a few steps. To install Jest, type npm install --save-dev jest-cli in the command line. After installing, create a directory inside your app called __tests__. This directory will contain all your tests.Then, create a Jest test. Define what Jest should not mock and then setup the test. Run Jest from the command line to start your testing. Run Jest by typingnpm test

An example of a Jest.


//Tells what not to mock
jest.dontMock('../sum.js');

//The mock starts here. The mock is named.
describe('sum', function() {
//Describes what the Mock does.
it('finds the sum of two numbers', function() {
//What is required for the mock to work
var sum = require('../sum.js');
//What the mock will do and what it is expected to match
expect(sum(1, 2)).toBe(3);
});
});

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Customize WordPress themes instead of building them.

When making a website, customize WordPress themes instead of building WordPress themes from scratch.

This will save you a lot of time, and help you achieve the most important part of any work: delivery on time. Developing the theme is where most of the time is spent on any website project. This is also probably the cause of most of the delays. Customize WordPress themes that are already available for sale or free, instead of creating them from scratch. This will avoid pretty much all of your delays.

When the wheel exists, why reinvent it? When you are working on a commercial project for a client, they want they work done well and they want it done fast. They do not care if you customize wordpress themes or hand-coded it, as long as it gives them what they want. No website should be made anymore that is not responsive. For that, you are probably already using a framework like bootstrap or foundation or many others. This saves so much time, as once you’ve learnt it, you can go crazy with it without spending too much time on it. The client’s are also in many cases familiar with these frameworks, so they do not have to be taught how to use them(for the most part).

The quality of available commercial themes available for WordPress has increased rapidly in the last few years. The support is fast and helpful as well. WordPress themes also get regular updates, meaning it will be use-able for many years to come. Whatever you need in a theme, somebody already has it for sale. We build websites on WordPress for reasons like saving time and having a dependable CMS that always works and can pretty much do whatever we need it to do. Customizing themes is one way to follow that.

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Coding Parties in L.A.

“All for a chance to be a star”
-No More Parties In L.A.


Coding bootcamps is the in thing. Like spiked hair in the 2000s, or terrible mullets of this era. Now it seems everyone needs to know coding(terrible fashion sense not optional). Doesn’t matter if you are the president or a barista, you gotta know coding. Even though one wonders why people of those professions would even need coding skills. Not only do you need to know coding, but you have to be a master coder in 24 hours and get hired as a super senior developer at TwatBook. Coding for just a singular goal like that is like learning a popular song completely and expecting to be more than a cover band.

Think about people that truly excel at what they do. Did they achieve it overnight? Did they pay somebody a bunch of money and do a couple of things for less than a year and boom…mastery achieved? No. Mastery takes a life time of practice and dedication. According to many experts, at least 10000 hours. That’s more than a year of practice, which is way way higher than the few hours for 6 months that will make you an expert(according to most bootcamps).That’s why no one becomes an engineer or a doctor in months. A few projects can teach you the basics, but never more than that. If there’s one thing I’ve seen online, it’s that things(apps, websites, etc.) are very poorly made using whatever is the fad of the day, approved by people who aren’t qualified and made by people who don’t know any anything better than hacks. That is the culture of doing things based on hype and trends, not needs. Remember those Angular apps which were made using Angular “just cause” ?

Bootcamps can at best find out those very few diamonds in the rough to start them on their path and take those that already know to the next level. A life time of mastery is not achieved overnight and by paying $40000 (most bootcamps charge at this range. Materials needed cost extra.) for six months. A portfolio of dream projects does not compete against a portfolio of real world implementations. In the fantasy world, everyone can do everything. In the real world that is unnecessary. So if programming is your thing or interests you as career and not only because of the monetary benefit, by all means try it out. But stick to it and get proper education. A coding bootcamp at best is only a tiny part of that education. No one became a rockstar for the money, they did it for the art. Programming is an art. Bootcamps are steroids and steroids are generally harmful.

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Pointing domain from Netfirms to Cloudways (DigitalOcean hosted app).

Pointing domain is the only way you can use a domain with Cloudways.

 
Cloudways does not do domain hosting. This is why pointing domain is needed for you to use your domain with Cloudways. I’m using Cloudways with Digital Ocean, but the guide should work similarly for Cloudways with other Amazon, Vultr or Google. The process to point your domain hosted on Netfirms to Cloudways is very easy to complete, the wait is longer as sometimes updating takes almost 24 hours (usually way less but still a few hours at minimum depending on your register).

There are two steps:

  1. Under A Record, add a new entry. The “Host” should be your domain without the www. The “Points To’ should be the IP address of the server hosting your app.
  2. Under CNAME, add a new entry. The “Host” should be www. The “Points To” should be the url of your app.

Bonus Step:
 
Now you may notice that your WordPress blog still has www in the links and everywhere across the site. To remove it, go to your WordPress dashboard. Then go to “Settings” and click on “General”. Update your “WordPress Address (URL)” and “Site Address (URL)” to your root domain without the www in front. Now your site should have no www in the address or any links.
 
You should now have your site looking lovely without the prehistoric and now useless www in front, while being hosted on Cloudways and your domains managed on Netfirms. Welcome to the future!

 

 

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Add Google Fonts to WordPress.

You can add Google Fonts to your WordPress site in under one minute. One minute to create a unique branding for your WordPress website. Why would you not do it?

Using Google Fonts can give your site a customized look. In addition, fonts loaded from there will be faster than using self-hosted font files. Sometimes self-hosted fonts take the longest time to download by the browser. Fonts loaded from Google’s Content Delivery network (popularly known as CDN) will eliminate requests from your own server and also decrease latency on your server.

To use Google Fonts on your WordPress website, add the following to functions.php in your theme.
Remember to change the font with the font you want to use.


function load_fonts() {
wp_register_style('googleFonts', 'http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=font');
wp_enqueue_style( 'googleFonts');
}
add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'load_fonts');

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Rem font sizes instead of pixels or ems.

Rem font sizes are the best way to do font sizing for responsive web design.Rem stands for “root em”

There are many units that can be used for font sizing: pixels(which is the traditional and most popular way of doing things), ems and rems. Both ems and rem have come to the forefront as they are great for responsive web design, where as pixels are not. Rem, however differs from em as it is based on the root element. what this means is that the it is relative to the root em of the entire website. Unlike em, which is relative to the parent element.

First we will set our base font size for rem font sizes to 62.5%. This will make 1rem = 10px, allowing for easier calculations. Using a base size of 100% would make 1rem = 16px. Feel free to adjust it whichever way makes more sense to you.

Add this code to your stylesheet.

html { font-size: 62.5%; }

Now, if we want our body font-size to be equal to 24px, we set it to 2.4rem.
To make our h1 equal to 30px, we set it to 3rem.
You can set the font-size of any element the same way.

Add the following code to your css, after you have added the first bit of code.

body { font-size: 2.4rem; }
h1 { font-size: 3rem; }

One of the main advantages of using rem lies in the fact that you only need to change the font-size under the html element in your respective media queries to change all the font-sizes. This allows your font-sizes to scale in different resolutions. You do not need to change the font-size in every single element.

The following code increases all the rem font sizes for resolutions above 600 pixels by a single line of code.

@media (min-width: 60rem){
html{
font-size:0.5rem;
}
}

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WordPress Scheduled Posts.

WordPress Scheduled Posts for numerous reasons. They allow you to target the best times for publishing your posts or having a consistency in adding new posts.

To schedule posts in WordPress:

  1. Select the post you want to schedule.
  2. In the “Publish” panel, click “Edit” beside “Publish” option.
  3. Choose the date and time for when you want to schedule the post to be published and click “Ok”. The time is in 24 hour time, so. 1:00 AM is 01:00 and 1:00 PM is 13:00.