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Using the Right Tool for the Job

Posted in: Programming by Steve on October 23, 2010

hammer-screwWith my blinders on, I dove headfirst into learning Rails and trying to fit my existing website into a shiny, new container.  The problem was that it would have taken too long to get everything that I needed for my website done in a reasonable amount of time.  The customer has been requesting new features and to polish up some of the old ones.  If I was to get all of these features accomplished, I was going to need a lot more time to get it done.

So instead of trying to build my own CMS, I am going to use a CMS that already has a multitude of code, layout and experience:

WordPress

GASP! Blasphemy! A true programmer would never use something like that for a new site, written in PHP, and being all PHP-y and scripty.  It doesn’t even have unit testing and you can’t do TDD with it!

Yes, in the past, I would have said such things, but as I’ve learned: if someone’s already done it for you, why spend time trying to do it again. It really meets all of my requirements and I can give the customer a lot of choices when it comes to functionality.  If I need to customize anything, it’s an even better opportunity for me to dig into a language that I don’t know much about.  Wasn’t that the original reason for learning Ruby on Rails?

So why not WordPress?

Blogging for a Month

Posted in: Blog by Steve on October 19, 2010

I’ve been forcing myself to write more by posting a blog post every day for a month.  It’s been a month, and I don’t really know the reach of my posts.  I have been posting them, be it NFL picks, code or videos.  It’s been hard some days to get a post together, so I’d find a video or talk about sports because that’s what’s on my mind.

Has it made me a better writer? No. I don’t feel that I’ve made any strides on being a better writer.  It’s definitely helped me to find a way to translate my thoughts to words.  I would probably be better at it if I had something like Dragon Naturally Speaking so I could start talking through my post a little more thoroughly.  I don’t feel that my posts ever flow.

I think if I had more time to dedicate to writing, my posts would be of higher quality.  Between home and work, that leaves just a little time left for “me”.