Riding in the Great Cycle Challenge for Childhood Cancer Research

September is fastly approaching, which means it’s time to participate in the annual Great Cycle Challenge. The Great Cycle Challenge is a fundraiser for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. The Challenge is set up where the participant works to get donations while completing a set goal of miles for the month of September.

I participated last year and raised $615 and rode 162 miles. I am hoping to improve those numbers this year. If you would to donate, you can at the following link, https://greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/RyanCondron.

Just Got Home From DevUp 2019

I have just arrived home from the DevUp Conference in St. Louis, my conference experience was a mixed bag this year. There were things that could be improved, but I want to focus on some of my favorite sessions from this year’s conference.

Also came away with come personal action items from the conference. I have started working on building out a better portfolio of what I am working on. Other items include promoting myself more, and possibly live streaming some coding sessions, so keep an eye out for that.

Entity Framework Core Debugging using SQL Server: A Detective Story by Chris Woodruff

This session talked about tools you can use to debug performance issues. The first thing discussed was tagging your queries, so it comes across and adds comments to the SQL Server Profiler. Also discussed was checking query plans, and other tools included in the newer version of SQL Server.

Document Databases vs Relational Databases: An Honest Comparison and Things To Consider by Keven Grossnicklaus

I only caught part of this session, but still learned some interesting points. Essentially if your data doesn’t change much you may consider using a document database. It was also discussed, to use a document database in a hybrid scenario where you mainly use a relational database for main data store, but pages that need to load a lot of data quickly you may load a cached version to the document database.

Going From No Code to App Store in 30 days by Lauren Hilton & Eric Bloomquist

This session discussed taking an existing Angular Application and using parts of it to build an mobile application using Ionic. When building an Ionic app you can use most of your logic and create new views. Overall an interesting session that sparked on some ideas I may do in the future.

Updating My Time Rounding Library

It has been awhile since I have touched the time_rounder gem. When I left off, I only implemented the 15 minute schedule. I have recently started work on that gem again in an effort to commit more to open source and build up my portfolio. Here is what I have been up to with the gem.

First, I have improved the rounding schedule setup. When I started the gem I just simple used large hashes containing every minute of an hour and what it rounded to. I since found a happy medium in using Array’ min_by and a small amount of math. I may make further improvements to the code in future but I feel it is pretty good at the moment.

Next, I have improved the tests and made them easier to understand and not have so many examples by lumping common examples together. I essentially take all the minutes that round to the same number and test them in a loop, instead of repeating a test for each minute of the hour.

Lastly, I am working on the other rounding schedules. At the moment there is only the 15 minute schedule. The plan is to add 1 hour, 30 minute, 20 minute, 10 minute. and 5 minute schedule. Once all the schedules are complete the gem will move to a 1.0 release.

Attending Globalhack VI

A couple co workers and myself registered for this hackathon to end homelessness in the St. Louis region. We are currently awaiting the true challenge of the hackathon. I will update this post more throughout the weekend.

Update (11/2/2016)

So the hackathon is over. We didn’t win any prizes but learned several things about out team and pieces of our development process we can improve. We mainly use Ruby on Rails (Rails) as our development environment, some of the things we learned pertained to that style of development.

First, thing we learned is using generators is great, but I like my code formatted a certain way, different than the scaffold generators, generate code. This would mean we need to create our own set to use to quickly build an application. I have started a open source project for these generators, because I use Rails outside of work as well.

Second, I learned how uncomfortable I get writing code without any unit tests. I have come to believe that they are necessary, they help with not having to manually test multiple pieces of code continually. We chose not to use tests, we had parts of our app that didn’t work properly. Not sure how to feel here, I understand they take time and when you have less than 48 hours to develop a functioning app stuff gets cut. I am looking forward to build some generators, because it should help by pre generating those tests for us.

Overall it was a fun experience for my first hackathon and learned quite a bit about myself, my development skills, and my development style. I look forward to taking what I learned and improving myself over the next several months.