Category: Dev Community

Free Google I/O Event in Jacksonville, FL

Google I/O, Google’s annual developer-focused conference, kicks off May 18th and DiscoverTec is inviting you to watch the livestream of the opening keynote with lunch provided at DiscoverTec in Jacksonville, FL. Learn the newest and brightest from Google real-time, and meet with other developers to discuss the newest in technology.

  • Doors open at 12:00 noon
  • Lunch provided
  • Keynote livestream starts at 1:00 pm
  • Code Lab & Tech talks with the DiscoverTec team

Lunch, Free Giveaways, T-Shirts, and I/O 2016 Swag will be provided.
Register Today to Reserve your Spot:

Learning with the Jax Dev Community

JavaScript UI frameworks have been on fire lately. It’s been very hard to keep up, so I am turning to my local dev community to help keep me in the loop.

Last week I went to a MeetUp presented by JaxNode on Using React with Angular.js given by Michael Snead. This was an awesome talk on how to use React as the view engine in projects that already use some MV* framework. Nice when you want to take advantage of React, but are heavily invested in another framework. You can view the slide deck here,

This week I went to a MeetUp presented by the Jacksonville Software Architects Group. The topic was Single Page Applications using Aurelia and TypeScript. It was given by Sujesh Arukil. The talk was a great introduction to the new Aurelia JavaScript client framework. Actually, Sujesh has an excellent blog post with a step-by-step on how to get up and running with Aurelia (actually his first post, congrats!).


If you are a professional developer, you should come out of the dungeon, have a slice of pizza and learn and share something new with some awesome local developers.


Recent Talks with Big Effect on My Development

I have seen many, many development talks, actually an embarrassing amount. There have been many talks that have altered how I develop or think about development. Actually, since 2013, some talks have caused a major shift in how I think about full stack development, my mind has been in a major evolutionary cycle.

CQRS and Event Sourcing

My thought process about full stack development started down a new path when I attended Code on the Beach 2013. I watched a talk by Greg Young that included Event Sourcing, mind ignited.

Greg Young – Polyglot Data – Code on the Beach 2013

He actually followed this up at Code on the Beach 2014 with a talk on CQRS and Event Sourcing.

Reactive Functional Programming

Then I was introduced to React.js and I experience a fundamental paradigm shift in how I believed application UIs should be built and began exploring reactive functional programming. I watched a talk by Pete Hunt where he introduced the design decisions behind React, mind blown.

Pete Hunt – React, Rethinking Best Practices – JSConf Asia 2013

Stream Processing

Then my thoughts on how to manage data flow through my applications was significantly altered. I watched a talk by Martin Kleppmann that promoted subscribe/notify models and stream processing and I learned more about databases than any talk before it, mind reconfigured.

Martin Kleppmann – Turning the database inside-out with Apache Samza – Strange Loop 2014

Immutable Data Structures

Then my thoughts on immutable state was refined and I went in search of knowledge on immutable data structures and their uses. I watched a talk by Lee Bryon on immutable state, mind rebuilt.

Lee Bryon – Immutable Data in React – React.js Conf 2015


I have been doing professional application development since 2000. There was a lot burned into my mind in terms of development, but these talks where able to cut through the internal program of my mind to teach this old dog some new tricks. The funny thing is all of these talks are based on old concepts from computer science and our profession that I never had the opportunity of learning.

The point is, keep learning and don’t accept best practices as the only or best truth.


My New Book: “Hello React and TypeScript”

So, I have been doing a deep dive into React and TypeScript and found it a little difficult to find resources to help me. I could find plenty of great resources on React and TypeScript separately. Just exploring the documentation and many blogs and videos for the two is great. Yet, resources that explore writing React applications with TypeScript was either old, incomplete, or just didn’t work for me for one reason or another. I have to admit that I haven’t done a deep search in a while so that may have changed.

After some frustration and keyboard pounding, I decided to just consume as much as I can about both individually and just get a Hello World example working. With the basics done I went slowly all the way to a full blown application. Since I was keeping notes on that journey, why not share them?

I was going to share them in a few blog posts, but I have been trying to do a book on GitBook for a while and this topic seemed like a good fit. Also, I enjoy digging into React and TypeScript so this book is probably something I can commit to, not like my other sorry book attempts.

My little guide book isn’t complete and still very rough. It may not be completed any time soon with the rapid pace of change for JavaScript, TypeScript and React. Also, I am thinking about moving from Gulp/Browserify to WebPack. I have only completed a fraction of the samples I want to do… so much still to do. Even though I don’t think it is ready for prime time, it is a public open source book so why not share it, get feedback, and iterate.

You can get the free book from GitBook

The source code for the samples in the book are on GitHub

If you don’t like the book let me know. If you find something wrong, bad practice or advice, incoherent explanations… whatever, let me know. If you like it let me know too, I can always use an ego boost :). Now I just have to convince myself to do some videos and talks… public speaking, bah :{


Online Computer Science Education

I have always had an inferiority complex as a software developer. I am self taught and I felt that I was missing a good base that people with a computer science degree have. I no longer feel as inferior as I use to because I have been doing this for 15 years and I am always able to hold my own. Yet, there are things that I don’t immediately understand that I think would be more clear if I had the grounding of a CS degree. But, I am not going to spend a bunch of money to do it and I don’t have the time to commit to school full time.

I am a Pluralsight junkie and YouTube computer science’y videos are  my TV. There are many top notch CS schools that have released lecture videos to the public for free. Why can’t I organize these videos into a curriculum and get a virtual CS education. I am constantly watching videos anyway. Well I ran across two posts that suggest that very thing.

Free Online CS Education

The MIT Challenge chronicles Scott Young’s quest to get the equivalent of a 4 year CS education from MIT in 12 months. I am not that ambitious, but I appreciate his journey and he is very thoughtful in providing some help in actually getting through the challenge.

$200K for a computer science degree? Or these free online classes? is a post by Andrew Oliver where he puts forth a sample CS curriculum made up of Coursera videos. He thinks these videos would be as good as a CS degree. He says he hasn’t watched all of the videos, but based on the overview of the videos he says he would hire someone who went through them and did all the associated course work.

aGupieWare: Online Learning: A Bachelor’s Level Computer Science Program Curriculum is a good post that breaks down what’s involved in a CS degree program. They put forth a good list of online classes to choose from. They received a good amount of responses and based on feedback they posted an improved expanded list Online Learning: An Intensive Bachelor’s Level Computer Science Program Curriculum, Part II.


I can’t say that I would do all of these, it’s a lot, but I am going to take a more focused approach to getting a more structured CS education. I need to shore up my basic understanding of CS. If I am able to stick to it, I will post the courses I do, but don’t count on it.

If you don’t have a CS degree, you can still get a very good CS education. Even if you are a seasoned developer, if you haven’t received a formal education in CS, why not expand your understanding of our profession and take advantage of some of the excellent, free, online CS learning.

Join the Hour of Code

Give Back

If you are a programmer, developer, software engineer… someone who writes code, think about giving back this week in honor of Computer Science Education Week by helping introduce programming to someone. President Obama kicked of this week by announcing this year’s Hour of Code. If you were under a rock last year, Hour of Code is a global movement to get kids exposed to and excited about coding.

Anybody Can Teach and Learn

Even if you aren’t a coder by trade or hobby, you can still teach and learn with these simple tutorials:

If Nothing Else, Spread the Word

If you can’t personally walk someone through some of the fun Hour of Code tutorials, the least you could do is spread the word through your social networks. Share the Hour of Code movement with others that may be in a position to help pass the torch to the future leaders of our industry.