Author Archives: admin

Dec 04
2014

Understanding the Y combinator (in JavaScript)

Recursion and anonymous functions are widely used in modern programming languages. But how does one write an function with no name that calls itself? The Y combinator is the answer to that question. About a year and a half ago, … Continue reading

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Oct 02
2014

What I learned working at Groupon

Groupon was my first true programming job. I’d worked briefly at a .com way back in the day, and I’d done a variety of tasks at a start-up in Beijing ranging from running human resources to assisting with business development. … Continue reading

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Jan 07
2014

Use it or lose it

Visiting the house I grew up in this past holiday season, I had the strangest experience. I found my old notebooks from when I was about 14…and couldn’t understand the contents! I had been a math prodigy, entering college when … Continue reading

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Jan 03
2014

Looking back on 2013

2013 was a singular experience. Entering into the year, I was upbeat but still struggling in a lot of ways. I had faced rejection on nearly every front—countless job interviews, a coding school, and even a love interest. I was … Continue reading

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Dec 27
2013

Reviews of MOOCs I’ve taken

I’ve spent a lot of time on Massive Online Open Courses (AKA MOOCs). I’ve learned some great things from them, but I’ve also encountered a lot of time-wasting inefficiencies. For the most part, I’ve been taking programming and CS-related MOOCs. … Continue reading

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Dec 17
2013

Self-directed programming and computer science study through MOOCs

Upon starting work as a software engineer at Groupon this April, I noticed that I was an outlier. Pretty much all the engineers I talked to had technical degrees, and a huge number were from one of three sources—Stanford, an … Continue reading

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Nov 04
2013

Strip trailing whitespace every time you save a file in Sublime Text

Wanna get make all your files use spaces for tabs consistently and eliminate trailing whitespace every time you save in sublime? Put this in your user preferences:

I absolutely hate trailing whitespace in any of my code. I used … Continue reading

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Sep 02
2013

Hack Reactor Review—life at a hacker school

Many prospective students have been emailing me and asking about how various programming boot camps compare. How does Dev Bootcamp compare to Hack Reactor? Where can I find an App Academy review? Should I consider doing Hack Reactor instead of … Continue reading

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Jun 28
2013

The difference between hyphens, en dashes and em dashes

I learned something at work this week that I can’t believe I didn’t pick up during my years as an English teacher—the difference between hyphens, en dashes and em dashes. I guess being a web developer can lead just about … Continue reading

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Apr 04
2013

Get a visual snapshot of a repo or a person on github

My Hack Reactor group project is finally online! It’s an app for visualizing the activity related to a user or a repo on Github. Do you contribute by day or night? What’s the break-down of your Github activity? Where do … Continue reading

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