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Lessons in Debugging Coffee

·5 mins

Abstract purple artwork
Photo by Monisha Selvakumar on Unsplash

Our coffee machine is currently at the shop for repair, so we’re stuck drinking instant. It’s not fantastic, but it’s really all right in a pinch. In fact, my parents exclusively drink instant because it’s what they’re used to — seems like a pretty common thing in the UK and is probably a war relic or something (I haven’t looked it up).

The Joy of Programming

·4 mins

For the past handful of years I’d been a happy Rails developer. Happy – or, perhaps more aptly, content – because I knew that that I could effectively build pretty much anything I could dream up in Rails. This contrasted with what, in retrospect, was the more rebellious phase of my career, in which I hungered and scoured for newer, fancier tools with more bells and whistles.

Don’t get me wrong; I’d always kept my ear to the ground: I read newsletters, flicked through subreddits, and subscribed to RSS feeds. I’d see projects go by, maybe throw them a star on GitHub, and file them away in some distant part of my brain for “later”. Many of the projects I’d come across would find a use for me in my day-to-day work, but the more esoteric or not-in-my-ecosystem tools and ideas more often went forgotten.

I thought this was just par for the course in the industry: growing up, if you will, leaves us with less time to waste on distractions.

RubyMine with Docker

·6 mins

Lately I’ve been experimenting with RubyMine. I’ve played around with it in the past, but always ended up back on vim for various reasons. This time I’m making a concerted effort to learn its feature set and make them work for me, and so far I’m thoroughly impressed.

Unfortunately I had some problems setting up Ruby/Rails projects running in Docker containers to work with RubyMine’s debugging features, so I’ve documented how I did it and some of the issues I ran into.

The Apple Delusion

·13 mins

In September 2018 I switched job to work as a remote consultant for a small UK company. Without a work computer, I considered buying a Mac for the following reasons:

  • Ruby development in Windows is a pain
  • I like the UNIX environment
  • The overall user experience, I believed, was top-notch

The other option would have been Linux, but my experiences of macOS had, until that point, been better than my experiences of Linux.

Figuring that I’d want about five years out of the machine, and having worked for too long on too-slow Macs, I dropped € 3,200 (~ $3,719 at the time) on a high-spec 15-inch Macbook Pro1.