Function Declarations vs. Function Expressions


I prefer function expressions over function declarations

Originally posted on JavaScript, JavaScript...:

Lets start with a short quiz. What is alerted in each case?:

Question 1:

Question 2:

Question 3:

Question 4:

If you didn’t answer 8, 3, 3 and [Type Error: bar is not a function] respectively, read on… (actually read on anyway ;-) )

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The Real Revolution in Online Education Isn’t MOOCs

Harvard Business Review:

Modularization is key to competency based education

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Data is confirming what we already know: recruiting is an imprecise activity, and degrees don’t communicate much about a candidate’s potential and fit. Employers need to know what a student knows and can do.

Something is clearly wrong when only 11% of business leaders — compared to 96% of chief academic officers — believe that graduates have the requisite skills for the workforce. It’s therefore unlikely that business leaders are following closely what’s going on in higher education. Even the latest hoopla around massive open online courses (MOOCs) amounts to more of the same: academics designing courses that correspond with their own interests rather than the needs of the workforce, but now doing it online.

But there is a new wave of online competency-based learning providers that has absolutely nothing to do with offering free, massive, or open courses. In fact, they’re not even building courses per se, but creating…

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Embedding Devise Forms in Twitter Bootstrap Modals


Another great, detailed overview from Mike Strand

Originally posted on

In my previous post Top 10 Gems for new Rails Devs, I covered both the Devise and Twitter Bootstrap gems. Each of these gems is great at what they respectively do (authentication, design/styling). In this post, I’ll bring @plataformatec and @seyhunak‘s gifts together and easily put Devise sign-in and sign-up forms into Twitter Bootstrap modals.


What is a modal? If you aren’t familiar with modals, they are basically “pop-ups” or “prompts” that take a priority position in the user experience. If you’re interested in more theory regarding when and how to use modals, check out this post.

Getting sign-in and sign-up modals working in your application is not only a great introduction to using modals, but I think this feature creates a quality “first impression” for site visitors as well.

Want to see this code in a working repo? I’ll be orienting this post around a…

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A Taste of Ruby on Rails – Part 1 What is Ruby on Rails?


Great summary from one of my students @codefellowsorg

Originally posted on Anthony Zullo's Journey Into Web Development:

In my next series of posts called A Taste of Ruby on Rails, I wanted to explain what I’ve been learning for the past couple weeks.


Well, when you talk about Ruby on Rails, you’re really talking about two separate things.  Ruby is actually a programming language created by Yukihiro “Matz” Matzumato in 1993.  If you don’t know what a programming language is, it’s basically written codes that talk to your computer or internet browser, like Google Chrome, and tells it what to do or to display.  The difference between Ruby and other languages that I have been dealing with like php is that Ruby’s syntax, or programming grammar, was created to greatly reflect the English language.  So unlike other code, which often times has more complex syntax, a person with a less technical background would be able to better understand what the language is supposed to do…

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This is awesome. Good going WordPress!

Originally posted on News:

At, our mission is making publishing democratic — accessible and easy for anyone, anywhere. And while anyone can start a free blog here, not everyone can access upgrades (like going ad-free or enabling custom design) because of limits on traditional payment networks.

Today, that changes: you can now buy upgrades with bitcoins.

PayPal alone blocks access from over 60 countries, and many credit card companies have similar restrictions. Some are blocked for political reasons, some because of higher fraud rates, and some for other financial reasons. Whatever the reason, we don’t think an individual blogger from Haiti, Ethiopia, or Kenya should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment issues they can’t control. Our goal is to enable people, not block them.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that enables instant payments over the internet. Unlike credit cards and PayPal, Bitcoin has no central authority and…

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will be trying this out!

Originally posted on Art & Logic Blog:

What approach do you take when adding dynamic attributes to model objects stored in a traditional database?  Let’s say a bug model with static fields like name and species also needs to support any number of additional dynamic fields specified by different bug collectors.  There are a number of possible solutions to this common problem, so let’s consider the options.

  1. Serialize a hash ({ color: "brown", arms: 2 }) into a column at save, and de-serialize at load.  This serialization would be easy from a configuration standpoint, but would scale poorly and would be rubbish for searching on key values.  Rejected.
  2. Integrate a NoSQL datastore like redis.  A NoSQL datastore would offer speed and a task-appropriate API at the expense of integrating, configuring, and maintaining a new storage component for a minor feature.  Reasonable, but not appropriate in the context.
  3. Add a series of “CustomField#{n}” columns to the

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Sounds like a fun launch party!

Originally posted on So Entrepreneurial:

The unofficial mantra at SURF is: Get inspired. Explore ideas. Start companies.   It’s crazy how you feel it the moment you walk through the doors.  Although SURF Incubator opened its doors at the end of April, they were busy accepting startups and inviting them to join the party even before the April 30th opening.

What once was a quite space with more empty desks than people walking around has now turned into a bustling center for early founders and tech startups.  Somehow I feel a lot more at home in SURF than I ever have at coffee shops or other temporary offices around Seattle.  More than 25 startups have joined the team and remaining spaces are quickly being claimed by others.  In fact, there is so much interest they doubled the tenant base over the last 2 months and Neil Bergquist believes “with about 150,000 square feet of vacant space in this…

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