I'm still learning as I go, but here are some tidbits I've learned so far about using dev containers for most of my software projects these days.
(September 05, 2023)
How ChatGPT, GitHub Copilot, and TDD made me a professional Go programmer in less than an hour. Kind of.
(June 26, 2023)
Here's how to add good deprecation warnings to your Rails applications, and why it might be a good idea.
(July 31, 2021)
Nobody likes to be the one to pick through your pull request for style guide and security violations. Here's how to ask robots to do the work for you, automatically!
(May 29, 2021)
The book's sample source no longer installs due to a dependency change. Here's how to fix it.
(April 05, 2021)
Before integrating additional services into a container-based development environment, we need to start thinking about the app as a collection of services. Here's how to begin that process.
(March 14, 2021)
You can't get very far with a Rails application without a database. Let's explore our options for adding one in a container.
(March 07, 2021)
Rails support for automating development environment setup includes a behavior that may surprise you! Here's how I addressed it in my applications.
(February 28, 2021)
In our first experiment, let's see what it takes to get a Rails app to boot in a Visual Studio Code devcontainer.
(February 21, 2021)
Let's experiment with building sensible devcontainers for Rails. Here's the plan.
(February 14, 2021)
Why I've moved to the simple, privacy-focused Plausible for my visitor analytics needs.
(December 03, 2020)
As Ruby developers, we spend much of our programming time in terminal emulators, at a command line. Here are some of my favorite alternatives to traditional command line tools, and how I've got them configured to my personal taste.
(September 20, 2020)
Everyday Rails gets a fresh coat of paint after five years. Here's what went into the new look.
(September 17, 2020)
Learning something brand new? Think again, it's probably got some overlap to skills you already have. Here's one way I approach learning to make it a more effective, intentional process.
(August 24, 2020)
If you're like me and don't need to test log output on a regular basis, you may not find the solutions to be immediately obvious. Here are two ways (that I know of) to approach the problem.
(August 10, 2020)
Application templates aren't just for new Rails apps! Stop copy-pasting configurations and get back to productivity with modular templates from this promising new service.
(July 06, 2020)
A subtle feature of Rails routing gave me a new appreciation for the attention to detail that the authors of the Rails framework put into making it a pleasant development experience.
(June 22, 2020)
Nobody likes an intermittently failing test. Here's one way to keep your test suite running green, even when a test sometimes fails.
(June 08, 2020)
Here are my favorite subscriptions for keeping up with Rails, Ruby, and my world of software development.
(May 25, 2020)
Looking back on a decade of writing about Ruby on Rails.
(May 18, 2020)
There's a good chance that your next Rails job will involve working with an existing application. Here's how I've recently gone about learning several new-to-me codebases.
(May 11, 2020)
Want a legit copy of my Rails testing book for free, or heavily discounted?
(April 15, 2020)
Sometimes, TDD gets in the way, does more to confuse than guide, or generally just slows development to a monotonous crawl. Here's a set of five go-to strategies I use to get out of test-fueled frustration, and back to productivity.
(July 09, 2019)
(April 09, 2019)
Active Record abstracts away much of the need to use SQL on a daily basis. But understanding what's going on behind the scenes is still important. Here's how understanding SQL can make you a better Rails developer.
(February 18, 2019)
A new version of my book, featuring a migration to system specs and a couple of major errata fixes, is ready for download from Leanpub!
(August 22, 2018)
In case you missed it, I've guested on a couple of podcasts in 2018.
(July 18, 2018)
Ruby's dependency manager, Bundler, includes lots of features to help make life as a developer a little easier. Here are a few of my favorites, and the shortcuts I've written to make them even simpler to use.
(June 11, 2018)
A progress report on the latest round of updates to my Rails testing book.
(April 21, 2018)
Many developers strive for 100% test coverage in their Rails applications, but what does that mean? And does it matter? Here's how I use the wonderful SimpleCov to help guide my testing.
(March 23, 2018)
Support for Rails 5.1 system testing is now available to RSpec fans like you and me. Here's how I moved my book's feature specs to system specs.
(January 08, 2018)
It's the middle of December, which means a new version of Ruby will be released in just a few days. Even if you don't plan on upgrading your Rails applications to the latest version on day one, it's never a bad time to begin planning your next upgrade.
(December 18, 2017)
Do you need yet another reason to move code out of controllers and into service (or whatever you want to call them) objects? How about better, forward-thinking testability?
(November 20, 2017)
The final chapter of my Rails testing book is now available for download. Here's what's new, and what's coming next.
(October 19, 2017)
I've released the first seven chapters (plus one) of an all new edition of my popular introduction to RSpec for Rails. Here's what's new, and what to expect next.
(June 20, 2017)
Support for generating an HTML version of application documentation in Rails 5 was removed. Here's how to add it back.
(March 01, 2017)
A progress report on the latest version of my Rails testing book.
(February 20, 2017)
An experiment! This week, let's have an open floor discussion about Rails versions in production, and what keeps us from upgrading sooner.
(January 23, 2017)
Code reviews are more than proper indentation and method length. They're about understanding your software, and developing a better team of developers. Here's my approach to the code review practice.
(January 16, 2017)
Serving your Rails application over HTTP? Starting this month, your users may start receiving security warnings when visiting your site. Protect their safety and privacy quickly and easily with Let's Encrypt.
(January 09, 2017)
Your project's git log can tell you stories, but you have to know how to look for them. Here's how I explore a code base's history, using built-in command line tools.
(January 02, 2017)
Rails provides excellent support for software security, but you need to know how and when to apply those supports for them to work. Here's an overview of tools you can use to keep your applications safe.
(December 12, 2016)
A big update to my testing book is coming in 2017. Here's a list of things to expect in the new edition.
(December 05, 2016)
In part two of a series on ditching controller specs, let's move a complicated
controller example into a more reasonable, future-proof feature spec.
(September 05, 2016)
Does your application's test suite rely heavily on controller specs? It's time to consider alternatives, as controller testing has changed in Rails 5.
Here's one way to replace a common use of these specs, even if you haven't
upgraded to Rails 5 yet.
(August 29, 2016)
I've been thinking about how to improve the quality of Rails code bases through better documentation practices. Here are some steps I'm taking in my own projects.
(April 18, 2016)
Looking for a well-balanced authentication solution? Check out Clearance as an alternative to Devise and has_secure_password.
(January 23, 2016)
I love how extensible GitHub's Atom editor is. Here are some useful packages for using it to edit and run RSpec tests.
(August 27, 2015)
A behind-the-scenes look at the tools and decisions that led to the first major redesign of Everyday Rails in three years.
(August 09, 2015)
Here's how I created sanitized sample data from real-world data, using a few lines of Ruby code and a very useful gem.
(July 29, 2015)
Rails offers a couple of methods to access persisted test data, but how do they work? Let's get some answers, with the help of Pry.
(April 05, 2015)
Pronto helps streamline the code review process by automating what can be automated, so you can focus on the code's intent and design. Here's one example of how to use it.
(February 17, 2015)
(January 27, 2015)
Ever need to transfer data from one database to another? Here's a solution that worked for me.
(December 23, 2014)
RSpec 3.1, Rails 4.1 (and beyond), testing services, and more: Here's what's new.
(October 05, 2014)
It's getting time for the book's annual-ish update. Here's a look at what's planned for the next version.
(April 03, 2014)
Git makes it easy to experiment with ideas before committing them for posterity. Here's one way to get rid of those experiments when they go bad.
(February 27, 2014)
A Japanese version of my testing book is now for sale on Leanpub.
(February 08, 2014)
The previous edition of my book is now a free extra with all purchases of the current edition.
(January 25, 2014)
How do you turn testing knowledge into a testing habit? Learn from an expert.
(January 15, 2014)
When is it beneficial to include a view spec in your Rails app's test suite? Here's one example.
(November 15, 2013)
A Chinese version of my testing book is now for sale on Leanpub.
(September 09, 2013)
Information on the final release, and a note on what's up next.
(August 21, 2013)
Updated development schedule for all who've purchased my RSpec book. Short answer: They're coming!
(July 16, 2013)
Faker isn't just for testing; here's how I used it to use real data in demonstrations (without revealing anything sensitive).
(May 20, 2013)
Wrapping up Rails 3.2 and looking ahead to Rails 4.0.
(April 24, 2013)
Notes on using tests to learn about legacy software.
(April 16, 2013)
Notes from the field as bring a long-neglected Rails application up to speed.
(March 21, 2013)
The next round of updates to my introduction to testing in Rails is here!
(February 13, 2013)
Updates to the Rails testing toolkit I use in the book are on the way (or here already). Here's my plan for addressing these changes.
(November 14, 2012)
Don't make future developers (or future you) guess your application's dependencies. Tell Bundler how to load the right gems every time.
(September 11, 2012)
In the final part of this series, we'll create a fresh controller and views to manage an ActiveAdmin resource within our namespaced admin panel.
(August 19, 2012)
In part two of the series, we'll take a look at moving a scaffold-generated resource into our custom admin panel.
(August 07, 2012)
Anyone who's purchased my book should head over to Leanpub to download the latest version. Here's a list of what's new.
(August 03, 2012)
Add-ons like ActiveAdmin and RailsAdmin are both solid solutions for building feature-rich administration systems for Rails applications, but what if you want a more custom solution? In this series we'll cover the test-driven development of a namespaced admin solution built just for your application.
(July 31, 2012)
The expanded version of my series on learning to test is ready for non-early adopters. Here's more information on the Rails 3.2 version of the book, and what's to come later.
(June 13, 2012)
I've been busy completing the book and incorporating your feedback. Here's where things stand at the moment, along with answers to some questions I've received.
(May 15, 2012)
I'm happy to announce that the extended, DRM-free ebook version of my RSpec series is now available for purchase through Leanpub. Here's a rundown of what's there now and what's to come.
(May 07, 2012)
Integration testing with RSpec request specs make sure your application's various parts are working in cohesion. Here's a primer on getting started.
(April 24, 2012)
Controllers are the glue in a Rails application, and should be tested just like any other code. This primer will guide you to better coverage in your own apps' controllers.
(April 07, 2012)
How can you make sure your application's core building blocks are doing what you expect them to? Let's start by using RSpec to test model functionality.
(March 19, 2012)
Our series on getting comfortable with Rails testing continues as we set up RSpec for an existing application.
(March 12, 2012)
Are you still wrapping your head around Rails testing techniques? Here are the tools and techniques that helped me go from zero to decent test coverage.
(March 12, 2012)
What do you do if your legacy data defies convention or is just generally complex? Here are some notes from my recent experience using rake to accomplish difficult data migrations.
(December 11, 2011)
Rails developers with deadlines will love ActiveAdmin for building high-quality interfaces for managing a site's data.
(November 11, 2011)
Here's the general process I follow whenever adding authorization—the logic that says what a user's allowed to do—to my Rails applications.
(October 06, 2011)
There's no shortage of approaches to adding password-based security to your Rails applications. Here's a look at the current lineup.
(September 21, 2011)
Get legacy data? Trucker makes moving it from old codebases into new Rails apps with relative ease.
(September 16, 2011)
Get e-mail feedback from your site's visitors though this simple-to-implement web form.
(September 07, 2011)
Let your users opt out of a form and return to the page they came from with this simple helper.
(June 16, 2011)
You don't need to send out e-mail messages to real addresses during development with these two easy-to-use options for SMTP handling.
(May 26, 2011)
Don't forget, RVM gemsets are great for trying out pre-release versions of Rails without interfering with other work. Here's a reminder on how to set that up.
(May 08, 2011)
The very convenient try() method has been available to Rails developers since version 2.3, but it's easy to forget if you're not in the habit of using it. Here's a brief primer.
(April 28, 2011)
How do you back up production data for your Rails projects? A new gem called Backup may be all you need.
(April 03, 2011)
SEO-friendly URLs are great, but what if you want to obfuscate things a bit? Here's a proof of concept of one way to get the job done with the FriendlyId gem.
(March 11, 2011)
Here are some thoughts on bootstrapping Rails 3 apps with customized templates.
(February 28, 2011)
If, like me, you've been dragging your feet about upgrading to Passenger 3, stop waiting. In this post I'll quickly walk through using it with RVM for Rails development.
(January 25, 2011)
There's been a lot of conversation recently about the best ways to get started with Ruby. Here's my take on the subject, based on how I learned Ruby back in 2005 and what I'd do differently today.
(January 19, 2011)
Still not writing tests for your Rails applications? Here are a few suggestions from my own experiences to get you started.
(January 11, 2011)
RailsAdmin gives you a rich, web-based interface to your Rails 3 application's data in minutes. Here's how to get started.
(December 17, 2010)
Finding objects by nice-looking, search engine-friendly string parameters instead of the default object ID is easy with these Ruby gems.
(December 07, 2010)
Ancestry is a new gem for adding tree structures to content in your Rails applications.
(November 16, 2010)
jQuery Mobile is easy to integrate with Rails and Devise to create authenticated, mobile-friendly web applications.
(November 09, 2010)
Even in Rails, documenting your code is important. It's also pretty easy with these tools.
(October 16, 2010)
Refactoring a Rails project can be a daunting task for new developers. Here are three tools to help ease the pain.
(September 27, 2010)
Take advantage of RVM's gemset feature to create project-specific gem installations for your Rails applications.
(September 13, 2010)
Continuing on my project to build a mobile-friendly Rails application, here's a look at making the jQTouch mobile framework talk to your Rails application.
(August 29, 2010)
Looking for the best way to make a mobile-optimized version of your website? Here are three resources to get you started, and a look at next steps.
(August 22, 2010)
Make dates, times, and durations friendlier to users with Chronic and Chronic Duration, two must-have gems for Rails developers.
(August 11, 2010)
Looking for more free books to get better at Ruby and Rails? Here are six more titles for your digital bookshelf.
(August 04, 2010)
The very handy Nifty Generators gem works in Rails 3 with a few minor usage changes.
(July 30, 2010)
You don't need to spend a lot of money to build a reference collection for Ruby and Rails. Here are some free books to help you become a better Rails developer.
(July 28, 2010)
There's no getting around the command line when it comes to developing Rails applications. Here are several resources to help you get the most out of the Rails command line experience.
(July 23, 2010)
These four tutorials will get you up to speed quickly on the ins and outs of RESTful routing in Rails.
(July 18, 2010)
Want to nest an #index action under multiple parent scaffolds? It's actually pretty easy; this tutorial explains how.
(July 13, 2010)
Thoughtbot's Paperclip gem makes uploading files through web forms a breeze, but sometimes you need to keep those files protected from the general public. Here's how I require authenticated access to uploaded files in my Rails apps. Updated July 10, 2010.
(July 08, 2010)
So you've watched the podcasts, read the books, done the tutorials, and written your own Rails app. What's next?
(July 05, 2010)
Worried about Rails 3 disrupting your workflow? Here's how I use RVM's gemsets feature to keep my day-to-day development environment and Rails 3 distinct.
(June 28, 2010)
Leverage your applications' model relationships to write complex, but clean, authorization rules.
(June 24, 2010)
Here's how to protect your application's data through an easy-to-apply access control layer.
(June 21, 2010)
Build a full-featured template for your Rails applications with a few mouse clicks.
(June 19, 2010)
Need easy-to-use authorization in your application? Check out this useful alternative to other, better known options.
(June 16, 2010)
Rails Footnotes is a must-have gem for Rails developers of all skill levels. Here's how to get started with this invaluable debugging tool.
(June 10, 2010)
Edit user accounts and add administrator users to your legacy Rails apps using the popular Restful Authentication login system.
(June 08, 2010)
It's almost inevitable that your Rails application will ultimately need some sort of login mechanism to protect access to certain parts. This post begins a series of looks at various options for authorization in Rails.
(June 06, 2010)
How do you find the best gems to add features to your applications? Save a lot of search time with a new-ish index of Ruby gems.
(June 03, 2010)
Scaffolds are great when you're learning Rails, but the nifty_scaffold generator makes them effective timesavers when you're working on an app.
(June 01, 2010)
Nifty Generators does more than just view-related code; here's an easy way to create a global config file for your app.
(May 27, 2010)
Nifty Generators make scaffolding in Rails an even more effective way to get your Rails app off the ground quickly. Here's how I use this handy gem to create a basic layout and stylesheet for my app.
(May 25, 2010)
Now that you've seen how I configure my Rails applications out of the gate, here's a way to do the same thing with one command.
(May 22, 2010)
The process of creating a new Rails application is straight from Rails 101, but there are a few steps you can add early on to help you code more efficiently down the road.
(May 19, 2010)