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James Slaughter

I’m a software developer from Kansas City who loves being a dad, making and listening to music, and appreciating nature. I’ve led software teams and have worked with clients to find the right solution for them. I have my Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Statistics, and approach programming and problem solving as an exercise in those skills.At Children’s Mercy, I led a software team in the growing Children’s Research Institute, managing and developing their regulatory and grants systems. After 8 years of growth I worked for Huron Consulting Group, where I worked closely with a large education system getting their disparate, siloed research business applications integrated. I understand the challenges that legacy systems and processes face and have led successful change management with my clients, including the rollout of a conflict of interest management system that has over 100,000 users.I’ve worked quite a lot with MS SQL Server, Windows Server, and Linkx. I’ve also done freelance work over the past year using React and Electron. I’m very comfortable with both the frontend and the backend.I try to stay away from the screen in my spare time: finding new places to hike and practice plant identification and foraging, or, I’ll be twiddling up new sounds on my hardware synthesizers. I love spending quality time with my kids, ages 12, 10, and 3, and we keep plenty busy! This summer we found a couple of caterpillars that we are raising, and are exploring the creek by our apartment.

Learn Svelte by Making a Word Puzzle: Part 2, Reactivity

James Slaughter Development Technologies, JavaScript, Learning Svelte, Tutorial Leave a Comment

So far in this multi-part series, we’ve used Svelte to make the frontend of a Word Puzzle Game, but it does not receive user input, yet. That doesn’t make for a very fun game!

In Part 2 of this series, we’re going to make our game a little more functional. We’ll accomplish the following tasks: (1) allow users to guess a word, (2) manage state for the guesses, and (3) track the correctness of each letter in each guess.

By the end of this post, we will be one step closer to having a Svelte-based, fully functional Word Puzzle Game! Without further ado, let’s get started.

Learn Svelte By Making a Word Puzzle: Part 1

James Slaughter Development Technologies, JavaScript, Learning Svelte, Tutorial Leave a Comment

Svelte is a growing JavaScript component framework compiler delivered in a developer-friendly package. Usage of Svelte has been growing – IBM and even Apple (in its newest beta of Apple Music) have been using it for their frontend needs.

For a number of reasons, I think it’s a tool we developers need to get on board with. So, let’s embark on an active learning assignment: making a word puzzle with Svelte!

Why Functional Programming

James Slaughter Development Technologies, JavaScript, React 1 Comment

React has gotten a little funny of late – a few years ago, it was normal to embrace the Object-Oriented paradigm, writing each component as a class and doing lots of this-binding.

Today, however, hooks and functional components have taken over React, and with it, a style of programming unusual for front-end frameworks is growing in popularity: Functional Programming.

This programming style has been in use for many years: Lisp, Haskell, Clojure, and OCaml are all established, though mainly out of the mainstream, languages with a rich history and broad application. Thinking ‘functions are first-class citizens’ sounds strange, especially to new JavaScript developers who have spent most of their time in Python or Java that come from an Object-Oriented perspective.

That’s why in this post, we will go over the basics of Functional Programming, how we compose functions, a handy implementation of a ‘pipe’ function that will compose functions, the process of currying and functions-as-return-value, and how we can use these concepts in React using Higher-Order Components.