What’s On First: The Case For Accessibility-First Programming

Aaron Diffenderfer Opinion, Programming, Technology Snapshot Leave a Comment

When you think of common programming techniques and processes, what comes to mind first? Perhaps it’s test-driven development, writing an automated test to start your development cycle and putting testing at the forefront instead of the typical afterthought. Or maybe you thought of behavior driven development with stakeholders collaborating and defining the software behavior upfront thus mitigating the ambiguities from some requirements. But what if I told you that while testing and behavior are important, accessibility should be one of the first development considerations?

Maybe the whole concept of accessibility is nothing new to you, and you’re already accounting for it in all aspects of the development process. But, if you’re like most developers (myself occasionally included), accessibility along with unit testing are the two things you often save to the very, very, very end, or perhaps you save them for the newbies to worry about in a future sprint – neither of which is ideal. While it may not be quite as important in some industries as it is in others like government (where Section 508 is federal law regarding accessibility), addressing it should be in the forefront of your thought process, your code, and your testing.

State Management with MobX and React

Nick Brown JavaScript, Problem Solving, React, Technology Snapshot Leave a Comment

There are many options when it comes to managing the state of a React application. Choosing the right one for your application can feel daunting.

The most popular choice, Redux, is often thought of as verbose because it requires a lot of boilerplate code, thus slowing down development. Redux is also very opinionated so it will take time for those unfamiliar with its functional programming paradigm to become comfortable with it.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at an alternative that aims to solve issues in React application state: MobX. To do that, I built a simple calorie counter application that will be used to showcase MobX in use.

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Programming Ponderings

Ryan LaRue Consulting, Opinion, Programming 2 Comments

Editor’s Note: After nearly 20 years in software development, Ryan LaRue introduces three lessons he has learned in his programming career with takeaways that apply to all levels of experience.

Open Door Policy
One of the reasons I’ve always loved Software Development is its open door policy to new entrants. No MBA, PhD or, heck, degree required.

If you’re smart, like to solve problems, and get things done, then you will be welcomed with open arms.

At a recent client, one of the company’s permanent developers was, in her near-term past, a police officer. At some point, she decided she didn’t want that lifestyle anymore and worked her way into a nice position with a company that valued her work ethic and programming skills….

Lessons From The Weight Room

Robert Rice Programming 1 Comment

A friend of my wife’s (an artist and librarian) has recently started “learning programming” through a free online course that rations its information out via short lessons on Monday of every week. My jibbing to her about “Yeah, that’s all it really takes!” aside, I admire her open-mindedness as everyone can benefit from some level of computer literacy. I have …