Animating a Line in D3

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You can make some awesome charts in D3. Animate your charts, and they’re made even awesomerer. To animate lines, such as those found in line charts, try out the following methods.

d3 line animation

Slack Survival Guide

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Slack is a fantastic tool. It allows always-on group chat in this spirit of Hipchat or Campfire or your friends’ group text thread that just won’t end. You can create channels, public or private, to suit your purpose. You can gather communities together to talk about specific things. Slack can become an invaluable source of communication and information for you and your teams. Without a bit of management and care, however, it can become a burden that distracts you from the essence of your work.


Using JavaScript’s Function Bind

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JavaScript’s Function object has a very helpful method, bind. It is a great tool to give you control of the ever-squirrely this keyword. Have you ever had trouble predicting what this will be or making equate to what you want? bind will help you do that with more power and consistency. It can also help you with partial function application.

function bind

Testing React on Jsdom

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React allows you to create components that will render UI for your application. If your UI is of any complexity, you’ll likely want to test that it functions correctly and allows for future refactors. There are numerous ways to do this. One way that you might appreciate is using jsdom, an in-JavaScript implementation of the DOM.

react on jsdom

The Power of Liking

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When there is a new software product to write, there’s a decision to be made on what to write it in. In other words, what tech should we use? Technologists have technology they “like”. So then, what tech should they choose for the new project? Does it matter what they like?


List Npm Scripts

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Tools for storing and then later easily running scripts alias names are awesome. Npm is one of those tools. Rake is another. Rake has a cool feature of allowing you to list the scripts available to you. Npm has not – until now.


“12-Factor App” Summary

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I recently had a chance to go through the principles of the 12-Factor App as listed on It’s written by some of the fine folk at Heroku. The principles describe the best practices they see for how to get a modern web app deployed properly. It’s a short read. This summary is even shorter.

12 Factors

Test React componentWillReceiveProps

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Testing React Components has been easier and more enjoyable than any previous UI unit testing I’ve done in the past. Components that have interesting things happen in lifecycle methods have a little more setup to get tested. Components that use the componentWillReceiveProps method are in this category.


Programmer Struggle

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The life of a programmer is mostly a never-ending struggle. Solving problems in an always-changing technical landscape means that programmers are always learning new things. In this case, “learning new things” is a euphemism for “battling against our own ignorance.” Even if a programmer is just fixing a bug in code that uses a familiar technology, sometimes the software we create is so complex that simply understanding what is going on can take an entire day.

If you write code, you will struggle. Most professional programmers learn to struggle hour after hour, day after day, without getting (too) frustrated. This is another skill that will serve you well.