All Blog Posts

Q3 Roadmap Feature: Search Improvements
At the beginning of the year, I created a roadmap to plan the development of my blog itself. In this post, I'll talk through the improvements for this quarter that involved the blog post search experience. Let's dive in!
Thursday, September 14, 2023

Understanding Thread-Safety in .NET
Writing code that always behaves as expected when run in parallel is HARD. I'll be the first to admit that I'm NOT an expert in this field, but I do my best to generally understand the principles that make parallel programming possible. This post attempts to unpack the "thread-safe" term for writing .NET code and explain some of the techniques that allow for thread safety to be possible.
Thursday, August 31, 2023

Engineer to Manager: Initial Thoughts
I recently made the switch from Senior Engineering to Engineering Manager šŸ˜±. In this post, I'll share some general thoughts on the experience so far. While everyone's experience and situation is different, I think it's helpful to share my initial thoughts about making the transition a successful one for everyone.
Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Developing A Growth Mindset
Life can be challenging. We are put into situations that challenge us mentally and physically all of the time. The mindset that we have going into these situations can significantly affect the outcome positively or negatively. In this post, I'll share my takeaways from the book Mindset by Carol Dweck which focuses on using a growth mindset to navigate difficult situations.
Monday, July 31, 2023

A Closer Look at C# Extension Methods
Extension methods have been around in .NET for a long time and most developers use them daily without even realizing it. In this post, we're going to take a closer look at extension methods and how they work. Let's dive in!
Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Managing "Dark Matter Time"
As I've grown in my software engineering career I've learned that time isn't always easy to manage. Learning to deal with writing code, context shifting, collaborating, and all of the other aspects that go into being an effective engineer can be challenging. In this post, I'm going to try to flesh out the idea of "dark matter time" and how we can learn to use it effectively. Let's dive in!
Friday, June 30, 2023

Podcast Lineup 2023
For the past several years podcasts have been an integral part of my personal development process. Each year I like to share the podcasts that I'm subscribed to with the goal of spreading the word and explaining why I find them worth listening to. Here's my list for 2023!
Thursday, June 15, 2023

How to Use SemaphoreSlim in C#
Historically I've held an opinion that reaching for more uncommon parts of a programming language to solve a problem meant that there was likely a better, less complicated solution. I'd put the use of semaphores in this category, but I recently had to reach for SemaphoreSlim to solve a problem. In this post, I'll discuss the concept of semaphores in general, their implementation in C#, and an example use case.
Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Monocode: A font for code
Over the past ten months I've been working on a custom font for me to use in programming environments. The font is called Monocode and in this post I'm going to talk about how I created it, why I created it, and what makes it unique. Let's dive in!
Thursday, May 18, 2023

Using Binaural Beats to Improve Focus
Over the years I've found it helpful to listen to music while doing work that requires some amount of focus or concentration. Recently I've started to listen to binaural beats during these periods of work and have found them to be very helpful. In this post, I'm going to share some of the benefits I've found from listening to binaural beats and also how I listen to them. Let's dive in!
Sunday, April 30, 2023

Is it Time to Lean into AI?
As developers, we are constantly exposed to new tools and technologies, but the most recent wave of AI advancements feels different. In this post, I'm going to share my thoughts on whether or not the hype around generative AI is real.
Sunday, April 16, 2023

Connecting to CockroachDB with Postgres.js
I've been using CockroachDB on this blog for some time and I've recently transitioned to using the Postgres.js library for interacting with the database. In this post, I'm going to share how to connect to CockroachDB from a Node app using Postgres.js.
Friday, March 31, 2023

Exploring CommonJS and ES Modules
I was recently working on a project involving quite a bit of JavaScript. I always knew about ES Modules and CommonJS, but I never knew much about their differences. This post is a result of my exploration of CommonJS and ES Modules to learn more about their history and use cases.
Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Anatomy of an FFmpeg Command
FFmpeg can do just about anything with video and audio processing as long as you know what to ask. In this post, I will break down the different aspects of an FFmpeg command to better understand how FFmpeg processes them.
Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Running FFmpeg in the Browser with Wasm
The introduction of WebAssembly (Wasm) has enabled developers to create experiences on the web that rival native performance. In this post, I'll provide an introduction to WebAssembly and also share an example of how it is leveraged to run FFmpeg directly in the browser.
Tuesday, February 14, 2023

My Case for Conventional Comments
In this post, I'll present my case for using conventional comments in code reviews. I've been an advocate of conventional comments for about a year and have enjoyed using them. I'm hoping to share the benefits so others can adopt their own standards for code review. Let's dive in!
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Collections in .NET Through the Lens of Big O Notation
We use collections in our code daily, but do we ever step back and consider how they perform in the context of Big O Notation benchmarks? In this post, we'll examine the different collection types in .NET to see how their behaviors relate to well-known Big O notation functions. Let's dive in!
Sunday, January 15, 2023

Looking Back at 2022 and Ahead to 2023
As the calendar year comes to a close, I'll take a moment to reflect on the posts and site improvements this year and also provide a sneak peek at what will be coming in 2023. Let's dive in!
Saturday, December 31, 2022

Why I Decided to Give Up Social Media
In this post, I'll share why I recently decided to step away from a handful of social media platforms. I'll also touch on how I plan to replace the value that social media provided me with other alternatives. Let's dive in!
Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Defining and Using Enums as Bit Flags in C#
I've been using enums in C# since the beginning of my development career. In this post, we are going to dive into how the Flags attribute can be applied to enums and also the different kinds of operations that come into play when an enum is defined as a bit flag. Let's dive in!
Thursday, December 22, 2022

Rest is Best When Done Intentionally
Rest is great, but it's not always easy. In this post, I'm going to share some of my thoughts on the benefits of being intentional with taking a break. Let's dive in!
Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Introducing Search to my Blog
My blog's two year anniversary is coming up in January 2023 and in that time I've written 56 posts on a variety of topics. In order to provide some more visibility into posts without having to scroll through them all I've added the ability to search posts. In this post, we're going to talk a bit about the feature, its implementation, and how it might evolve in the future. Let's dive in!
Sunday, November 20, 2022

Some Thoughts on Specialization
These days software developers are categorized into two common buckets, generalists and specialists. Neither category has an inherent advantage over the other and often times the pros and cons of a categories are contextual. In this post, I'm going to share my current thoughts on these categories and how floating between them has impacted my career.
Friday, November 11, 2022

Debugging C# in Neovim with nvim-dap
As a software developer debugging skills are invaluable. Over the years debugging tools have evolved to become an integral part of the development toolbox. In this post, we are going to look at how we can configure a debugging experience for .NET code in Neovim. Let's dive in!
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

GitHub Has Our Back With Token Security
I recently stumbled across some behavior by GitHub that was surprising at first, then reassuring once I understood the root cause. In this post, we are going to discuss a particular aspect of GitHub's security around keeping GitHub API tokens out of public repositories. Let's dive in!
Thursday, October 20, 2022

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
In my opinion, the ability to learn and to continue to learn is one of the most important skills for software engineers to have. In this post, we're going to talk about the value of living outside of our comfort zone to positively impact growth and learning. Let's dive in!
Monday, October 10, 2022

Learning Vim Keycode Concepts
Since diving into the world of Vim and Neovim, I've felt myself become more comfortable with the tool and its idiosyncrasies. One of the hurdles I faced early on was understanding the documentation for different keycodes. In this post, we're going to cover the common keycodes and the concepts around them. Let's dive in!
Thursday, September 29, 2022

Enabling Roslyn EditorConfig Support in Neovim
In many editors and languages code analysis is a feature that is nearly expected to be available out of the box. With C# and .NET, the Roslyn API and Omnisharp language server are tools that make code analysis possible. In this post, we're going to look at how we can put these tools to use in Neovim resulting in a better development experience. Let's dive in!
Monday, September 19, 2022

Generating Random Quotes via CLI
Ever needed a bit of inspiration to get your day started? In this post we'll be looking at how we can generate a random quote and easily format and print it in our terminal. While this may seem silly, I think some of this post will be relevant and applicable to other CLI based needs. Let's dive in!
Monday, September 12, 2022

Debugging .NET in VS Code
Debugging is a vital aspect of most developer workflows. An easy-to-use debugger within an editor can speed up development by providing immediate feedback on a running application. In this post, we will be covering the debugging functionality in VS Code in the context of .NET applications. Let's dive in!
Wednesday, August 31, 2022

VS Code Setup for .NET Development
Visual Studio is and probably always will be the defacto IDE for .NET development, but that doesn't mean there aren't other options out there. In this post, we're going to learn about several extensions available for VS Code that make writing .NET a productive and enjoyable experience. Let's dive in!
Sunday, August 21, 2022

Introduction to Cancellation in .NET
As software development evolves and adopts asynchronous paradigms, the need for cancellation support in applications has become more prevalent. In this post, we will learn about the core concepts in regards to cancellation in .NET code. This post will provide a solid foundation for continued learning on the concept of cancellation. Let's dive in!
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Announcing the Ability to Like Posts
Up to this point, there has been no way to interact with the posts that I publish on this blog. The most recent release changes that. Readers can now like posts after reading them. In this post, we'll be discussing the feature, the high-level implementation, and how it could evolve in the future. Let's dive in!
Sunday, July 31, 2022

My Software Development Podcast Lineup (2022)
Over the years podcasts have become integral to my daily routine. In this post, I'll provide an update on my current (2022) podcast lineup along with some details about why I find each podcast interesting or useful. Let's dive in!
Saturday, July 23, 2022

Effective Data Fetching with React and SWR
Retrieving data is typically a straightforward task. Retrieving data in the most efficient manner can be more complex. This post will dive into how SWR can simplify the process of fetching data while also solving potentially complex problems like performance, caching, data store mutation, and more. Let's dive in!
Monday, July 11, 2022

Reflections on Time Management
The ability to effectively manage our time as software engineers can feel like a superpower. In this post, I am going to share my current time management strategy and go into a bit of depth on how I think it has benefited me throughout my career. My hope is to provide some insight into ideas you can try to improve your time management or to reinforce strategies that you are already implementing. Let's dive in!
Thursday, June 30, 2022

Representing Logic Gates as Boolean Functions
Boolean functions and logic gates are at the heart of everything we do as software engineers. While it may not always be obvious or apparent, boolean expressions or the result of combining them form the building blocks for much of what we see and use today in technology. In this post, we'll be looking at how we can go from elementary logic gate definitions to boolean functions based on a few principles.
Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Merging Objects in TypeScript (and JavaScript)
Merging two objects seems like it should be a trivial problem to solve at face value. Unfortunately, as we'll see in this post, the problem isn't as straightforward as some may think. In this post, we'll be looking at the options available for merging objects in TypeScript (the options discussed will work just as well with JavaScript).
Saturday, June 11, 2022

Scaffolding XML Comments with Extended Properties in EF Core 6
SQL Server has a feature called extended properties which can be used to add metadata to databases, schemas, tables, and columns. In this post, we are going to see how to use the extended property metadata to automatically generate corresponding XML comments on our scaffolded entities in EF Core 6.
Saturday, May 28, 2022

Creating a Daily Init Script
In this post, we're going to explore the concept of a daily init script. The goal of this script is to open all of the necessary applications and tools that we use on a daily basis. This allows us to be productive by default instead of having to make separate decisions about what tools we need to accomplish a given task. I've been using some form of an init script for a few years now and I hope to share why I find it so useful.
Friday, May 20, 2022

Working with Related Data in EF Core 6
I think that one of the most convenient features of ORMs like Entity Framework is the ability to reference related data via properties on an object or entity. In this post, we'll be looking at a few different ways to load related data in EF Core 6.
Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Writing C# in Neovim
In this post, we'll be looking at how to set up our development environment to effectively write C# in Neovim. We'll also be looking a little more in-depth specifically at the tooling in Neovim that makes this all possible.
Thursday, April 28, 2022

Function Overloading in TypeScript
While learning about TypeScript I came across function overloading. The way it works in TypeScript seemed different than what I was used to in languages like C# and Java. In this post, we'll be learning about overloading functions in TypeScript and potential alternatives that are better suited to certain situations.
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

When to Use React.useRef
The introduction of hooks a couple of years ago (version 16.8) introduced a massive paradigm shift in the world of React. Hooks allow developers to "hook" into state and component lifecycles without the use of classes! In this post, we're going to look at the useRef hook, how it works, and why we should use it.
Sunday, April 10, 2022

Learning TypeScript: Utility Types
One of the things that I've enjoyed the most while learning TypeScript is the language's flexibility when working with types. I think that Utility Types are great examples of that flexibility. In this post, we'll be looking at the main kinds of utility types available and also how we can use them to improve our code.
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Learning TypeScript: Literal Types
In this post, we'll be looking at literal types, what they are, and how we can potentially use them in our code day to day. Coming from a language like C# where there isn't really an equivalent to literal types I find them to be quite interesting and I hope you will too. Let's dive in!
Saturday, March 19, 2022

Reasons to Use C# Record Types
Prior to C# 9 classes were the defacto option for creating reference types in C#, but now we have records. In this post, we'll be going over a few details about C# records and also the benefits that I believe they can provide over using classes (in some scenarios).
Wednesday, March 9, 2022

What is SQL Index Fragmentation?
SQL indexes are an important part of every database, but they don't come without requiring some regular maintenance. In this post, we'll be looking at SQL index fragmentation in the context of Microsoft's SQL Server and how it can affect our database performance.
Saturday, February 26, 2022

Learning TypeScript: Conditional Types
Conditional Types in TypeScript may not be a language feature used day to day by most developers, but as I was reading the TypeScript Handbook I found the concept interesting and decided to dig a little deeper. In this post, we'll take a high-level look at the concept of conditional types and how they can be leveraged in our code.
Saturday, February 19, 2022

Learning TypeScript: Narrowing Types
Often times the TypeScript compiler knows more about our own code than we do. However, there are occasions when that's not the case, which is where type narrowing comes in. In this post, we'll take a look at the different options available for narrowing types in our TypeScript code.
Thursday, February 10, 2022

Working With JSON in Postgres 14
Postgres has had native JSON support for almost 10 years (since version 9.2). In September 2021 Postgres 14 was released and it included some great features that improve our experience greatly when working with JSON data. In this post, we'll be diving into the new JSON features in Postgres 14 to see how we can leverage them in our day-to-day.
Thursday, January 27, 2022

Learning T-SQL Window Functions
Being able to query and manipulate data effectively is a valuable skill for any software engineer to have in their toolbelt. In this post, we're going to take a look at Window Functions and the functionality they provide. Although this post is going to focus on using window functions with T-SQL, it's important to note that window functions are part of the ANSI SQL standard and are available in other SQL database implementations.
Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Know Your Tools: Oh My Zsh and Git
As developers, we are exposed to many tools. How we learn and use those tools can make a big difference in our productivity and happiness. In this post, we'll be looking at the git plugin for Oh My Zsh and how it can be leveraged to increase our productivity using Git in the terminal.
Thursday, January 6, 2022

What I've Learned in a Year of Blogging
In January 2021 I created this blog without any expectations of what would come of it. I had a plan but wasn't sure I'd be able to execute it. In this post, I'll take a moment to reflect and look back at this year going over what I've learned, what went well, and what didn't go so well, as well as take a look ahead at next year to see how I can improve.
Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Learning When to Cut the Thread
As software engineers, we frequently tackle complex problems in code. The source of a problem's complexity may be from the problem itself, from the code's architecture, or from something else entirely. In this post, we're going to compare writing code to pulling on a loose thread from a piece of clothing. There comes a time when writing software that we need to know when to "cut the thread" or we'll risk the whole thing unraveling.
Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Working With Null in C#
As software developers, we are bound to encounter scenarios where our code behaves in unexpected ways. Some of those unexpected behaviors could be caused by null object references. In this post, we're going to take a look at the different language constructs that C# provides for working with null. My goal is to provide information that leads to more tidy code and fewer bugs.
Monday, November 29, 2021

Formatting C# Code with EditorConfig
Code style and formatting can be polarizing, to say the least. One way to remove subjectivity about code style preferences within a codebase is to enforce specific rules. In this post we're going to talk about how using the EditorConfig file standard can help provide consistent styles throughout a codebase.
Monday, November 15, 2021

Running SQL Server on Linux with Docker
Since its creation SQL Server has been synonymous with Microsoft and Windows, but this all changed with SQL Server 2016. SQL Server is no longer just a database for Windows and in this post, we'll be going over the steps to get Microsoft SQL Server running on Linux in a Docker container using Docker Compose.
Thursday, October 28, 2021

Introduction to HTTP OPTIONS Method
If you've ever looked at the Network tab in the Browser Dev Tools, you may have noticed a lot of OPTIONS requests being sent to the server. Oftentimes these requests are not being made from our code, but made by the browser. In this post, we'll be covering the purpose that the HTTP OPTIONS method serves in our web applications.
Thursday, October 14, 2021

Rebase Git Branches Interactively
Git's rebase functionality could be one of the most polarizing features of the ubiquitous version control system. Some have horror stories of rebasing branches, while others use it whenever possible. In this post, we'll be touching on the interactive rebase feature which can reduce a lot of the anxiety around rebasing Git branches.
Thursday, September 30, 2021

How to Use C#'s Parallel.ForEach
There are certain operations performed in code that lend themselves to being executed in parallel. Some might even call these tasks "embarrassingly parallel". In this post we'll be going over how we can use C#'s Parallel.ForEach to iterate over collections in parallel.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

How To Uninstall tSQLt From SQL Server
If you've used the SQL unit testing framework tSQLt before you may have come across the need to uninstall it from a database. There are a couple of ways you could go about this, but we'll look at the quickest method.
Friday, August 27, 2021

Parsing Image Metadata with C# and ImageSharp
Recently I've been using C# and ImageSharp to work with images in code. In this post we'll be taking a look at how we can read and write IPTC Metadata properties for a given image.
Sunday, August 15, 2021

Scraping HTML with Selenium and C#
In this post, we'll be going over how we can use Selenium WebDriver and C# to scrape HTML from websites. I recently started working on a personal project that I plan to use for gathering English Premier League player statistics for my fantasy team. I had a fun time getting Selenium set up and working so I thought I'd share.
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Introduction to SQL Indexes
For most of my career I've known the general purpose of an SQL (read S-Q-L) index, but I've never taken the time to dig a little deeper to understand more until recently. In this post we'll be taking a look at SQL indexes from a high level, as well as how they can be used effectively (and not so effectively) to impact the performance of SQL operations.
Sunday, July 18, 2021

How Podcasts Helped Me Grow as a Developer
Podcasts have become very popular over the years and you can almost guarantee that there is a podcast available for any of your personal interests. In this post, I'll describe how I believe podcasts have helped me grow as a developer. We'll also take a look at some of my favorite podcasts and discuss a little bit of what they're about and why I enjoy them so much.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Asynchronous C#: Below the Surface
In my last two posts, we've covered C#'s async programming model and also using async/await for asynchronous execution. In the final post of this series on async programming in C#, we're going to take a look behind the scenes at all the work the compiler does for us to make code execute asynchronously. Let's dive in!
Friday, June 4, 2021

Using Async and Await in C#
Async and Await are important keywords in C#. In this post, we'll be looking into how we can use `async` and `await` to write asynchronous code in the same manner that we write synchronous code. For a higher-level look at asynchronous programming in C# check out my previous post where we discussed the Task-based Asynchronous Programming pattern and more!
Sunday, May 16, 2021

Asynchronous Programming in C# - Part 1
Writing code is hard. Writing asynchronous code is even harder. Luckily C# provides us with the `async` and `await` keywords to make asynchronous programming a little easier. This is the first of a series of posts in which I'll be going over writing asynchronous code in C# as well as a bit into the internals of how it works under the hood.
Sunday, May 2, 2021

Creating Your Own Framework for Learning
As software engineers, we are constantly learning in order to grow and stay relevant. I've found that trying to learn something new without a plan is difficult. This is why I created a framework for learning, which is what I'll be covering in this post.
Thursday, April 15, 2021

Selenian. A Minimal Dark Theme for Visual Studio Code.
There are many great themes available for Visual Studio Code, but I'm definitely the type of person who enjoys tailoring my development environment to my specific needs. So I created my own theme called Selenian.
Monday, April 5, 2021

Updating JSON Data in PostgreSQL
If you're storing JSON data in Postgres, you'll eventually need to update it. In this post, we'll talk about a couple of functions that can be used to update JSON data.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

EF Core and Client Evaluation
Entity Framework Core is an amazing tool for interacting with databases of all kinds, but it doesn't come without potential pitfalls that can impact performance if you're not careful.
Sunday, March 7, 2021

Querying JSON Data in PostgreSQL
Storing JSON provides flexibility, but can add complexity. Let's take a look at how we can store and query this data in PostgreSQL.
Friday, February 12, 2021

Behind the Scenes of Making my Blog
The number of options for setting up a blog can be overwhelming. Let's take a look at what worked well for my goals and expectations.
Thursday, February 4, 2021

JWTs: A Peek Under the Hood
JWTs are used heavily in front and back end development. Let's open the hood to see how they're put together.
Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Hello, World!
The proverbial "hello, world" blog post introducing myself to the interwebs.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021