Writing

I like to write. In fact I used to do it for a living. On this page you will find a mixture of my own blogs and articles I have written for other sites. Hopefully you won't find any typos...

Ways to talk about code (to people who don't code) #01: CSS, SQL, JavaScript

English – like all languages – is a code. It was developed over time to convey meaning, ask questions and prompt actions using a variety of symbols, conventions and expressions. Pretty similar to JavaScript then.

But using plain English to explain JS makes as much sense as using CSS to explain a piece of classical music.

Fortunately the coding language of English includes a handy framework called Metaphor™. This blog series, metaphorically speaking, is a guide to utilising Metaphor™ to describe some of the principles and use-cases of the common web development languages to both beginner programmers and people who regard computer code as impenetrable alien gobbledygook…

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Five tactics for learning, memory and, erm, what was that last one...?

Believe it or not, I’m not into blogging for the riches and fame. In fact the main reason I write blogs is to help me process and retain stuff I’ve been researching. Hunting through a book for a quote you can’t quite remember or a graph you want to reproduce (as I have done below) is a great way to refresh your memory on what you read several months or years ago. It’s almost as if those teachers who made you write endless essays about old books knew what they were doing!

Anyway, here are five other learning techniques I find useful and which I hope I’ve presented in a way that makes them easy for you to recall.

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Five productivity tactics for a less stressful day

A colleague recently described me in a LinkedIn recommendation as “one of the most organised developers I’ve had the pleasure of working with”.

I’m not telling you this to boast. I never set out to be super organised and didn’t really spend much time thinking about productivity when I started my dev career.

In fact, it has only recently occurred to me that the ‘organisation’ others see is just a bunch of things I started doing to make my working day less stressful.

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Web Development Trends in 2019: Why There Aren't Any

Every year I have worked at a web agency, come December I have been asked to write a blog about ‘trends in web development for 20XX’.

But the problem with a developer trying to predict future trends is that our discipline – unlike, say, UX design – is proactive rather than reactive.

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A little run for Big Tone

Twelve months ago I received a phone call that was to define 2017 for me.

I was enjoying a summer’s day off work, so when my boss called my mobile I guessed it was something important – a major issue with one of my projects or a sudden change of plan for an upcoming meeting.

Instead, he told me that the police had just visited the office. This sounded really serious. Perhaps the place had been burgled or we were in some kind of legal trouble. But still I was nowhere near the truth.

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