David E. H. Peterson

An Aging Skill Set

Posted on January 08, 2016

How does a Software Engineer let a skill set age gracefully?

As an experience Ruby on Rails developer, I think to myself, “The Rails world had been solving all of my problems for years, why should I change?”, while nervously eyeing industry trends. We hear whisperings of the rise of Go, Python and Haskell. We see the incredible rise of Angular, React and we wonder if Ember or Backbone will hang on. Hype cycle after hype cycle, where do you hitch your wagon? There is no right or wrong decision, but I have decided to focus on JavaScript (js) for the next year.

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Earn A Gamification Badge with Merit (Part Two)

Posted on August 11, 2015

The Merit gem can get you a long way towards gamifiying you application. If you are just getting started with Merit, checkout part one of this series. I found three specific areas of the Merit gem/documentation lacking: Notifications (via Observers, using callbacks instead of the DSL and working with Badges. I’m going to dive in a bit deeper to each of these areas.

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Slack Notifications from a Rails app

Posted on August 10, 2015

With the upcoming University of Minnesota Campus Codefest, I had a need for a “backroom” chat and live event feed to increase day of event engagement. I had played around with a prototype, reinventing the comment and recent activity feed wheel, when another developer had a simple suggestion… Why not just use Slack? I dove in and had something deployed a few hours later.

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Latest profile pic via Facebook Graph

Posted on July 12, 2015

The personal picture I have on the header for the website is being pulled from Facebook. The Graph API provides an easy means to linking to your current profile picture, so you can always have a fresh image on your personal website. It is as simple as using the following markup:

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Earn A Gamification Badge with Merit (Part One)

Posted on July 05, 2015

I first came across the Merit gem while I was working on Weather Clever, a Rails app. I wanted my user community to earn badges and gain points when they interacted with my application. Being a developer, I was sure I could roll my own solution but I decided to do some digging on what was already available. After a little research, found that Merit was the best options for this type of gamification in a Rails app.

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Thanks for visiting. Most people call me Dave or by my initials, DP. I am a husband, father, software engineer, bicyclist, outdoorsmen, sports fan, beer enthusiast, boat owner and Minnesotan.