Making society more equitable through expanded access to STEM education

America is burning.

How to add dark mode to your React apps

While working on my personal portfolio page, I’ve spent a fair amount of time learning about the latest, most hyped, seriously mind-blowing subject in web development: dark mode. Why it took us 50 years to come up with this concept, I’m not entirely sure, but now that we finally figured it out, it’s here to stay since it’s objectively superior to bright white pages blinding you during your 3am browsing adventures. Darker colors, problem solved. Who knew?

A quick what, why, and how of Scrum

If you’ve never worked on a dev team or in a structured corporate environment before, you likely don’t really know what Scrum is and the prospect of diving into it can feel somewhat daunting. I was recently lucky enough to attend a webinar on the basics hosted by Dan Eberle (Agile Coach, New York Times) and get a comprehensive introduction to Scrum — what it is, why you should know it, and how it improves efficiency and quality of your work.

… or so I thought.

This past week I applied for a job, had a great first round chat, and was sent a code challenge. Simple JS, some files provided, some basic methods for me to complete, no biggie. Let me send it right back to y — oh.

… but what should you focus on next?

Whether you taught yourself through online courses, tinkering, and programming books over the course of years or went through an immersive software engineering bootcamp in just a few short months, you’re gonna get to the point where you have basic proficiency but aren’t entirely sure what next steps to take. Build large-scale projects to deploy? Mess around with a bunch of smaller programs to add a bigger variety of technologies to your repertoire? Work through data structure courses and leetcode until your eyes bleed?

How to get started unit testing your JavaScript code

Testing your code is one of the more intimidating parts of programming for beginners, it can be difficult to even figure out what to test, let alone how to do it. Most development courses will provide tests along with the challenges you need to solve so you never get to work directly with testing until you finish the material and are out in the scary big world of code on your own.

Building a team, cook time: 3–11 minutes

Anyone can learn to code. No really, anyone. Since the pandemic started and New York City schools closed in March, I’ve been spending many of my lunch hours teaching 4th graders to program games and web apps, both in text-based languages like JS and Ruby using my own projects to explain core concepts, and in visual programming languages like Blockly, through educational sites offering courses specifically designed for young learners. The kids understand the technical content just fine, even fairly complex issues like inheritance or state, they ask great questions, and have built fun little projects together. Some of them…

Major security flaws and deliberate exploitation strategies in our most popular apps

People like free stuff. Love it, actually. That quality is one of our greatest exploitable weaknesses, luring us into traps time and time again. Combine that weakness with our desperate and increasing need for instant gratification, and you got yourself a data mining gold rush, severed fingers and all. Most people don’t spend much time thinking about why products might be free and download those apps with reckless abandon. The nightmare scenario. If you’re reading this, you’re hopefully somewhat familiar with the concept of “being the product” and I will save us all the intro.

“In the future that the…

VS Code extensions to make the JavaScript life a little easier

If you haven’t spent any time customizing your text editor, now is the time. Below you’ll find a short list of my favorite extensions that’ll make your life much easier.

While attending Flatiron School, the most valuable lesson I have learned is to not quit. I’ve run into many, many obstacles, academically, financially, and privately. I’ve cried many rage tears, and I’ve pushed through crushing defeat. I’m used to excelling rather effortlessly and trying to learn to code has served as a hard reality check on many occasions. There’s no effortless understanding, there’s only trial and error and incremental progress adding up to real accumulation of hard skills over time. You have to grind away at the problems and sometimes, no matter how hard you try and no matter how…

Kat Maldon

Software Engineer. Creature of Havoc.

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