Over the past few years, I’ve developed quite a fondness for WordPress, the platform on which this site is built (You can view the source of this site over on GitHub). You may have come across one of my WordPress plugins, WP Password Generator or WP Client Reference, both of which are available through the WordPress plugin repository.
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Last year, I decided to put some money towards upgrading to a Roland TD1-KV electric drumset, the entry model to their “VDrum” line. I had outgrown my old Simmons SD Xpress II kit (a Black Friday deal from a few years ago) and was excited to get something closer to “real” drums without the volume of an acoustic kit. I was also dealing with a cracked hi-hat on the old, discontinued kit, so I figured it was time.
The drums are fantastic, but after a few sessions, one thing kept bugging me: the hi-hat — a Roland CY-5 cymbal — kept spinning as I played. Nearly half the cymbal is covered in a rubberized pad, which helps mute the sound, provides a better response, and protects the plastic underneath. When I have to adjust the cymbal half-way through a song, that doesn’t make for the best playing experience.
If you’ve used a Mac in the last decade or so, you’ve likely been prompted to configure Time Machine, macOS’ built-in automated backup solution; simply connect your backup disk (or use certain network attached storage devices) and Time Machine will automatically make incremental backups of your machine. In the event that your computer’s lost/stolen, its hard drive is corrupted, or you simply deleted that super important file, Time Machine makes it easy to restore your computer’s previously healthy state.
Where Time Machine is less convenient is in the case of developers: modern development practices often rely on dependency management tools (e.g. Composer, npm, etc.) to pull in third-party dependencies. Instead of including full copies of external libraries, developers can say “my application relies on package N at version X.Y.Z”, and the dependency manager can download the necessary code as a build step. This is great for keeping third-party assets both versioned and out of version control, but for the developer working on multiple projects it poses a bit of a problem: you end up with a ton of project dependencies on your machine!
In a perfect world, every piece of software would have automated tests. As soon as we change a line, we as developers would know what, if anything, broke in our application and where we need to look to fix it. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, so we get by doing what we can.
Still, we can look to our image of the perfect world and draw from it, molding and shaping what we do have to closer resemble what we’ve been longing for.
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