Making boring fun - bash and Node to the rescue

I rarely get paid to write code these days… or that is people rarely ask me to write code. But since I’m a programmer at heart it is one of the tools in my toolbelt, regardless of what kind of tasks I’m given.

Today I got asked:

Could you please list all Open Source Licenses we are using, and all the dependencies all our code is using.

Considering we have 130+ repositories I was what the scientist refer to as a boring task.

Let’s make it more fun with code.

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When I learned a safety lesson - and did a little bit better

I like to automate repetitive and boring things I do in my daily work. This lead to that me write bash scripts from time to time, but the problem is that I’m a newbie scripter. I’m learning as I go.

And the other day I did a cardinal sin in scripting. Not only that - I decided to show the world. Now that is a point to feel ashamed or to learn. I did both.

In this post, I will tell you about how I made my curl-script a little better and a lot safer, but using an old way that’s been in curl for ages.

The background

I was waiting for the summer part of Salt to start and had an hour over. The weather was amazing and I found a nice tree to sit under. Of course, I flipped up the computer...

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Introducing ScrAdd - the script adder

I’ve been increasingly annoyed with the fact there’s no easy way to add scripts to a package.json file programmatically. It always messes up my lovely scripts for tutorial setups and other use cases. Very frustrating.

Well … until not that is.

I give you ScrAdd - the script adder.

Let’s say that you are writing a tutorial on how to test next apps. You want the readers just to get to the place where you can start to talk about code. My friend - just scradd in that command and take the rest of the day off!

npx create-next-app demo cd demo npx scradd . test "mocha . -R dot -w" npm i -D mocha 

I don’t expect this tool to be widely used and spread but I was pretty fun to write it -...

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Some thoughts on scaled agile

I indirectly got a question that I thought would make a good blog post. The question came from the brilliant Emer on this LinkedIn post. That post in itself is a great read on the US Air Force’s thoughts on agile in general - great stuff in there.

Anyhow - Emer asked me:

Yes! I have read many posts by Allen Holub and our friend Woody Zuil on this. I do struggle though to find a way to practice “true” agility at a large scale. Do you have any good resources on this?

and I started to write a response but realized that I needed some more space. This blog post is that response.

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Run react-script tests without watch

Oh, man! I’m so happy that I’m still sane. This error was about to drive me crazy.

Here’s the back story - we have about 120 repositories with a lot of exercises and tests. This is nigh on impossible to maintain by hand, so we have written scripts to verify the integrity of each repository. Each script is verifying that installation, linting, and testing works as expected.

The whole thing is built-in bash scripts and for the most part, works just fine. It’s quite rewarding to have it checked automatically, read about it here

But the repositories that have been created with create-react-app have caused problems from day one. They work just fine when we use them normally, but in the script, it’s flaky at best and just hangs at worst.

But. Now. I’ve. Found. A. Solution.

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Uploading pictures to Firebase in React Native

It was quite some times since I wrote a programming related blog post - but now the time has come (and my programming output is poured at the Salt protips blog nowadays)

I’ve ventured a bit into React Native development and found it very enjoyable, especially in combination with Firebase stuff. But I had a really hard time finding a good example of how to upload files from my phone to the Storage services using Expo. I found this but I didn’t find it easy to follow as all of the code is in one single file.

So I took the original code and refactored it a tiny bit for better readability. My code is found here and in the post I’ll walk through some of the things that made me look twice.

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Some questions about estimation and plannning

One of the most amazing things about my current job as a teacher and “head master” at Salt is to see amazing people take my material and make something more amazing with it. Or when see people start to venture down avenues that helped me (in this case agile, lean and no estimates) so much.

I got a question from Øyvind Ege - a brilliant developer from a class last spring/summer. And with his permission I will here publish his question and my response.

I hope you find it useful.

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Formulation - the crucial (often missed) step of BDD

Very early in my agile journey, I stumbled over Behaviour Driven Development (in that exact blog post, in fact - Thanks Dan). And like many, I first thought of it as a more user-friendly way of writing tests.

But pretty soon (through the help of Specifcation By Example - Thanks Gojko) I realized that the true power comes from the shared understanding that stakeholders and delivery team can get from writing the specifications together, before we start, as examples/tests using concrete data.

I was hooked and Cucumber was my poison. A programming language for requirements. Executable specifications, I mean - come on! This is now 15 years ago and I still am a big fan of this way of working.

Hence I was really happy to see that two of my BDD-heroes (Gaspar and Seb) have come together (again) to write about the often...

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Christmas greeting

This year has been a very strange one, for most of us. I thought I’d share a little Christmas Greeting.

For me personally, I’ve gone through one of the big personal crisis of my life that led to a sudden, and deep, fatigue syndrome. I am better but it takes longer that than I wanted and I still am fighting a lot of different symptoms of the sickness.

But there is hope. For all of us there is hope - we can do this. We can get through the pandemic, drepression and fear. I’m sure that we will make it - and I’m sure that we will come out stronger, wiser and probably learned a lot.

Before dragging y’all down into a hole of dispair I better get those Christmas Greetings out of the way, right?

  • All lovely collegues at Salt - what a crazy year. Thanks...
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