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CJ Horton

Software engineer and lifelong generalist. Automate the small stuff.

Writing Reviews for Really Competent People

It’s review season at my workplace, and once again I find myself confronted by the dilemma of how to write meaningful peer feedback for people who are great at their jobs.

Feb 1st, 2020 | More >>


DRY Up Your Phoenix Controllers With Function Plugs

Plugs are a really powerful construct. They show up all over the place in Phoenix, from setting up pipelines in a router to enabling action_fallback error handling — the composable, flexible nature of the plug spec means that it’s at the heart of many Phoenix features.

Jun 21st, 2019 | More >>


Even Easier Dark Mode for Slack

This post is out of date now that Slack offically has an actual dark mode for desktop. But I’m keeping it around so I don’t forget that time I wrote an entire bash CLI because I was tired of copying and pasting a code snippet.

May 3rd, 2019 | More >>


Spacecraft Driven Development: Taking Computers to The Moon

At the dawn of the space program, computers were enormous, bulky, delicate things, with extremely limited processing capability. Today, we have unmanned spacecraft exploring the outer reaches of the solar system.

Feb 15th, 2019 | More >>


Advanced Pair Programming

The research is in – pair programming is awesome. At the cost of about a 15% increase in development time, pairing produces code with fewer errors, and even makes us happier at work. I’m here to help you take your pair programming skills to the next level.

May 29th, 2018 | More >>


Rails HTML Email Development That Doesn't Suck

If you’ve worked with HTML emails, you know that they pose their own special challenges. Best practices for CSS in emails are different from best practices for modern web CSS. It’s tricky to preview changes, and testing on different email clients gets time consuming quickly.

Nov 3rd, 2017 | More >>


Asking Bad Questions

Like many people, I have a certain fear of being That Person – you know, the one asking a ton of annoying or obvious “bad questions”. Julia Evans’ awesome comic & blog post on asking good questions is one I return to over and over.

Aug 30th, 2017 | More >>


Poetry for Developers

With apologies to Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Edgar Allen Poe.

Jun 6th, 2017 | More >>