# Overview

What I Use in 2020 For Software Development

I figured I'd open up this article with explaining a few of the domains that I work in, both professionally and as a hobby. My hopes is that it provides a better context into some of the choices of technologies. For work, my current title is Cloud Engineer, and on the side, I find myself doing hobby programming in the web, mobile and open source domains.

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A January 2020 Retrospective

2020 has been off to quite the unsettling start, between the wildfires that burn through Australia, the recent passing of Neil Peart and Kobe Bryant, World War III concerns being raised in much louder voices than a fearful whisper, etc. Yet, I wanted to touch upon some of the items that I was working with in attempts to better myself in the first month of 2020.

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Introducing My Jamstack Site!

I decided to depart from the tried-and-true LAMP stack (powered WordPress of course) for what appears to be the future of websites, the allure of the shiny and new: JavaScript, Apollo, Markdown. In truth, the later is what truly got me interested in committing to such as stack; editing a post like such as this one in Markdown simply feels ten times better, even compared toWordPress' admittedly fantastic modern editor. Throughout my note-taking life cycles, I've always opted for the ones which supported Markdown and allowed for file exports in the same format.

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My First Impressions of Udacity's Kotlin for Android Development

For 2019, one of my goals was to complete the Google/Udacity Kotlin for Android Development course. Since starting on the first, I’ve completed the first three `lessons` of ten in the course (sadly, it appears that they are still working on content for lessons five to ten, and have not published the work for them), so I thought I’d give my initial feedback and also thoughts on the course’s primary focus: developing Android applications using Kotlin.  Digging into the unfinished courses does provide the video files, so it’s possible to learn some of Lesson’s 5-10 on my own without the quizzes or sample code.

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Testing out a Flat File CMS: GRAV

As a developer, I find a lot of the ‘magical’ moments occurring from discovering new technology, platforms and applications which challenge the norm, or go beyond the tried and true to carve a path both familiar and unfamiliar to the user. While reading either Reddit or HackerNew (cannot remember origin sorry!), I saw a comment comparing popular CMS platforms to a modern abstract interpretation: Flat-File based CMS; namely, GRAV. I decided that I’d take a look. I wanted this look to be brief, similar to how one may compare this look to a spike in a sprint, where some time is spent identifying the viability of investing further efforts and time into the task.

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A Semester Working Exclusively with MEAN Stacks

Since May, I've had the unique experience of working with MEAN stacks on a daily basis, each varying in complexity and architecture to reflect a different end goal. A semester ago, I'd never guessed how little time I'd be spending writing C++, Java, Swift, or even Python applications compared to JavaScript-powered web applications. Furthermore, this is the first time in my life that I'd been exposed to a technology stack not taught at Seneca, which during the time of my attendance examined LAMP, and C# / ASP.NET stacks.

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Taking Boostnote for a Spin

Recently, I came across a review conducted by It’s FOSS which described a new open source project aimed at improving the experience of note taking for developers. Titled Boostnote, here’s what I gathered after making the software my default note taking application and snippet manager -replacing SimpleNote in the process.

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A Conclusion to My First Semester Dedicated to Open Source Technologies

This semester, I dragged mind, body and code through five courses which strengthened, degraded, and tested the absolute limits of how little sleep one can get. Of the courses, two had a central focus on understanding, contributing and leveraging Open Source technologies on a multitude of platforms.

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