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Tarpit: Say Goodbye to WordPress Comment Spam

Back in June, I made a decision to remove comments from this site.

I wasn’t happy about it. I think the web is better with open conversations. But Askimet was letting through an incredible amount of spam, and managing it was taking up time that I could have spent writing posts and making cool stuff.

Over the weekend, I brought comments back and added a new plugin that has stopped comment spam entirely.

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The Invisible People

I’ve written here before about my desire to help the homeless, and how that conflicts with my fear and judgement.

Often times I do nothing at all, and just feel guilty about it. Other times, I’ll donate money, which is helpful (at least I hope it is), but it’s also impersonal and a bit dehumanizing.

I came across a few videos over the last few weeks that have given me a new way to think about how I interact (or don’t) with the homeless.

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Cutting the Cord: How to Ditch Cable

Over the last year, I’ve seen my cable bill steadily increase (it was almost $200 last month), while the services I receive remain the same. And while we do watching a fair bit of TV, we’re paying for so many channels and programs that we just don’t watch.

We decided to cut the cord and ditch cable. This is how we did it.

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Joining Mashery

Last week, I started a new role as a UI designer and front-end developer at Mashery. They help companies build and manage their APIs. I’m the guy who builds out the developer.your-company-name.com sites.

Briefly, here are three reasons why this job is so kick-ass:

  1. APIs will be an integral part of the web as it increasingly becomes something we access in more than just a browser—in apps, on smart devices, and through non-visual interfaces (like Siri and Ok Google). I’m pumped to be part of that.
  2. This is a hybrid role. In the past, I’ve been asked to choose whether I want to design things or build them. At Mashery, I don’t have to. I get to translate business goals into device-agnostic web experiences, and then build them. I even get to help educate customers, clients and other developers on modern web best practices. Awesomesauce.
  3. It’s 100-percent remote. I get to role out of bed and start making awesome stuff, and structure my work around the way I work best. It’s a recipe for awesome.

I’m thrilled to be part of Mashery, and grateful that I work in an such an exciting industry.


Climbing up and down the DOM tree with vanilla JavaScript

On a recent Javascript project, I needed to climb up the DOM tree looking for the first element that had a particular class, ID, or data attribute.

This is really easy to do with jQuery, but today I wanted to share some simple vanilla JavaScript methods to duplicate jQuery’s .closest(), .parent/s(), and .find() APIs.

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Ditching jQuery

About a year ago, I wrote an article documenting my move away from jQuery in favor of modern, native JavaScript (aka vanilla JS).

Since that time, my approach has changed quite a bit. This article details how I write scripts today, and includes a growing collection of native JavaScript equivalent’s for common jQuery tasks.

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Farewell Constant Contact

Today is my last day at Constant Contact, a company I joined just four short months ago.

I’ve never felt more at home professionally. Constant Contact is filled with geeks with social skills—some of the most amazing, quirky, and friendly humans I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with.

But my daily commute is about three hours long. The summer disappeared. I’m missing some of the best moments of my son’s life. And I’ve been offered an amazing opportunity that allows me to work 100% remotely, on my own schedule (more on that some other time).

I struggled with this decision. Not only are the people amazing, but it has an insanely strong learning culture. Lunch and learns, conferences, memberships, outside speakers—and of course the informal stuff I’ve picked up from the other talented people I work with.

Leaving that behind, and so abruptly, is hard. But missing out on my life is harder. And I’m both fortunate and grateful to work in a field that affords me plenty of options and opportunities that other people in other industries don’t have.

So a very big, heartful thank you and goodbye to my friends at Constant Contact. I’ll truly miss you guys!