As developers, we’ll be familiar with SVGs — they’re one of the easiest things to implement for frontend optimization. Replacing assets with SVGs not only reduces file size, but inline SVGs don’t require HTTP requests, making immediate, positive impacts on website performance and load times. While SVGs are an obvious solution, especially because maintaining crisp quality is important as screen resolutions get better, there can be a lot of frustration when it comes to loading SVGs consistently across all browsers. SVGs are supported on all modern browsers (even all the way back to IE9!), however, the rendering is not consistent…


In the past five years I’ve had three career changes, one of which involved a nine month, full-time educational program. It sounds like a lot, and maybe it is, but at the age of 35, I’ve finally realized that this is the new normal. Not only is it normal, but switching companies (and careers) leads to unexpected opportunities.

I’m currently having a “full circle” moment. In the mid 2000s I attended college, as you do (I’m very happy to see younger generations re-thinking traditional education and putting off going to college, or not going at all — I probably should…


The basics: I flew in and out of Lisbon. I didn’t know I would be spending the first part of my vacation in Porto, otherwise I would have flown into Porto and flown out of Lisbon. I went directly from the airport to the train station and bought my round trip train ticket to Porto there (it’s about a three hour ride). I didn’t rent a car at any point. I’ve heard that driving to and from Porto / Lisbon is just as long and as expensive as the train because of all the tolls. Both cities are very crowded…


The running joke at my coding school was that front end students only knew how to do data visualization. It was both funny, as most of us never built a data visualization project as part of our curriculum, and stress-inducing, because it made us wonder if it was a skill we needed to have. As it turns out, data visualization is sort of a niche in front end development. So far, I haven’t had to do any of it professionally, but as someone who loves maps, I wanted to finally learn some D3 basics. I went through a few tutorials…


My first full day in Amsterdam I find myself at a coffee shop waiting for my co-workers to end their workday so we can travel to Hungary on a two day company retreat. At 32 years old, looking back at how I got here is a long, fun and frustrating journey.

My roommate in college had majored in web development. When we moved to Boston after graduation in 2008, she got a high paying job right away at a really cool company. My own post college life actually looked pretty good on paper. I took a job unrelated to my…


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Brisbane skyline from Kangaroo Point. 2007.

I tried to think about whether or not I wanted to write a long or short post about the only other country I’ve spent a significant amount of time in. I’ll try to find a happy medium. I lived in Brisbane, Australia for a semester in 2007. I left almost every weekend to travel and explore the country. Did I go to Sydney and Melbourne? Yes, of course. Did I go to the Great Barrier Reef? I ended up there twice. It’s too much to talk about so I’ve chosen a few experiences that are some of my favorite memories.


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My second D3 project, a map of where I’ve lived and traveled.

I’ve attempted to “get started” with D3 a handful of times. Just recently I found two sites that actually helped me both start and finish a project so I thought I’d share. I’ve spent hours looking for good tutorials, both written and on YouTube, and always came up short. My problem with most tutorials is that half the project is done when they start. You can’t code along. …


We had a choice to either play with React Native via the Expo app or revisit an old lesson plan. I did a little of both .

I downloaded the Expo app on my Google Pixel and went to this site to try and recreate the classic wood labyrinth game using the phone’s built in accelerometer. With Expo, you can drag and drop Native view elements to play around and instantly see it on your phone screen. Unfortunately I didn’t get very far. Knowing literally nothing about React Native, I found Expo not very intuitive (I don’t know why I…


My team and I have been working on building a small Electron app for the past five days or so. We started with MarkoJS and Lasso, but had to swap out Lasso for Webpack a few days in due to some known issues with requiring Electron remote and fs, which we couldn’t solve with Lasso. Our app idea was a distraction app that simply linked to some well chosen distraction websites. Among them, random TED Talks, GIFs and a beat maker. Because we may or may not have been the first people to try and build an Electron app with…


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A quick search of GitHub for projects that use Electron, Marko and Lasso revealed that ours was the only repo. Another search for just Electron and Lasso got us excited as it revealed one more project that we quickly cloned down and played with. Turns out the Lasso that was used was something completely different and not the Lasso from eBay we are trying to use. We figured we may be the first people trying to build an Electron app using Marko / Lasso. It’s unclear. If anyone knows of any projects that exist, please comment them!

Two days into…

Devin Beliveau

Once a developer, now a tech writer. Always a traveler.

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