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Programming insights to Storytelling, it's all here.

Ibrahim Diallo

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2020

September

Unions are not coming back

Unions are not coming back

I once worked in a small security booth in downtown LA. The capacity was exactly for one person sitting down. But each shift had two security guards. To fit in the booth, both guards had to stand up. One of the guards who often interrupted my sitting and forced me to stand up was Lance. After so many years at the job, Lance was tired of working as a security guard. The pay was low, the hours were inconvenient and there were no opportunities for growth. One of the janitors told him that he would make more money if he worked with them instead. Depending on seniority, he could eventually become team lead. Plus he would be part of a union, so no one could ever fire him.

August

When to use !important in CSS

When to use !important in CSS

CSS has a feature called !important. What it does is force a property to be used, regardless of other properties that are more specific. It can be very handy.

July

The brave cotton pickers of America

The brave cotton pickers of America

I grew up learning about America in a chapter or two in our school's history book. It said that Christopher Columbus sailed across the seas. Through shear luck, he discovered the new world. When he reached the land, he greeted the inhabitants as Indians. The book went on to describe him as a heroic navigator and trader. That's the image I had ingrained in my mind.

May

How to write well when you don't know how to

How to write well when you don't know how to

It's easy to decide if a writing is bad. The author uses big words, writes long complicated sentences, and forgets the point he is trying to make. Other common things in bad writing is lack of structure and lack of knowledge in the subject. In a nutshell, when you read it, you don't understand it.

April

Count the number of words with MySQL

Count the number of words with MySQL

I was looking for a way to count the number of words in a blog post using MySQL. Most solutions I found online required I create a function. I wanted something simpler instead, something as close to a native function as possible. And the answer that occurred to me was to use the Length() and Replace() function with a catch.

March

How I learned to charge my customers

How I learned to charge my customers

After I completed my first programming class, I went straight to Craigslist. I advertised my programming services. I called myself an experienced programmer who could code anything. I posted a link to a website, the one and only I had built for a friend. I described the challenges regular people face when building their own website, then I said a few bad things about WordPress. I ended the post with these words: "I charge a fair price."

Making the impossible possible

Making the impossible possible

One weekend morning, I got up at 7 am. I wore a white t-shirt and black shorts, I tightened my shoes and went down to gym in our apartment building. I had one machine in mind. The treadmill. This wasn't a very active year for me. The only exercise I was familiar with was walking to the bus stop to get to work, and walking to the bus stop to get to school. But that day, I was determined to do cardio.

The Spam we love to read

The Spam we love to read

I have the bad habit of reaching for my phone the very instant I wake up. I start straight with emails, where I get replies from coworkers or companies I work with. They respond to my emails from the evening before, ask for status reports, or schedule meetings. I read and respond from bed before starting my day. But last week, I realized something that has gone unnoticed for a while. I had no new emails from my coworkers, but my screen was full of unread messages. In fact, I had read all messages that mattered, yet there were more in my inbox. I pulled the left navigation and looked at my spam folder. It was empty.

Should I use a CSS reset?

Should I use a CSS reset?

A CSS reset is a tool that reconciles the differences in rendering between different browsers. In the old days, each browser was its own beast. They each came with their own default styles. Internet Explorer had different rules for your un-styled H1 tags vs Chrome or Firefox. Every browser set their defaults to what they thought was a good starting point. There were no predefined rules that they all followed. It was more of a culture than a standard. Fast forward to today, and each web browser had complete overhaul. Yet we see more consolidation.

February

With RSS, You are in Control

With RSS, You are in Control

When I wrote the code that would run this blog, there was no way I could have left out an RSS feed. Early on, before I wrote any valid HTML, I made sure that each post I write was first available through RSS. If I had stayed a year without posting, the day I do, you'd see a new update on your favorite RSS reader.

JS Tip of the day

Calling a function out of scope

With the advent of jQuery, coding in JavaScript became accessible to almost everybody. But with it came some very fundamental errors that could have been avoide…

Photography