Programming Archives - Ryan Kienstra

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Code Reviews: Guiding, Not Solving

By: Ryan Kienstra on: October 25, 2017  in: Programming

When reviewing code, sometimes I’m tempted to do the work myself. By commenting with the exact code snippet. Especially in reviews for less experienced developers, it can be faster. And it can prevent a second round of review. But I think being less clear is better for both of us. For example, when reviewing this line: […] Read more


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Steve McConnell on Software Estimation

By: Ryan Kienstra on: October 24, 2017  in: Programming

It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future –unknown source Predictions are hard. But I think the real goal of software estimation is to be as accurate as possible. And then convey any uncertainty in the estimate. Steve McConnell’s Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art gives some great ways to do this. Some […] Read more


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Deploying on Time to WordPress VIP

By: Ryan Kienstra on: March 5, 2015  in: Programming

With the WordPress VIP code review process, deploying on time can be a challenge. But a VIP Developer Orientation video has great advice on this. And the VIP coding standards are just the beginning. Commit Messages In the orientation, VIP engineer Spencer Cameron-Morin said that detailed commit messages are crucial. He said that they could take […] Read more


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Estimating WordPress Development

By: Ryan Kienstra on: December 23, 2014  in: Plugins, Programming

Starting a software project is exciting. But it’s good to uncover as many challenges as you can. Before you start. Here are my first steps in estimating WordPress development cost. Think of all possible challenges in your project, based on your use cases. For each one, ask: 1. What’s the challenge? 2. Can you solve it? 3. How hard is […] Read more


Find Common Commands In 2 Seconds

By: Ryan Kienstra on: December 8, 2014  in: Bash, Programming

It’s hard to remember all of the commands and snippets you use. And looking them up from a file takes you out of your “flow.” But if you’re at the bash prompt, here’s how to find your commands in 2 seconds. For example, I have a sed command that I use to remove the space before semicolons. By entering […] Read more


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Varying Vagrant Vagrants Setup

By: Ryan Kienstra on: November 14, 2014  in: Programming

As a development environment for WordPress, Varying Vagrant Vagrants has many tools. It also has the latest branches of the WordPress core. To get started, install VirtualBox and Vagrant if you need to. Even if your host machine runs Ubuntu, it’s best to install them from their websites. Ubuntu’s apt-get doesn’t have the most recent version of Vagrant. If […] Read more


Dumb Computers?

By: Ryan Kienstra on: October 18, 2014  in: Programming

People often say that computers are dumb. But maybe that’s a good thing. Sometimes, you want a computer to be “smart.” Auto-correction is useful on phones. Neural networks can categorize images. But even these come from complicated instructions. If you write a complex program, a “dumb” machine should run it. It’ll do exactly what you […] Read more


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Fast Local WordPress Setup

By: Ryan Kienstra on: October 16, 2014  in: Programming

Here’s a quick way to start a new WordPress instance on a local server. The script below: Installs the latest version of WordPress Asks for the database name, user, and password Uses these to set up the database and wp-config.php file Puts randomly generated salts in the wp-config.php file Optionally downloads a .gitignore file Copy this […] Read more


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