Take it from Factor75: Working with Big Astronaut

Lance Ennen

Want to know what it's really like working with Big Astronaut? Take if from Factor 75.

We've worked extensively with Factor 75 for the past year, and have successfully transitioned their development to an awesome in-house team! Woohoo!



CodeDay Spring 2014

Fisher Adelakin


CodeDay Spring 2014

CodeDay Chicago was amazing!

I'm still trying to process what happened this past weekend. It all happened so quickly. For those of you that don't know about CodeDay, CodeDay is an event/time period where middle school, high school and college students have 24 hours to build whatever they want. Students don’t usually have time to build the things they want and CodeDay is a solution to that problem.

P.S. I'm immensely sleep deprived (at the time of this writing) so excuse me, if it's convoluted.


CodeDay was held in 26 different cities this past weekend but I had the amazing opportunity of organizing CodeDay Chicago and CodeDay Detroit. I attended the Chicago event so I can't really speak for the Detroit or any other CodeDay event but I don't doubt it was an amazing experience for everyone involved. I had the chance of bringing 12 students from my school and they all absolutely loved it. CodeDay isn't about...

RailsConf 2014 - Ultra Light and Maintainable Rails Wizards

Lance Ennen


Quick Wins with Backbone.js

Philip Woo

On one of our projects, we had an opportunity to refactor our existing code to use Backbone.js. We felt that Backbone was a good choice since we were dealing with improving some javascript components in our app and not looking to rewrite our entire app itself, which other JS frameworks (ala Angular.js, Ember.js) would have been better suited to do. Here are examples of some quick wins we managed to gain by taking advantage of the nice tools that Backbone.js gave us.

Backbone.js likes to REST

Our code had various CoffeeScript classes, most of which had similar looking functions like these:

 class Scenario save: -> $.ajax 'some/url' type: 'POST' dataType: 'json' data: { step: {foo: 'bar', ping: 'pong'} } success: (data, status, jqXHR) -> ... error: (jqXHR, textStatus, errorThrown) -> ... findAll: (scenarioId)-> $.ajax 'some/url' type: 'POST' dataType: 'json' data: { step: {foo: 'bar', ping:...


Clojure Programming at Big Astronaut: Data Nirvana

Michael Drogalis

One of the most striking differences between Lisps and object oriented languages is its first class support of data structures. This idea often end up a struggling point for those new to Lisp, and particularly Clojure. In order to be an effective functional programmer, it's critical to understand why Clojure chooses to make data structures, and not objects, king in its environment.

A common complaint from those new to Clojure is that at first glance, it seems that the language doesn't support abstraction very well. In an OO world, when we want to create a new abstraction - we do the only thing that we can - we make a new class. I wrestled with this notion for a long time. Working directly with data structures felt too unstructured, and there was no clear path to understanding data semantics. No lies here: learning Clojure was an uphill battle.

A few lines from Stu Halloway's "Narcissistic Design" talk finally made everything click for me. Stu describes why data...

RailsConf 2014 Recap: Day 4 with Aaron Patterson

Lance Ennen

RailsConf 2014 Recap: Day 3

Lance Ennen

Air Pair RailsConf 2014 Speaker Interview Andy Maleh

Lance Ennen

RailsConf 2014 Recap: Day 2

Lance Ennen

RailsConf 2014 Recap: Day 1

Lance Ennen