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Creating Powerful Command Line Tools in Ruby

When it comes to software development, a majority of the tools available to us are command-line applications. It is also well worth noting that many of the tools used on the command line are quite powerful in what they can accomplish, from the trivial to the tedious. Taking this further, you can combine command-line applications to chain together a sequence ...

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Working with the Evernote API in Rails

Many people find Evernote to be an invaluable tool for organizing their life. The Evernote API provides has some really great features to take advantage of, including document download and OCR (optical character recognition). Whichever features you choose to investigate, be sure to read their terms of service so that you are within the guidelines of API usage. So much ...

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Effectively Testing Dockerized Ruby Applications

Docker is an incredibly popular tool for virtualizing development and production environments. Its value lies in the idea that it creates portable, scalable environments that anyone can scaffold within minutes. However, a consequence of virtualizing environments is that we have to take a different approach to testing them. How do we effectively test Docker applications? This can be a loaded ...

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Creating Advanced Active Record DB Queries with Arel

If you’ve used Rails, you’ve likely used Active Record as a way to access and record database transactions in a more Ruby-like manner. Active Record goes a long way in simplifying the use of a database. But more then that, it’s designed in such a way that we don’t have to worry about the particulars for working with specific databases. ...

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Writing a Rails Feature – Blow by Blow

My favorite part of seeing someone live code is all the mistakes they make, but not because I’m a mean awful person who likes to see others fail. Watching others recover from mistakes helps me recover from my mistakes. It also makes me feel better when I see that they mess up the same ways that I do. Too often, ...

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Replacing Sinatra with Rack in Sidekiq

Sidekiq is one of the first gems that I install when doing a significant Rails project. If you plan to or already have Redis running, it provides an almost effortless ability to process background jobs. Aside from that, I’ve always thought that one of the most powerful components of Sidekiq was the web UI that it ships with. Prior to ...

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Refactoring Legacy Rails Controllers

Ruby on Rails controllers are like the bouncers of a nightclub. No identification at a club? You aren’t getting in. Without the proper clothes, you can expect to be turned away. Oh, you wanna say something slick? You’re definitely not getting in, and you might be getting a beatdown on your way out. Controllers are the bouncers of the Rails ...

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Decomposing Monolithic View Systems

When we break down a monolithic app into microservices, we go through a process known as decomposition. Simply put: This process can be a bit overwhelming. After all, if you have a really large monolith, you have a ton of code to organize and decompose! Because of this, I believe decomposition is best implemented as a slow and gradual process. ...

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Microservice Communication with Queues

Microservices are small programs that handle one task. A microservice that is never used is useless though — it’s the system on the whole that provides value to the user. Microservices work together by communicating messages back and forth so that they can accomplish the larger task. Communication is key, but there are a variety of ways this can be ...

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Five Practices for Robust Ruby on Rails Applications

Whenever I come across a Rails application with inconsistent data or bugs that are hard to nail down, I tell myself: “They (the developers) were just a couple of keystrokes away from preventing those issues from happening.” At Brewhouse, we follow five simple practices to make our Rails applications robust. It all comes down to failing early, loudly, and often. ...

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