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Back-end Development

We’ve written 17 blog posts about Back-end Development. View all topics »

  1. Cool under pressure

    Why are doctors sometimes considered “cool under pressure?” Is it because their personality is one that doesn’t get riled up when faced with a challenge? Is it because they have an ingrained character trait that allows them to remain calm when everyone else is completely losing it? Have you ever noticed that web developers are sometimes labeled the same way? Is it the same thing? Are web developers saving the world too? Probably not.

  2. Expressive type for CSS

    Guys I figured it out! I figured out how to code type on the web.

    I kid. However I have been really digging my approach to type in the template-build phase as of late. It’s super simple, saves you tons of time, makes your files smaller, and communication both with your teammates and the client more focused. I’m not selling CSS snake oil here, I’m just that into it.

  3. How to build development systems (for a web site)

    Over the last year, I have been using Brad Frost & Dave Olsen’s PatternLab for many projects. In doing so, I have learned about building systems rather than web pages. Most of what I’ve learned is that I’ve been doing wrong out of habit.

  4. My one true layout

    11/6/15

    by Mark Huot

    0 Responses

    Recently I’ve been “evangelizing” Docker quite a bit among the Happy Cog developers. Sometimes that sounds like “zomg, Mark really loves Docker” and other times it’s closer to “omg, why is he over engineering this again.” What I’ve been working on, lately, is a way to use Docker containers to re-implement a more flexible version of Heroku. The end goal is a workflow that starts with a developer pushing code. That code, regardless of branch, is published to a unique URL that anyone can see, regardless of their setup or environment.

  5. Gone zshin’

    Terminal is one of the more powerful apps that comes pre-installed on the Mac. In a nut-shell (see what I did?), it’s an emulator for bash, which is a command processor that lets us interact directly with the UNIX-based operating system that makes the Mac go. As developers, designers and curious tinkerers alike, it’s safe to assume we all rely on it one way or another.

  6. Channeling Your Back-end Developer

    You’ve heard the assertion before: Designers should learn how to code. Reading through the many articles and comments on the topic, this discussion has focused predominantly on front-end development. Yes, comps fail to capture behavior and the in-betweens that bring your responsive designs to life, but crucially, front-end code isn’t the only step to actualizing your designs. Even if your coded styles remain faithful to your design intent, it’s your content that will put that design to test. If you care about the way content should look in your designs, you should also care about the logic that powers it.

  7. Craft + Patternlab = Buzzwords!

    Craft is a flexible and powerful content management system (CMS) with a responsive interface content authors want to use. It uses the Twig template system to power its HTML front-end. Twig comes out of the Symfony project and provides a fast, secure, and flexible system. Twig code is inherently portable and is not tied to Craft, or even PHP, with recent ports showing up in Node. Craft is great for back-end developers.

  8. The Intro Tech Call

    Yesterday at Happy Cog, Mark, Abby, and I had an intro call with a tech team for a client who will be implementing our templates into their CMS, which, in this case, is ExpressionEngine.

  9. Automating Your Deployments

    11/14/13

    by Mark Huot

    0 Responses

    Deploying a website to a web server is hard. Not “It’ll take some extra time” hard or “We’ll need some help” hard. It’s “Get a whiteboard and plan out the thing A Beautiful Mind-style” hard. It’s easy to look at your code, look at your server, and just drag/drop files to production. It’s a lot more difficult to set up an automated system that will do that for you.

    At Happy Cog, we work in a variety of technical situations, and our deployment strategies must be extensible enough to suit each and every need. We deploy to Windows servers and to *nix servers. In some situations, we deploy code as well as content. We deploy PHP websites on some servers and Ruby web workers on others.

  10. Under Pressure

    Deep in the middle of the night, illuminated by the glow of five screens full of graphs, data, code, and live video, I sat on edge, as I monitored a small army of servers. The O Music Awards, a 24-hour, live-streamed music and awards festival in New York City, was in full swing.

    Sometime after 3am, I saw the first warning sign of a major issue—a slight uptick in an otherwise-flat graph. Over the next few seconds, it grew to a huge spike, and I alerted the team that we had a problem. Thanks to some well-configured caching, the homepage and live streams were unaffected, which meant a large majority of users didn’t even know we were having an issue. But, the failures were going to cause errors during voting, and a few other pages on the site were going to crash. The situation wasn’t great, but the mission-critical things were still working properly.

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