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Pragmatic Lessons from Converting to React Hooks

February 6, 2019
Code diff from converting React Component to Hooks
Last week I decided to install the React 16.8 alpha on a branch and experiment with React Hooks in preparation for their release on February 6, 2018. The site utilized a render prop based Slideshow component in several places as well as a handful of other class based components. Through this process, I was able to consolidate the application code and eliminate all class based components from the site's code base. The React team does not recommend refactoring your entire codebase to Hooks on their release. I did this primarily as a means to engage with the Hooks API in a relatively small codebase. You can find the code conversion to Hooks discussed in this post at the related PR . Converting to Hooks and lessons learned The Hooks…
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Announcing GraphQL Resources

December 17, 2018
It’s no secret that I love GraphQL. I first encountered it when transitioning this site to Gatsby at the start of the year. Gatsby incorporates GraphQL into their data layer and exposes multiple plugins to incorporate data sources. When I started exploring GraphQL in more detail, the number of resources and their detail was substantially less. I won’t even go into how long I spent trying to find information on testing strategies. One of my personal missions has been to help break down barriers to learning GraphQL amongst people in my circles. It is substantially less intimidating to get started than first glance may appear, and the reference material has increased. I have given several talks on the topic, breaking down the core concepts…
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4 Perspectives to Maintain and make Mentoring Approachable

December 3, 2018
The democratization of learning in software development continues to be one of my favorite things. Coupled with meetups and communities which allow for people to learn from others results in a great learning environment. There were several people who strongly invested in me as I was first learning to code; they answered what I felt were silly questions, reviewed my code, and encouraged me to continue pushing forward. This aspect of the community was essential to my learning experience and becoming the developer that I am today. Previously, I considered mentoring something that was primarily relegated to senior developers; the additional experience and leadership roles make this a logical conclusion. Until recently, this resulted in my…
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Three Lessons Learned from Overcoming the Inertia Against Technical Presentations

May 17, 2018
Fear of speaking and feelings of an inadequate technical knowledge base can often be a paralytic combination, especially to those newer to a technical field. Imposter syndrome and feelings of inaptitude can easily become dominant, resulting in a self-fulfilling prophecy with high levels of inertia. Thankfully, I have a low level of unease regarding speaking in front of people, including to groups upward of 60 people. While my presentation experience has largely not been about technical topics, much of the skillset translates over. As I mentally prepared myself for the idea of giving a technical talk, I still had to overcome the serious sense of imposter syndrome that I could provide anything meaningful to the conversation as a developer…
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Conceptualizing and Creating a New Portfolio

February 13, 2018
Hero image of Daniel Lemay website
I am so excited to announce that the redesign of my portfolio and blog is finally live after going back to to the conceptual drawing board and rebuilding it from the ground up. It has been an exciting journey to implement new development and design concepts that I have picked up since May 2017 when I built the first version of the site. At the time, it was the first full site that I had put together, and was substantially more involved than the relatively small projects I had done to that point. Since then I worked on more complex applications, built a full stack travel application with a team of two other developers, and dove headfirst into React. The previous version of the site was built using Jekyll as a static site generator. This…
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