Automating Accessibility with Ruby and Axe Core

posted in tutorials


Building an accessible application can be challenging. Keeping an application accessible can be impossible. Without dedicated roles or full team support, accessibility regressions are easy to introduce.

In the past, I’ve used eslint-plugin-jsx-a11y for ensuring React components are accessible, and it helped tremendously. Recently, I’ve dived into Hotwire & Stimulus and needed a solution for ensuring an accessible application. Now as a disclaimer, all automated accessibility checkers have gaps between them and being fully accessible. Striving for a dedicated position or policy to ensure compliance is still something that automation can’t replace. That being said, automation can help keep regresssion at bay.

Examining power and privilege in the workplace; Basecamp's problematic policies

posted in articles


Before I go any further, I’d like to acknowledge my own privilege. I am white, cisgender, straight and male. My goal is to be an ally for oppressed communities and to support systemic change that addresses discrimination. My personal experience of discrimination is limited by my own privilege. I am open to learning from others whose personal experience may be different from my own and hearing other viewpoints.

I’ve been a fan of Basecamp for a long time. Recently, Basecamp made a decision to ban political and societal discussion in the workplace, along with disbanding their Diversity & Inclusion committee. These decisions have caused me to assess how I use Basecamp’s products and how I want to continue using them.

Using Hotwire to build a search form with minimal JavaScript

posted in tutorials


Hotwire is one of the slickest features to come to the development community. It comprises of Turbo, Stimulus, and Strada. It also brings many of the benefits of a single page application into a template rendering server environment.

I value the opportunity that this technology presents but have to acknowledge that it was created by Basecamp. You’ve likely read Basecamp’s recent decision to ban discussion of politics in the workplace along with disbanding their Diversity & Inclusion committee. My post is not an endorsement of these decisions. I’m planning to fully address their decision and how I think it impacts workplace inclusivity and company culture in a future post. The purpose of this post is to look at the new technology and I look forward to spending more time and thought reflecting on those decisions.

Add joy to your test suite with Cardi B

posted in articles


We’ve been in the pandemic now for nearly a full year. That’s enough time to make everyone feel a bit down and exhausted. Humor is a great way of coping with pandemic fatigue or you know just generally putting you in a good mood. What better way to encourage yourself than having Cardi B join you for testing your code.

Ordinal abbreviations for dates in Rails

posted in today i learned


Working with Dates and Times as a developer can be a tricky business. Recently I ran into an interesting time format which consisted of day of week, abbreviation of month, and the ordinalized day of the month. If you’re unfamiliar with ordinalized dates what it refers to are day of the month followed by a suffix. So 1st, 2nd, 3rd… I found a super cool trick to making this happen built into ActiveSupport::Inflector.

A Guide for Upgrading to Rails 6

posted in articles


Upgrading to a new version of Rails is always an adventure. There are gems to update, deprecations to fix, and pitfalls to dodge. Recently, I’ve upgraded Rails from 5 to 6 and have come away with lessons I’ve learned and a general process to follow.

A Journey into Writing Union queries with Active Record

posted in articles


Active record has a multitude of features and niceties. From merging scopes to performing complex joins. However, sometimes it falls short. One shortcoming is a Union query.

When I’ve got a roadblock with active record, I reach for either raw SQL or Arel Tables. Both of these work well but tend to produce verbose code. That’s why it’s nice to to stay in Active record for readability. Ok, so let’s actually look at how to accomplish this.

Configuring Letter Opener for Hanami development environment

posted in today i learned


Recently, I’ve really dug into the Hanami framework. Coming from a Rails background it is really fascinating to see what a Ruby framework looks like in a post-Rails world. One of the first things I setup with new Rails projects is a process by which I can test mailers in development. The letter_opener gem is perfect for this purpose and luckily has a non-Rails setup guide.