In this first issue of "Year in review", I will detail a few key topics. In the first section I will list any recent development news that I have come across. The next section will detail any notable gems, extensions, or app. Then in the last section I will list any blog posts from other developers which I have found helpful and informative.


Notable gems, extensions, and apps

Foreman gem

Running the rails server, rspec, elasticsearch, mailcatcher, memcached, and fakes3 at the same time can be quite annoying having to open six terminals. Luckily, foreman allows you to manage your app's processes in a Procfile. Once in the Procfile you can run everything from one terminal just by running foreman start.

FactoryGirl gem

Dislike fixtures? If you do then FactoryGirl is for you as it provides dead simple factories for test data.

Capybara gem

Capybara is an easy to use acceptance testing framework that integrates nicely with Rspec.

Rubocop gem

Is your code a mess? Put Rubocop to work patroling your code. Rubocop enforces many of the community best practices of coding in Ruby. It also has a sublime plugin.

Brew Bundler extension

If you are on Mac OSX a your application requires specific libraries for running in development you can utilize Brew Bundler as a way of managing different brew configurations on a per-project basis. Basically identical to how the ruby gemfile works

MapTiler app

MapTiler provides a ton of custom mapping functionality in a simple to use app. Recently, I have used it on a personal project to overlay map markers onto a popular fantasy book series.

Recommended blog posts from exceptional people

(At authors request I will remove their section)

Fisher-Yates shuffle algorithm Mike Bostock

I have been working on a node.js and card game in my free time and needed a proper way of shuffling a deck of cards. Mike Bostock's post is probably the best example of how to properly shuffle a deck of cards. He details the process from starting from a simple sorting algorithm up to implementing a full Fisher-Yates sorting algorithm. Additionally, he provides excellent interactive examples that show how the sort moves cards around.

OOP Javascript JavaScript.isSexy

Coming from JavaScript.isSexy, is a post describing how to implement object-oriented programming techniques with javascript. It is worded expertly and provides easy to follow examples. I frequently use it for reference when writing oop javascript.

Don't rescue exceptions Daniel Fone

A great post on the dangers of rescuing the base Exception class in ruby.

Testing rails applications Josh Steiner

I love the Thoughtbot blog. These guys always have such awesome information. In this post they detail how they go about testing a rails application. Every facet of what they test is outlined in the article.
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