Are Coders Worth it?

This is an awesome article. “Web start-up companies are like play-companies. They stand in relation to real companies the way those cute little make-believe baking stations stand in relation to kitchens.” There are many shitty ideas being pursued by talented people and investment money going to ideas that “look good.” 

I think its necessary to know the tech side when starting a business but that’s only one part of the problem. Understanding who your customer is and what problem your solving are much more interesting then a a cool looking software platform. 


JavaScript Countdown Timer

My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Montreal in a couple weeks and I’m out of town until then. I thought I would create this for her. In doing so I was able to practise using the Date() and Math() objects. The code is below,


var countdown = function () {

var future = new Date(2014, 4, 8, 13, 0, 0, 0);  //trip date
var now = new Date(); //time right now
var difference = future – now; 

var days = parseInt(difference / (86400000));
var hours = Math.floor((difference – (days * 86400000 ))/3600000);
var minutes = Math.floor((difference/1000 – (days * 86400 ) – (hours *3600 ))/60);
var secs = Math.floor((difference/1000 – (days * 86400 ) – (hours *3600 ) – (minutes*60)));


//add a zero is only one digit appears

if (days < 10) {
days = “0” + days;
if (hours < 10) {
hours = “0” + hours;
if (minutes < 10) {
minutes = “0” + minutes;
if (secs < 10) {
secs = “0” + secs;

document.getElementById(“timer”).firstChild.nodeValue = days + ” : ” + hours + ” : ” + minutes + ” : ” + secs; //used to display countdown on page


var playKiss = function() {

document.getElementById(“heart”).addEventListener(“click”, playKiss, false); // display when page loads

window.addEventListener(“load”, setInterval(countdown, 10), false);


The code can be cleaned up but it gets the job done. She liked it. 

Take Your Pick

Here’s something I whipped up the last couple of days. This is made up of three pages – make picks, location and profile page. The picks page using drag and drop HTML5 so you can pick a winner. When you choose a team some audio of fans cheering plays which I thought was pretty funny. There is also a form that lets you choose three players. Press update picks and this data is stored locally. You can view the picks by clicking on the view picks button which takes you to the profile page. 

The profile page is a dashboard showing various leaderboard and picks. i added some SVG and canvas elements for effect. 

The map page is used with Mapbox. I’m still getting used to the API but right now I have geolocation set up so the user can see their position on the map. When a user clicks of a pin information on that pin appears. I added some JS to the buttons on the left hand side. When you click on the buttons the corresponding sports games appear. After added overflow to this section you can scroll through the options. 

The idea behind this is that I’d like to see what bars are playing what games at any given time. Why doesn’t that exist yet?!

Poka Dota

This page demonstrates some of the things I’ve been working on using the HTML5 API. Keeping with the poka dota theme I added a canvas directly under the navigation which creates blue circles when the user’s mouse passes over the canvas area. 

I used the drag and drop API to show an interesting way you could have the user choose which sock they would like to by. You can drag a sock over to the shopping cart and a cash register sound rings. 

I used SVG elements to show how a user could create their own customized sock. Using some simple JS a user can change the colours on the SVG sock. 

It’s interesting but their are some issues when using HTML5. The canvas has to have a fixed width which makes it difficult to create a responsive design. Drag and drop don’t work on phones( until it does I probably won’t use it again). If’s hard to draw using SVGs. I would use everything sparingly but each effect does make the user experience more enjoyable. 

Rails Pub Nite

This is a link to an awesome Rails meet up in Toronto. I haven’t been yet but Pete Forde says it’s awesome so I’ll definitely check it out next month. This month I’ll be traveling.

I think its a great idea to host an event like this at a Pub. In my experience alcohol helps the creative process. It allows us to break down the barriers and think outside the box. 


My Interests

Next week I have an interview with Launch Academy. Before the interview they asked me to produce the following,

Before we chat, we’d like you create a web page that tells us why you’re a good candidate for Launch Academy. The web page should be hand coded html (no visual/WYSIWYG editors). Include a picture of you or someone doing your favorite hobby. Link to some of your favorite websites, publish and send along the URL prior to your interview.


I thought this would be easy at first but then realized I don’t really have a favorite hobby. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Instead of focusing all my attention on the one hobby I decided to make a joke about Netlfix and write out a few other things I’m interested in. 

I used Bootflat for the layout components. I don’t see a huge different here and some of my components didn’t look too flat but its something I’ll look at closer next week. 

Learn To Program – Chris Pine

This is an awesome book if your looking to get into Ruby. It’s mostly example based and easy to follow. He’s funny and explain code through a story. 

Through his website Chris Pine offers a story on how he started this Ruby guide. This started when he realized it was tough for a non-programmer to learn the language through the ruby documentation. He wanted to solve this problem but said it was really tough. His solution, 

What saved me was that I made it really easy for people to contact me, and I always tried to help people when they got stuck. When I saw a lot of people getting stuck in one place, I’d rewrite it. It was a lot of work, but it slowly got better and better.


That’s incredible. This is building a business through trial and error. He studied the needs of his customer and was able to fulfill those needs with his tutorial.