Today I’m going to keep this simple, the majority of us (33+%) are sick of the two party system. It’s time to change that. If you, yes you, would get off your pity party, lesser-evil-voting, “I’m not going to let the other guy win” high horse and actually vote for whichever candidate best represents you we would have a three or even four party political system already.

NOW is the time to stand up for what you believe in and vote that it be represented in our political system. Republicans broke their promises under Bush, Democrats did the same under Obama. Vote what your heart tells you is right and go home with a clean conscious.

For me this person is the Libertarian candidate Governor Gary Johnson. For you it may well be someone else. Take a few minutes to easily find out on I Side With and cast your vote accordingly. dont keep wasting your vote on a two-party system that wont fix anything.

Remember, remember the 5th of November! Now get off your butt and vote with your heart already. #FTW!

I’m often asked what I think are the best resources for learning Ruby and Ruby on Rails. I’ve answered this somewhat before with my Ruby/Rails Reading List. I have countless online resources I use, but I often try to filter those into my Ruby fanboy blog I run Fuck Yeah Ruby. For beginners though I am a bit old school and feel that the best thing you can do is limit your resources to some specific options that are less distracting that the Internet. For those who are looking to learn Ruby or learn Ruby on Rails, I really enjoy the following resources.

Also, as a beginner, it is absolutely critical that you learn how to test every bit as well as you learn to code! This is one of the things I most love about the Ruby community, testing is absolutely expected of your code! Do not think you are special, exceptional, or insignificant enough that the rules don’t apply to you. We all run into each other’s code eventually and it is absolutely essential to learn how to test properly!

If you have your own opinions or suggestions (and I know all Rubyists do), feel free to share them in the comments below.

Training

Books

Books for Newbs:

Testing Books:

Intermediate Books:

Why Would You Do This?

I’m not going to go into an in-depth lecture about Agile Development or Extreme Programming, aka XP, but I will tell you that in my new company we’ve decided to embrace some of these practices; however, one of our team members lives in a state far far away (but luckily in the same time zone). This morning was my first opportunity to pair with him and so I setup an environment to allow us to share a terminal window quickly and easily with the following process.

Setup Dependencies

This process assumes that you already have a working development environment utilizing tools like Homebrew, RVM (or equivalent), and OS X / Linux.

1. Create Your Sandbox

Before your pair can access your system you’ll need to do a few things.

  1. Create a new user on your system, I went with pair. Unless you want to share your entire home folder with your office…
  2. Enable ssh authentication
  3. Ensure that tmux is installed (brew install tmux on OS X, see the Homebrew link earlier for details)
  4. Turn on Remote Login for the pair user only under Sharing in System Preferences on your Mac (if you’re on Linux I’m sure you can handle setting up ssh key-based auth).
  5. If you haven’t yet, make sure you have your Firewall enabled on your now publicly facing Mac.
  6. Have your pair send you their id_rsa.pub and add that key to your new pair user’s ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file.
  7. Remember to append your own id_rsa.pub file to the pair user’s ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file.
  8. Disable SSH Password Authentication on your Mac (or similar with Linux)
  9. Setup your development system to have a static IP on your router.
  10. Configure your router to forward port 22 to your development system’s static IP address.

Once upon a time, I came across a tweet that recommended supporting a KickStarter project called Glyphish. His goal seemed more than reasonable, a mere $500 in backing requested, and he’d create over a hundred beautiful and unique iPhone application icons for use in your own apps!

Glyphish Original Set Preview Glyphish Original Set Being Designed

What started as an amazing project has only grown into something even more epic. Joseph has been supporting Glyphish relentessly since his first project in mid-2009. Now Glyphish has an overwhelming 400 icons for the same low initial price of only $25.00! The great thing is, Joseph created the larger set of icons as another KickStarter project, even though he could have easily have marketed himself by then. I love when fellow developers and designers stick to their roots.

Glyphish Pro Set Preview Glyphish Pro Social & State Icons

I know this might read a little bit like an ad, but it’s probably because I have always been infatuated with these icons. I’ve been trying to get off my butt to make an iPhone application ever since iPhones were first jailbroken just so I could have an excuse to use Glyphish icons. I’ve been a completely lazy developer and haven’t gotten around to completing my goals, but I’ve still never regretted supporting this project from the beginning. The amount of effort that goes into these icons is visible from the time you first see them, and Joseph has never disappointed in adding even more icons with the same level of quality for about three years now. Now that I’m finally getting around to playing with creating some basic iOS applications, I’m glad I have these in my library to use anywhere I see fit!

If you don’t want to be stuck creating your own icons, struggling to convert open source icons, or paying a fortune for icons to use in your applictions (be it a web application, iOS application, or probably even Android/Blackberry/Windows app) you should pick up a set from Glyphish. This is just a no brainer for me as I honestly think I would’ve paid over $100 per set with the quality and uniqueness that Glyphish provides. As testament to that you can look at the list of companies who use Glyphish icons in their own applications:

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Twitter
  • Foursquare
  • 37signals
  • Facebook
  • WordPress

Thanks Joseph for being a designer with a keen eye and well below-reasonable prices. Keep up the amazing work!

One Last Thing!

The original set that I loved so much, is available for free these days. You’ll see it right in the left-hand column as “Glyphish Free” for your use! That’s right, you can even try out Joseph’s amazing work without having to pay. I can assure you, that once you do, you’ll be wishing you could give hime more than he’s asking for as he’s earned every penny!

Be sure to visit Glyphish’s Site to pick up these amazing icons ASAP!