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During my job search process for junior software engineering positions, I frequently am asked to tackle code challenges to demonstrate my knowledge and ability to potential employers. My jaw just about dropped to the floor when I realized I was encountering the exact same HackerRank problem twice in one week. I wasn’t able to solve it in time during the first attempt, but was very pleased to pass all of the tests the second time around.

Since I am imagining I will encounter this problem again, I figured I would break down my solution and try and help other junior…

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I am very excited to be almost done building out my personal portfolio page and deploying it for the world to see. One of my last steps is posting information about the projects I have completed to show off my work, and I want to embed the demo videos I made that walk through my projects. I’m sure I’m not the first or the last that will do this, so I’m going to walk through some steps to get your videos up as quickly and painlessly as possible.

1. Upload your videos to YouTube.

If you haven’t done this before, it’s pretty simple! Log in to…

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Whether you’re building a simple HTML web page or a fleshed out full stack application, we all know styling is crucial, and one easy way to incorporate styling into your application is through typography. There are thousands of free fonts that you can incorporate into your website, and today I’m going to talk you through how to do that in just a few simple steps.

1. Go to the Google Fonts website and pick the one you like.

Google Fonts is a library of fonts that are available to use. It’s my favorite of the font libraries because it is simple, easy to use, and most importantly, free! …

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You may have heard the term “semantic HTML” thrown around without being sure of what it means. Today, I’m going to break down exactly what semantic HTML is and some examples of semantic elements to use when building an application.

First, let’s define Semantic HTML.

According to Merriam-Webster, semantic is defined as “of or relating to meaning in language”. Semantic HTML is, in turn, HTML elements that have meaning. Semantic HTML describes the content within the element, and it gives meaning and structure to the content within a page. …

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Even if you are just a newbie software engineer, I’m sure that you have or at least are familiar with GitHub, which is a website that helps developers store and manage their code with something called version control. Today I’m going to break down version control and explain why it is so important.

What is version control?

Version control is, simply, a program that tracks changes in a project (or what we call a repository). This is crucial for software engineering teams to help them work smarter and faster, so multiple engineers can work on the same repository at once.

Think about all of…

As I continue my coding education post-bootcamp, I have looked back to a lot of my stretch goals for my capstone project that I didn’t complete. The big intimidating one? Implementing testing.

As I have begun the job search process, QA (aka Quality Assurance aka testing) engineer position have continued to pop up. Rather than continue to shy away from them, I decided to fling myself into the unknown abyss of testing and try a hand at it myself. My first dabble? TestCafe.

What the heck is TestCafe?

TestCafe is a test automation framework for Node.js that is used to test web applications. I was…

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For beginner JavaScript coders, one of the first skills you will need to have when starting to build out projects of your own is DOM manipulation. And step one of that? Finding the elements you want to manipulate. Here, I’m going to break down different ways you can find an access HTML elements.

Let’s say that this is our simple HTML document:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<h1 class="bold" id="title">Learning How to Select This Element</h1>
<h1 class="bold" id="title-2">Sometimes We Will Select This One Too</h1>
<h1>Or This One</h1>

I’m going to show you multiple ways to access…

Hi friends! I am beginning the journey of getting a website up to show my software engineering portfolio, and I have decided to build it with React.js. One of the easiest ways to implement a multi page web application with React is using React Router, and I am going to take you through the simple steps for getting that set up! For more information, check out the React Router documentation here.

What is React Router?

React Router is a simple way to add declarative navigational components to your application, creating bookmarkable URLs. Let’s say you’ve got <> and you want <> to be a…

Today I am going to break down controlled and uncontrolled forms in React and why we would use them!

(React is a framework for JavaScript. If you are interested in learning more about it, you can view excellent documentation here.)


The difference between a controlled form and an uncontrolled form is purely in how we store the values inside the form inputs. On the client side the form may be exactly the same, but the way the information is handled is completely different. If you are familiar with handling forms with Vanilla JS, that is essentially an uncontrolled form, with…

About a month ago, I had a mock technical interview and the interviewer asked me what the Virtual DOM was. Although I was familiar with the concept, I could not explain it in words. So now, I am going to redeem myself and explain it here so I will never have that problem again.

What is the DOM?

The DOM stands for Document Object Model. The DOM represents the code-based version of a web page. When you type in a URL in your web browser of choice, the server sends the HTML code of the web page to your browser, which it then renders…


Blaire is a musical theatre performer who also moonlights as a full-stack software engineer.

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