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How I Hacked My Brain to Let Myself Relax in the Evenings

A successful productivity experiment that has reduced my anxiety and lets me give myself permission to relax in the evenings.

Email Newsletters – My Emotional Response Spectrum and Organization Strategy

How I personally categorize newsletters, how that categorization has influenced how they’re organized, and how much attention they get as a result.

CloudFront Function for basic auth, redirect, and serving from S3

How to switch from Lambda@Edge to a single CloudFront function for serving static content from an AWS S3 bucket, with redirects and basic auth included!

Conserving Sentry Transactions by Ignoring Laravel Routes

Sentry limits transactions per month, this shows how to conserve them by ignoring specific Laravel PHP routes you don’t need to trace later.

Joining the IndieWeb with Webmentions and Microformats

A collection of resources that helped me get Webmentions set up on the blog posts for this site.

Adding a Table of Contents to dynamic content in 11ty

Code that introduces automated anchor links to headlines in Eleventy dynamic-loaded content. Improves accessibility and makes content sharing easier!

Solving Animation Layout Flickering Caused by CSS Transitions

Solving layout flickering (or animation flashing) happening on browser resize caused by CSS transitions, with live before and after examples!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Sorting Eleventy Global Data Files by Date

Step-by-step guide to date-based global data sorting in Eleventy, including automated by file last modified and manually via a data property

Getting Started in Technical Leadership

I get asked “how do I get started in technical leadership” enough that I decided to share a bit of what has helped me grow over the years.

Thought Experiment – Greatest Superpower and Biggest Weakness

Reflections on my strengths and weaknesses both professionally and personally, with an action plan to leverage the strengths and improve on the weaknesses.

Pulling WordPress Content into Eleventy

Composable Architecture Powered by WordPress part 2 – How to pull content from a WordPress RESTful API into an Eleventy generated static site.

SSH “Server Key Changed” Error and How to Fix It

Brief description of the common “server key has changed” error, and details on how to fix it on a Mac local server environment.

Making Intervention Image Ignore SVGs

Quick writeup of how I handled a pervasive Intervention Image error “Intervention\Image\Exception\NotReadableException” in a Laravel app.

Composable Architecture Powered by WordPress

One developers journey toward content authoring nirvana. Thought process, decisions, and source code for a WordPress composable architecture.

IAAP CPACC Exam Preparation and Reflection

Some notes on how I prepared for the CPACC Certification exam and reflecting on the exam itself.

Implementing Dark Mode

Details of how I implemented dark mode on Be Inclusive, including some issues I encountered along the way.

Alternatives for object-fit in IE11

A background image compromise to support IE11 while also giving modern browsers the best experience using CSS object-fit. Presented with detailed problem, solution, examples, and alternatives.

Soft Skills: Productivity and Goal Setting

It’s easier to set well-defined, achievable goals when you base them on long-term, general goals. A personal mission statement and thinking in terms of roles can help.

Empathy in Web Accessibility

On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we explore how building empathy is fundamental to improving our approach to web accessibility.

What the Font are Vertical Rhythm and Modular Scale?

Why you should care about vertical rhythm and modular scale, defines them, and a demonstration on how to integrate them into your next project.

Soft Skills: Improving Your Emotional Intelligence

The term “Soft Skills” covers a broad spectrum of topics in interpersonal, communication, leadership, and personal skills. These are arguably the most important skills for your career, but by definition, they are also difficult to measure.

The Four Levels of Mobile Browser Testing

Tips to help you embrace the budget and time constraints of your project while testing in mobile browsers.

Managing Multi-Tenant Component Styles

Tracing the path we took to accomplish a unique, cohesive design system for multiple sites within a single Content Management System (CMS) platform installation.

Off-canvas Menu + Fixed Navbar = Buggy iOS Safari

While working on a responsive refresh of the Upshot website I came across some buggy behavior when mixing an off-canvas menu with a fixed position element on the page. I realize that fixed elements have had a history of bugginess in iOS and detailed articles have already been written. However, I hadn’t seen what was occurring for me […]

Avoiding Career Stagnation

As a web developer the potential for career stagnation – feeling stuck, idle, and lacking progression – is higher than average. With technology constantly being improved and reinvented it’s amazingly easy to find yourself falling behind. I’ve felt this way several times over the years, to the point where I’ve started to also notice what […]

Filtering and Sorting

I had a friend ask me earlier this week if I knew of any resources that could point him in the right direction on how to create a page of tabular data that had the ability to be both filtered and sorted. We both weren’t able to find anything suitably simplified so the underlying concepts […]

PHP Functions – Part 2

Pad, Reduce, Chunk I lumped these three functions together because I doubt I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve used any of them. Though once you understand what they do there are several applications for them that would make development cleaner if not also just plain easier. Here they are in […]

Recharge & Release

I find that I go through productivity phases, generally the two I am most cognizant of are what I can loosely refer to as recharge and release. When recharging I feel I read a lot more than usual. I catch up on a backlog of articles I flagged, dig into books I had been meaning […]

No Shame In Looking It Up

Web developers are tasked with remembering several different programming languages in order to effectively get the job done. HTML, CSS, & Javascript are the big three of course, but there are others such as Coffeescript, SCSS, XML that help workflow and facilitate tasks. Backend devs also commonly need to know scripting languages (e.g. PHP, Ruby […]

PHP Functions – Part 1

I’ve been working with PHP for several years, dare I say a decade at this point, and I’m still surprised at functions I’ve never or rarely used. In an attempt to share in my delight of discovering these gems and hopefully enlighten others to some very helpful functions, I’m going to try to start a […]

Apache 2GB file limit

Just came across a new issue I hadn’t dealt with before, apparently once a file (in my case a very large error_log file) reaches 2GB or 2,147,483,647 bytes it can’t work with the file anymore. In this case the system couldn’t write to the error log and threw an Internal Server Error. I didn’t realize what the […]

URI vs URL? Think Scotch vs Whisky

For the longest time, I’ve been unconsciously transposing URI and URL (with the occasional sprinkling of “web address”) in conversations and correspondences without ever really considering that they are abbreviations for two different things. That is until I decided to finally read up on these confounding abbreviations and got the proper info on the real difference between URL and URI. So you […]

SleepingAwake.net is so 2008, StevenWoodson.com is where it’s at!

After over 7 years of calling sleepingawake.net my internet home — in all its random incarnations over the years — I felt it was time for a change. A change spurred on by the fact that THE domain name I’ve been lusting over for years finally became available. After all, what self respecting web developer doesn’t have […]

Website Performance – gZipping & Extended Expirations

With a mixture of a few techniques added to the .htaccess or httpd.conf files, you can reduce the pageload and the bandwith usage of your website fairly easily. In the examples below i’m referring to expressions for addition to .htaccess, the http.conf file may be structured differently to do the same things. I’m setting this […]

MySQL Optimization Top Ten List

I recently had the opportunity to delve deeper into MySQL and how to optimize and generally better my database structure and queries. There’s a lot of information on this topic so I thought i’d share the top ten things that matter to me when creating and querying databases. Make the fields of your tables as […]

1099 VS W2 Taxes

For many of us the difference between 1099 Independent Contractors and W-2 Employees is very clear for various reasons. But there are many out there that either never encountered it or never thought to discover their differences. In this article, I will try to provide you with the necessary information so that you can determine […]