Writing Messages on the GitHub Calendar

You know the contributions calendar grid on GitHub profiles? The one with all the pretty green squares? What if you could write a message within that box? That’s exactly what a friend of mine asked me a few months ago. At first, it seemed like a silly question, because…

MIME Type Validation Isn't Good Enough

An uncomfortable majority of companies that offer high storage limits for specific file types have a major problem: MIME type validation isn’t good enough. If you’ve ever had to implement file validation for user uploads, you’ve probably relied heavily on MIME type validation to ensure that the…

Setting Up CloudFlare SSL for Laravel on Heroku

CloudFlare. Laravel. Heroku. Despite being the keywordiest article title I’ve ever written, I really did have to solve this exact problem recently, and it took me longer than I’m proud to admit. Let’s face it: SSL is a pain in the ass. At least it is when…

What Exactly is Backend Web Development?

As a backend developer, I get this question a lot. I’m sure a lot of other backend developers get it more than they’d like as well. Because the web development process is such a mystery to the majority of people outside of the industry, it is a common…

How to Force Installation of Vagrant Plugins

Vagrant is an amazing tool for local development, especially in the case of distributed teams. It allows for complete parity between every team member’s development environment without forcing anyone to follow a complicated list of environment setup steps. Vagrant’s plugin support is also excellent, as it provides for…

PHP Queue and Stack Implementations

Continuing on my job interview study session binge, the next two data structures I have built using PHP are the traditional queue and stack. In computer science, stacks and queues typically go hand in hand, however they are opposite implementations of each other. A queue is a first-in-first-out data structure.…