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What is the ideal Senior Developer skillset?

We’re currently in the process of interviewing candidates for 1-2 Senior, and 2-3 junior level Rails Developers, and I’m wondering about the skills that are most critical, and how best to identify the best candidates. My normal interview process flows like this: Quick Phone screen evaluating basic development skills, background, availability, personality Basic coding problem (less than 1hr to complete) Ph
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Rails DateTime.to_time, Time, and a case of 'Why do you need to do that?'

The problem: I needed to display a warning to a user if the data they were looking at was more than 90 days old. The solution: Create a method that takes 2 dates (either DateTime or Time), and returns the number of days, or hours between them. def self.difference_in_dates(date1, date2, unit = 1.day) return nil if date1.nil? || date2.nil? || unit == 0 (( date1.to_time - date2.to_time ) / unit).round.abs end The proble
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Chiphone Meeting: Chicago iPhone user group gets its TDD on

Eric Smith from 8th light gave a hands-on TDD presentation at last night’s Chiphone meeting, hosted at Obtiva’s downtown office, (conveniently located near the the train). There was a good crowd of people, most attendees have ‘played around’ with iphone development, 4 have actively developed apps (3 people have live apps in the store).  From my quick survey of those that have submitted apps, i
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Javascript debugging and testing in the wild (Prototype bug when using array.flatten in IE)

I had to dig into a production issue the other day that presented itself like this: There was a piece of javascript code that iterated over some dom elements, gathered ids into 2 arrays, ran a validation check, and then flattened the arrays to add them to the url. On firefox, opera, and chrome this was working correctly, and had been tested by the developers, but on IE 7 it isn’t working, and the problem wasn&#
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What's the best way to programmatically edit a pdf in ruby?

I’ve been doing a good deal of PDF generation in Rails, and had to go through the process of comparing all the available techniques and frameworks in order to find the right solution for my needs. Its great that there are so many tools out there, but it can be a daunting task to figure out which is best, which will scale, which will continue to grow and improve, and to evaluate the true ‘cost’ of fr
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ChicagoRuby meeting 'Test Prescriptions' recap

The ChicagoRuby users group (not to be confused with chirb.org another great Chicago Ruby user group) held their second meeting at their downtown location. While the meetings out in Elmhurst are always informative and helpful,  the downtown location may allow for a bigger crowd, and the weekday time might work better for more people. Plus, the Illinois Technology Association – Tech Nexus is right next to Union
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Mowing the grass, Revisited

photo credit: great_sea A few weeks ago Alice Toth and I had a conversation about how we can better serve our clients, and while we normally delve into project efficiencies like communication, developer training, and good QA practices, this time we both concluded that we need to do a better job of helping our clients reach their goals in the most efficient way possible, and sometimes that means talking them ‘do
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5 things I can do with my windows mobile phone that you can't do with your iPhone

After playing with my friend’s iPhone for awhile, and using the company phone for testing out our iPhone applications, I started to get really jealous of how cool it is, and how uncool my samsung windows mobile phone seems by comparison. The more I used the iPhone, the more I got upset at my windows phone and started demanding “Why can’t I do this on my phone?”, and the more I found that there
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Web app security checklist (Braindump)

In Yesterday’s post I said I’d put together a quick list of things to think about around web application security. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but its a set of categories and things I start to look at when doing a security assessment on an app. Web Application Security Checklist Account management Password management (validation, expiration, previous passwords, etc) Account lockout (number of
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Avoid the last minute security review

Photo Credit: Amagill under Creative Commons Attribution Security is hard Security is often an after thought, slated towards the end of a project, or after some big issue has been discovered, but the nature of security functionality, rules, roles, auditing, etc make it hard to layer in to an existing codebase effectively. Oh, and if the code base isn’t sufficiently tested, you’re in for a world of hurt. I
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