Home > Uncategorized > Things I Learned in 2013

Things I Learned in 2013

Last year I had a series of things I learned in 2012.  I decided not to continue the monthly posts this year but was still keeping track of things as I came across them. Here’s a short list from the year.


  1. SAML 2.0 (utilizing OneLogin‘s ruby-saml gem)
  2. Salesforce Development (APEX, SOQL, REST/SOAP API, Chatter, Single Sign-On, etc.)
  3. Wrote soapforce gem based on Savon2 and restforce gem
  4. elasticsearch
  5. EngineYard – Excellent PaaS Provider
  6. Learned a number of things about MySQL and Postgres that I didn’t know before.
  7. Numerous remote APIs for integrating with service providers (Box, DocuSign, EasyPDFCloud, ConvertApi, DocRaptor)


  1. fontawesome.io
  2. CSS content property
  3. HTML5 download attribute
  4. HTML5 Demos  – contenteditable, storage, history
  5. CSS:   user-select: none;
  6. $x(“//input[@type=’checkbox’]”)  – Locate elements with XPath in FireBug
  7. IE has a maximum number of style tags and CSS rules it will load.
  8. Fire custom event with pure javascript: document.addEventListener(‘myAwesomeEvent’, function() { alert(‘hello world’); }); var evt = document.createEvent(“Event”);  evt.initEvent(“myAwesomeEvent”,true,true);  document.dispatchEvent(evt);
  9. @cc_on – IE specific conditional property
  10. href=”javascript:void(0)” triggers onbeforeunload event in IE (*sign*)


  1. rake db:migrate:status
  2. Tire gem for elasticsearch
  3. Rails Model.update_all
  4. Time.now.xmlschema
  5. rails runner
  6. guard (jasmine, rspec, rails, cucumber, etc)
  7. gems: bulletmailcatcherquiet_assets, better_errors
  8. bundle outdated
  9. Gemfile: gem ‘name’, github: ‘user/repo’
  10. ActiveRecord Batches
  11. delayed_job
  12. respond_to_missing?

Development Support

  1. requestb.in – Great debugging tool for http requests
  2. base64decode.org & base64encode.org
  3. cssclean.com & codebeautifier.com
  4. xmlprettyprint.com
  5. jsonviewer.net
  6. www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com
  7. Freenode web chat
  8. findicons.com
  9. cssarrowplease.com
  10. www.email-standards.org


  1. sendgrid.net
  2. logentries
  3. Crocodoc – HTML5 Document Viewer (Acquired by Box May 2013)
  4. http://www.ilightbox.net
  5. http://getfractal.com/
  6. https://bitdeli.com/
  7. http://imperavi.com/redactor/
  8. http://www.neo4j.org/
  9. https://www.paywithatweet.com
  10. https://www.inkfilepicker.com/


  1. CMD+L takes you to address bar in Google Chrome on OSX
  2. Option+Enter to duplicate a tab in Google Chrome on OSX
  3. Generate the public portion of the key:  ssh-keygen -y -f <name of key>
  4. Email notes to Evernote
  5. Argument Dependent Lookup (ADL) (C++)
  6. Dump/Load over SSH:  mysqldump <dbname> | ssh <new_db_master_host> “mysql <dbname>”


  1. Made my first strawberry rhubarb pie. Rhubarb was ruled (by a New York court) to be a fruit in 1947 although technically a vegetable.
  2. Learned a lot about baseball after becoming a St Louis Cardinals fan this year.
  3. Bought my first motorcycle and have learned a lot about riding and taking care of a bike.
  4. Learned a bit about Seattle during my 6 week stay.
  5. Learned how to make a killer Egg Nog!
  6. Learned how to make soft pretzels
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